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New Barista Board seeks to revamp biz to up market pie

23-April-2004
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New Barista Board seeks to revamp biz to up market pie

It’s a five member board minus the chairman for the coffee retail chain Barista Coffee Company Ltd with the new ownership structure, including Chennai-based Sterling Group which bought a 65.4 per cent equity stake in the chain from the Turner Morrison group, last fortnight.

Two senior executives from the Sterling Group have joined the board, in place of the three Turner Morrison directors, while the Tatas (who hold the rest of Barista’s stake) continue to maintain their strength of three directors.

TV Krishnamurthy, director, strategy, and CR Sitaraman, chief executive, Fresh & Honest (Sterling Group’s coffee vending business), are the new inductions from the Sterling Group on the Barista board. Tatas continue to be represented by Tata veteran RK Krishnakumar, Tata Coffee managing director MH Ashraff and former Tata Tea managing director Homi Khusrokhan.

The company hopes to elect its new chairman in its next board meeting which will be held soon.

Mr TV Krishnamurthy will be henceforth based in Delhi and will head what he calls the strategy function at Barista. Barista chief executive officer Yogesh Samat, in the meanwhile, continues to perform his current role. Ruling out any immediate major management change at Barista, Mr Krishnamurthy, however, said the company is relooking at its business plans.

“We are currently evaluating plans afresh for Barista for the next 12 months to improve our market share,” Mr Krishnamurthy told the FE.

The new set of strategies at Barista includes a significant focus on food so as to arrest falling footfalls and traffic in the day-time and a fast track focus on franchising to drive expansion in new markets as well as existing markets.

“The objective is to take the business to the next big level. We wish to be the dominant player in the coffee space,” Mr Krishnamurthy said.

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