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Britannia snares Cadbury's sales director

16-December-2004
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Britannia snares Cadbury's sales director

The Nusli Wadia-controlled Britannia Industries has embarked upon an effort to strengthen its management team.

Vidyut Arte, currently, the director of Cadbury India’s sales and mass marketing division, is all set to take over as Britannia’s head of marketing operations.

Confirming the move, Arte said, “What Britannia is seeking is someone who can uphold the equity of what Britannia has been all about.”

Arte will assume his new role only after a couple of months, and it has not yet been decided who will be taking over from him at Cadbury. Arte will be reporting to Vinita Bali, who will take over as the CEO of Britannia from January 2005.

Arte worked with Bali when she was heading the marketing operations at Cadbury.

Says Arte, “It was a short stint — about 6-7 months, when Bali was heading the company’s marketing operations and I was a brand manager.”

The Bangalore-based biscuit manufacturer has seen a lot of its executives leaving the company, after its chief executive officer and managing director, Sunil Alagh, quit.

For instance, Naveen Chopra, who worked at Britannia for over a decade, recently joined a telecom company. Satish Mane, Britannia executive (general manager, sales and marketing), quit the company to take over as the CEO (foods division), Cavin Kare, in March this year.

However, N Sridhar, erstwhile vice-president of Coca-Cola India, joined Britannia as chief financial officer.

According to analysts, Wadia had been putting a team in place to consolidate the company’s position in the competitive biscuit market.

Though Britannia enjoys a lion’s share of the market, aggressive marketing and distribution strategy by ITC Foods is said to be putting pressure on the business.

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