Bengaluru-based ride-hailing major Ola has roped in Rajeev Bakshi as an advisory member to the board of its food business Ola Foods.
Ola said that Bakshi’s deep understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences, as well as his experience in marketing and strategy, will help Ola Foods build unique offerings in innovative formats for consumers, it said in a statement.
Prior to the current role, he was the managing director of Metro Cash and Carry India, where he provided strategic leadership for the overall operations and growth of the business. Bakshi has over 40 years of leadership experience across food and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) businesses with companies like Metro Cash and Carry, PepsiCo and Cadbury.
“Rajeev’s understanding of the FMCG space, combined with his years of experience in the global F&B (food and beverage) industry, will prove invaluable for us to build a business that consumers trust. We are at an early part of our journey where 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,” Pranay Jivrajka, CEO of Ola Foods and founding partner at Ola, said.
Ola Foods aims to build its own food brands like its flagship Khichdi Experiment and a range of brands across categories like rice bowls, biryani and health food through its network of state-of-the-art kitchens across India, the statement said.
Ola currently runs 36 kitchens across did cities.
“Ola’s ambitions in the food business with a food-first approach is uniquely placed in a crowded, but undifferentiated industry... I am excited to join Bhavish, Pranay and the team at Ola Foods in their journey to build India’s most preferred food brands and in building a food-first business,” Rajeev Bakshi, board advisor at Ola Foods, said.
Bakshi graduated from St. Stephen’s College with a degree in Economics in New Delhi and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore. He has worked with companies like Lakme India, Cadbury Schweppes and Pepsico India. He has also held senior positions in the national councils of industry bodies such as CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).