In a top-level leadership change at Procter & Gamble, senior company executive LV Vaidyanathan, currently head of Indonesian business, will replace Madhusudan Gopalan as the new India chief executive.
According to the company, the change will be effective from July 1. Vaidyanathan, an IIM, Ahmedabad alumnus, started his career with P&G in 1995 as an intern and joined the sales team from campus in 1996. He has more than 26 years of experience across diverse geographies such as India and ASEAN countries including Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“For us, going forward, it will be important to continue the focus on our strategy which is delivering consistent results. We will raise the bar on all aspects of our superiority strategy– product, package, brand communication, retail execution, and value. We will continue to drive productivity improvements to fund investments in innovation and help drive balanced top-and bottom-line growth,” Vaidyanathan said.
Meanwhile, Gopalan will take another leadership role within P&G as senior vice-president – of grooming and oral care, P&G Japan and Korea. During his four-year tenure at the helm of P&G India, he led the portfolio transformation of the business, focussing on profit and market share.
The Indian unit of the world's biggest consumer products firm has been trying to accelerate growth in the rural market and created an Rs500 crore fund to partner with firms that understand the rural DNA.
The company said Gopalan led the transformation of the business and found a winning formula to consistently deliver the sustainable top and bottom-line growth. “The business is in great shape and we have found our winning formula where our strategy is delivering consistent top and bottom-line growth and our people are growing and thriving,” Gopalan said.
P&G's leadership change follows similar development at rival American consumer goods firms – Kellogg appointed Prashant Peres as managing director for its India and South Asia markets in January while Colgate Palmolive named Hindustan Unilever's Prabha Narasimhan its next India managing director from September.
P&G's three entities in India, which sell products ranging from detergents and shampoo to razors and sanitary napkins, have a combined revenue of under $2 billion, less than 3% of its overall sales. P&G India has invested more than Rs 2,000 crore in India in the past few years, mainly to set up manufacturing units to reduce dependence on pricier imports.
“I want to thank Madhusudan for his outstanding leadership of the India organization over the last four years and the transformation of the business to delivering consistent balanced growth and value creation. I am thrilled with LV Vaidyanathan is an outstanding leader, and the India business will immensely benefit from his leadership and skills which have led to the strong growth of the different businesses that he has led across Southeast Asia,” Magesvaran Suranjan, P&G President, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa said adding that “the moves for both Madhusudan and LV are testament to the strength of Indian talent and India's importance as a talent factory for P&G globally.”
Over the past few years, P&G has also been de-prioritizing several unprofitable lines of business in India, in line with its global strategy, which hurt short-term revenue growth but led to a much more profitable business.