Agro Woman: Schauna Chauhan
November 11, 2010Schauna Chauhan
34, CEO, Parle Agro
The year 2009 was the one in which Parle Agro took on giants like PepsiCo and ITC on their own wicket. In March that year, the Mumbai-headquartered food and beverages company, best known for its Mango drink Frooti, launched LMN - a lemon-based drink in the Rs 1,500-crore non-carbonated segment (Pepsi launched its own lime- based drink Nimbooz around the same time). A few months later, the company forayed into the Rs 6,500-crore branded snacks segment, dominated by PepsiCo's Kurkure and ITC's Bingo, by launching Hippo, a baked health snack.
Leading Parle Agro's charge is 34-year-old Schauna Chauhan, its CEO and the eldest daughter of Prakash Chauhan, its founder. "In the past year, we have made additions to our portfolio by adding new brand extensions (like Hippo Round-Round, and Saint Apple juice)," says Chauhan, who runs the Rs 1,500-crore company with her sisters, Alisha and Nadia.
Schauna has been associated with the business since 1999 when she joined the company's board as a director at age 22. Since she took over as CEO in 2006, the group has diversified into areas like confectionery, pure fruit juices and baked snacks, and has rapidly expanded its global presence, with exports to over 20 countries. "We have doubled our international presence by stepping up exports and by entering new partnerships to create a strong international presence for our brands," she adds. Chauhan, who is married to actor Bikram Saluja, looks up to her father and the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, as her role models.