India’s largest liquor company United Spirits Limited (USL) has appointed Hina Nagarajan as the Chief Executive Officer of the firm, the first woman to head the liquor major. She will take over as the CEO of the Bengaluru- headquartered company that sells McDowell’s and Bagpiper brands in India with effect from July 1, 2021.
"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 further said, "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."
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.
The company said that Nagarajan will move to Bangalore in April 2021 and will work closely with Kripalu to 'ensure a smooth transition'.
Who is Hina Nagarajan?
Nagarajan is an Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad graduate. She holds an MBA from the IIM-A, a Commerce Honors degree from Delhi University and a Diploma in Hotel Management from Pusa Institute, Delhi, India.
She is currently managing director, Africa Regional Markets (ARM) at Diageo, USL's parent company.
Under Hina's leadership, ARM has become a significant growth driver for Diageo Africa, the company added in its statement.
Prior to joining Diageo, Hina has spent over 30 years in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) businesses and held several senior marketing and general management positions at Reckitt Benckiser (RB), Nestle India and Mary Kay India.
Hina was MD China & SVP North Asia with RB.
She will be the first woman to lead USL and also the first woman leading a liquor company of such a large scale in the country.