Delhi: Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, today welcomed Rajeev Bakshi as an advisory member to the board of its food business, Ola Foods. Rajeev brings with him over 40 years of leadership experience across Food and FMCG businesses with the likes of Metro Cash & Carry, PepsiCo, and Cadbury. Rajeev was, most recently, the Managing Director of METRO Cash & Carry India, where he was responsible for providing strategic leadership for the overall operations and growth of the business.
Rajeev’s experience in the food and FMCG industry spans across various categories including confectionaries, soft drinks, snacks, as well as across the length and breadth of food retailing.
Rajeev has also been responsible for some of India’s most memorable marketing campaigns like the iconic Cadbury ad set on a cricket field that helped alter the brand’s ‘kids-only’ image and positioned it as a product for adult consumption. Rajeev’s deep understanding of consumer behavior and preferences, as well as his vast experience in Marketing and Strategy, will help Ola Foods build unique offerings in innovative formats that consumers can relate to.
Ola, with its food business, aims to build its own-food brands like its flagship Khichdi Experiment, and a range of brands across categories like Rice Bowls, Biryani, Health Food etc., through its vast network of state-of-the-art kitchens across India. Ola currently runs 36 kitchens across 6 cities.
Rajeev Bakshi, on his appointment as Board Advisor to Ola Foods, said, “Ola’s ambitions in the food business with a food-first approach, is uniquely placed in a crowded, but undifferentiated industry. With unique offerings that have been developed after immense research and understanding of consumer preferences, Ola has the opportunity to build highly loved food brands in a market that is hitherto underserved.
With access to hundreds of millions of consumers who use Ola as an everyday platform, the brands will also have a unique advantage in terms of reach and influence. I am very excited to join Bhavish, Pranay and the team at Ola Foods towards their journey to build India’s most preferred food-brands and in building a food-first business.”
Pranay Jivrajka, CEO of Ola Foods and Founding Partner at Ola said, “We are very excited to have Rajeev join us as an Advisor to the Board. Rajeev’s understanding of the FMCG space combined with his years of experience in the global F&B industry will prove invaluable for us to build a business that consumers trust and love.
We are at a very early part of our journey wherein we are building unique consumer offerings through differentiated distribution formats, both online and offline. The team and I look forward to working closely with Rajeev in building our various brands as India’s most preferred choice of food in the time to come!”
After graduating in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Rajeev started his career in Sales at Lakme India and went on to head the Sales and Marketing functions in the company. Subsequently, he held various leadership positions in Cadbury Schweppes across Sales and Marketing in for India, Africa, and the Middle East and also as Managing Director of the India and South Africa businesses.
Thereafter, as Chairman of Pepsico India, Rajeev successfully steered the company towards consolidating its foothold in the country. He was also the Joint Managing Director of ICICI Ventures where he led the Real Estate practice and managed consumer-oriented investments like Retail and Life Sciences before he went on to lead Metro Cash & Carry’s India business.
He has also held senior positions in the National Councils of Industry bodies such as CII and FICCI. Currently, Rajeev is an advisor on Strategy and Marketing, apart from serving on the board of a few companies.
About Ola Foods:
Ola Foods is part of Ola, one of the world’s largest mobility and consumer internet companies. A food-first company, Ola Foods’ vision is to build India’s largest and most loved food brands with a strong focus on quality and hygiene. With state-of-the-art kitchen infrastructure, leading food manufacturing and menu engineering practices, Ola Foods is at the forefront of food technology innovation. Currently, the portfolio includes own brands offering Khichdi, Rice Bowls, Biryani and more across 6 cities.