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Hina Nagarajan to join USL as ‘CEO-Designate’, effective from 1 April 2021

MediaInfoline December 10, 2020
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United Spirits Limited (USL) has announced that after nearly eight years at USL and seven years as Managing Director and CEO, Anand Kripalu will step down effective 30 June 2021, to pursue the next phase of his career. Hina Nagarajan, currently Managing Director Africa Regional Markets, will be appointed Anand’s successor and will also join the Diageo Executive Committee on 1 July 2021.

Under Anand’s tenure, USL has made considerable improvement in operating performance – margin growth, working capital, and cash generation. Following Diageo’s acquisition of USL, Anand led the full integration of USL and has reignited the market’s portfolio strategy.

A strong advocate for the positive impact of the alcohol industry in India, Anand has formed trusting relationships across the sector, driving local community initiatives and partnerships, and tirelessly promoting responsible drinking. Known for his restlessness and entrepreneurial spirit, as well as his commitment to coaching and growing talent, Anand has championed inclusion and diversity across the business. The USL executive team is now 40% female and Anand leaves both the USL leadership team and broader workplace set up for future success.

With Anand’s departure, Hina Nagarajan, currently Managing Director Africa Regional Markets, will join USL on 1 April 2021 as CEO-Designate. From 1 July 2021, in accordance with the applicable law and upon receipt of necessary approvals, Hina will take over as Managing Director and CEO of USL and will also join the Diageo Executive Committee, reporting to John Kennedy, President Diageo Europe & India.

Since joining Diageo in the summer of 2018, Hina has led Diageo’s Africa Regional Markets (ARM) comprising operations in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Indian Ocean, Angola, and several other countries. Under Hina’s leadership, ARM has become a significant growth driver for Diageo Africa.  She is known for her passion and drives to deliver results and her ability to build strong teams that deliver outstanding outcomes, with a strong commitment to Diageo standards and compliance. She has leveraged capabilities and synergies across the market to drive regional growth, delivering a significant step-change in supply chain performance across ARM.  She has also been an active and passionate advocate for inclusion and diversity in Africa and Diageo more broadly.

Prior to joining Diageo, Hina spent over 30 years in CPG businesses and held several senior marketing and general management positions at Reckitt Benckiser (RB), Nestlé India, and Mary Kay India. In her most recent position before joining Diageo, Hina was MD China & SVP North Asia with RB. Hina will move to Bangalore in April 2021 and will work closely with Anand to ensure a smooth transition.

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