Cab hailing aggregator Ola today welcomed Rajeev Bakshi as an advisory member to the board of its food business Ola Foods. Rajeev carries over 40 years of leadership experience across food and FMCG businesses with the likes of Metro Cash and Carry, PepsiCo, and Cadbury.
His most recent position was held as the Managing Director of Metro Cash and Carry India, where he provided strategic leadership for overall operations and growth.
With its food business, Ola is aiming to build its own-food brands like its flagship Khichdi Experiment, and a range of brands across categories like rice bowls, biryani, health food. The company now runs 36 kitchens across six cities in the country.
Pranay Jivrajka, CEO of Ola Foods said,
"We are very excited to have Rajeev join us as an advisor to the Board. Rajeev’s understanding of the FMCG space combined with his years of experience in the global F&B industry will prove invaluable for us to build a business that consumers trust and love. We are at a very early part of our journey wherein we are building unique consumer offerings through differentiated distribution formats, both online and offline. The team and I look forward to working closely with Rajeev in building our various brands as India’s most preferred choice of food in the time to come.”
Rajeev has a bachelor's in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).
He started his career in sales at Lakme India and went on to head the sales and marketing functions there. He then held various leadership positions in Cadbury Schweppes across sales and marketing for India, Africa, and the Middle East.
He also served as the Chairman of Pepsico India, and as the joint MD of ICICI ventures. Rajeev also held senior positions at some national councils of industry bodies like CII and FICCI.
Commenting on his appointment, Rajeev said,
"Ola’s ambitions in the food business, with a food-first approach, is uniquely placed in a crowded, but undifferentiated industry. With unique offerings that have been developed after immense research and understanding of consumer preferences, Ola has the opportunity to build highly loved food brands in a market that is hitherto underserved. With access to hundreds of millions of consumers who use Ola as an everyday platform, the brands will also have a unique advantage in terms of reach and influence. I am very excited to join Bhavish, Pranay, and the team at Ola Foods towards their journey to build India’s most preferred food-brands and in building a food-first business.”
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)