Hina Nagarajan has been named as the next Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of India's largest liquor brand United Spirits (USL) on December 10. Nagarajan will succeed Anand Kripalu, who has been MD and CEO since 2014. Kripalu will step down on June 30, 2021 and Nagarajan will assume charge from July 1, 2021.
Nagarajan, an Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad graduate is the first woman to lead USL and also the first woman leading a liquor company of such a large scale in the country.
Nagarajan is currently managing director, Africa Regional Markets (ARM) at Diageo, USL's parent company. "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," said the company in a statement.
The company's statement read, "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, the company said.
Nagarajan has spent over 30 years in CPG businesses and held several senior marketing and general management positions at Reckitt Benckiser (RB),,Nestle India and Mary Kay India. Just before joining Diageo, Nagarajan was MD China & SVP North Asia with RB.
The company said that Nagarajan will move to Bangalore in April 2021 and will work closely with Kripalu to 'ensure a smooth transition'.
Praising the outgoing MD and CEO's initiatives, the company said that Kripalu 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," it added.