Gillette India MD, Zubair Ahmed is all set to takeover as the managing director of FMCG major, GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH).. This puts to rest speculations about his move post Gillette's integration with P&G India. The current GSKCH MD, Nick Massey, is relocating to the parent headquarter in London after four years at the helm. Mr Ahmed will now oversee GSKCH's consumer healthcare operations for the Indian sub-continent.
A GSKCH spokesperson confirmed the development. "Mr Massey's four-year term with GSKCH Consumer Healthcare India business will be getting over at this year-end, after which he will be moving back to the UK. Mr Ahmed will be taking over from Mr Massey and it is business as usual here. We will continue to be focused on driving topline growth and building the GSKCH brands," an e-mailed company statement said. "He decided to move out to GSKCH as he wanted to be in India. The opportunities for him within the P&G system were outside of India," said a highly-placed source. Mr Ahmed, however, declined to comment.
For the past one year, post the $57-billion global takeover of Gillette by P&G, the Cincinatti-based company had been working on Gillette's integration with its own systems. Mr Ahmed joined Gillette first in the Middle East as a sales director in 1992, after a 15-year international stint with Unilever spanning the Middle East and the UK.
In 1995, he was moved to India to handle the acquisition of Wiltech (owned by the Goenkas), post which it became a 100% subsidiary of Gillette - Wilkinson Sword India. The Wilkinson Sword razor brand was launched in India by Gillette through this 100% subsidiary. Duracell, Oral B, Braun and Wilkinson Sword, came under Gillette India from 1998-2000 under the leadership of Mr Ahmed.
On the other hand, Mr Massey, who joined the India office in November 2002 after handling consumer healthcare businesses in Africa, Middle East and Pakistan, was credited with the Horlicks turnaround that took place in 2003. Instead of targeting mothers the brand then started targeting children through new product launches (with vanilla, chocolate, honey variants) as well as new marketing communications, taking out the fuddy duddy image and making it more young and vibrant.