Yum! names Merrill Pereyra as MD Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent
He will oversee the growth and expansion of the brand’s footprint across the subcontinent countries, based out of the headquarters in Gurgaon
Pizza Hut International today officially announced the appointment of QSR veteran Merrill Pereyra as the Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent. In his new role, Merrill will be responsible for leading Pizza Hut into the next phase of long-term profitable growth across Indian Subcontinent. He will oversee the growth and expansion of the brand’s footprint across the subcontinent countries, based out of the headquarters in Gurgaon.
Pizza Hut has been in India for more than two decades. The brand enjoys deep love and trust in the market and has been voted the Most Trusted Brand in the country 13 times, including 2019. Currently, the brand has 547 stores in the Indian subcontinent, of which 460 are located in India. The Company also strengthened its focus on opening Fast Casual Dining (FCD) stores, a concept pioneered by the brand in 2017. At present, Pizza Hut has 81 FCDs in India and the brand aims to increase the share of FCD stores to 40% of its real estate by 2022.
he Company ended 2019 on an upward trajectory with positive same-store sales growth and a strong transaction growth. The last year also witnessed the brand further strengthening its focus on food innovations, value offers and a brand refresh to innovatively engage and delight its customers. Some of the key campaigns by Pizza Hut in the Indian market included the pilot launch of Black Pizza, rider tracking feature – a first in the QSR segment in India, association with India’s biggest YouTuber, Bhuvan Bam to dial-up the quirkiness quotient for the brand, among others.
With Merrill at the helm, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent is poised to open over 100 new stores across the market in the coming 2020. Merrill will be overseeing all the core functions of the organization with a dedicated focus on growth, expansion and innovations positively impacting its shareholder value in the market.
Unnat Varma, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Asia Pacific, said, “Merrill brings with him over three decades of rich experience and leadership in the QSR sector. With his unique brand of leadership and compelling experience, we are confident he will strengthen our brand further in the region.”
Commenting on his new role, Merrill Pereyra, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent said, “I am excited to lead the Pizza Hut business in the Indian Subcontinent market. It is an exciting phase right now for both the brand and the QSR industry at large. The industry is rapidly growing in size and volume and presents unique challenges and opportunities for those who are part of it, and Pizza Hut being one of the leading pizza brands in the region is well-positioned to leverage this opportunity.
I look forward to working closely with each person at Pizza Hut India to collaboratively make the brand one of the most dynamic QSR brands in the Indian Subcontinent.’’
Prior to his current role as Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent, Merrill led QSR Brands (M) Holdings, part of CVC Capital Partners, EPF and Johor Corporation which dominates Malaysia’s rapidly expanding retail food industry, as the Executive Director and CEO. He has also provided exciting, energetic and innovative leadership to large QSR brands including McDonald’s Corporation, KFC and Pizza Hut Singapore, among others. During his tenure at Pizza Hut Malaysia, he reviewed the business model for the company and implemented a fast turnaround strategy which generated double digit Same Store Sales and customer growth. In addition, he was also directly leading the core management team to prepare for the firm’s IPO and held investor roadshows in London and several other places across the globe to promote the IPO to a larger audience.
Merrill is an alumnus of Wharton University of Pennsylvania where he completed its Advanced Management Program for senior executives. Merrill is also the author of ‘Expand Your Brand, how to supersize any brand anywhere in the world’.
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