". Bakery Industry: Vinita Bali -CEO Britannia Speaks On Indian Biscuit Market

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Vinita Bali -CEO Britannia Speaks On Indian Biscuit Market

Britannia CEO   Speaks  to TOI  

Britannia Industries top boss Vinita Bali is unfazed. Competitors might be nibbling away at the biscuit major's offerings, but Bali is only intent on heaping more on the plate. For her, differentiation is the key to unlocking value. Beating biscuit major Parle in volume terms does not figure in her scheme of things. Bali feels Parle is not even worthy of an acquisition, since she insists it doesn't bring anything to the table that Britannia doesn't have.

Britannia, the crown jewel in the Wadia empire, had started drifting without proper leadership. Bali stepped in to rectify the score in 2004 and doubled the company's sales in five years. For this tough cookie, dubbed a 'turnaround expert' by her peers, it was a challenge. Unwilling to crumble, she took it head on. Just over five years into her journey as MD, Bali is focusing on the basics — selling cookies in a jar, the way her mother would present them to her as a kid. After all, as she tells Namrata Singh & Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla, the turnaround story has just begun.

It's been five years since you took over as CEO. Have you achieved what you had set out to achieve?

If you ask me whether I've achieved what I set out to achieve, then the answer would be yes and no. But if we talk about what we've achieved, we've got a company which is twice the size it was five years ago. It has an international footprint which it didn't have. It has a globally integrated dairy business that is profitable, which was not the case earlier. And we've now got international recognition. Britannia is rated as the number 1 or 2 brand in the country. We've also got a portfolio which is much stronger. We started with six power brands...we've added a seventh. In the dairy sector today, we have almost 50% market share of cheese. We've taken trans fats out of our products. This is a change in the frontline of the business, it is a change in the way we go-to-market, it is a change in our own thinking, it is an evolution, about the purpose of our business and what we do and it is about adding more health and nutrition.


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