Pankaj Tibrewal, who has put in his papers as COO and Business Head for Pantaloons, is headed to Hindustan Times as Business Head – South & West. He is replacing Salil Sadanandan and will be reporting to Rajiv Verma, Group CEO, HT Media Group.
At present, Tibrewal’s date of joining is not known. On his move to HT, he said, “I am not a one-person industry. There is tremendous potential for growth in this industry and HT has a long way to go in the south and west.”
Meanwhile, announcing Sadanandan’s departure from the organisation, Verma said, “It’s never easy to let go of such passionate leaders, but it’s only fair that a leader who has contributed so much to our enterprise must be enabled with this opportunity.” An internal note stated that Sadanandan had come across an opportunity that he felt was his true calling, and that he was keen to take up. He had joined HT Media in May 2008.
Tibrewal plans to know the print industry inside out in six months and have a tremendous impact in terms of revenue, product innovation for advertisers and distribution in 18 months.
He said, “I care about impact. I am interested in interacting with advertisers and the value we create for them so that it’s easy for them to achieve what they want to achieve.”
Coming from a different industry, he said, he had the advantage to contribute a fresh perspective to an industry that was driven by doing things in a certain way for a long time now even without a reason to do it that way. “Someone old in the industry does not question the basic for many years. As someone new in the industry, you often ask basic questions, which could help discover better ways of doing things,” he added.
At Pantaloons, Tibrewal has established global best practices in retail and implemented a new customer-first strategy, and, under his leadership, Pantaloons achieved an annual growth of 30-35 per cent. He has earlier held several strategic and operational roles within the group. Prior to the Future Group, he had worked with McKinsey and Company in their Chicago office, where he advised several Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries, including airline, consumer products and industrial products on business issues ranging from operational transformation, organisation structure, and growth strategy to mergers & acquisitions. Previous to that, he was an entrepreneur.