Mondelēz appoints ex-Wrigley boss as India MD

By Oliver Nieburg contact

- Last updated on GMT

Former MD of Wrigley India takes reigns at Mondelēz India Foods. ©iStock/Marcio Silva
Former MD of Wrigley India takes reigns at Mondelēz India Foods. ©iStock/Marcio Silva

Related tags: Asia pacific, Cadbury plc, India, Chocolate

Mondelēz International has named the managing director for its India business months after inaugurating a chocolate plant in Andhra Pradesh that will be its largest Asia Pacific plant.

Deepak Iyer has been appointed managing director of Mondelēz India Foods Pvt Ltd. He joins from Bharti Axa General Insurance Company, where he served as CEO and MD.

Former MD of Wrigley India and ex-PepsiCo

Iyer was previously CEO and MD of Mars’ Wrigley business in India. He also spent 17 years in various roles at PepsiCo.

He will report to Maurizio Brusadelli, EVP and president, Asia Pacific, for Mondelēz International.

Brusadelli said Iyer’s experience will help drive the company in India, “a priority market for Mondelēz International globally”.

Iyer replaces Chandramouli Venkatesan, who became MD two years ago. Venkatesan has left the company to pursue new opportunities.

Golden Oreos and Marvellous Creations

Golden Oreo-1
Source: MDLZ

Mondelēz last month introduced Golden Oreos to the Indian market, building on Oreo’s introduction to India in 2011. Oreo is marketed under the Cadbury umbrella in India. In April, it introduced Cadbury Bournvita biscuits to India. And yesterday, the firm announced the launch of its Cadbury Marvellous Creations range in the country.

Largest Asia Pacific facility

Iyer's appointment comes soon after Mondelēz inaugurated its largest facility for Asia-Pacific in Andhra Pradesh in April as part of a $190m investment.

The 134-acre site in Sri City will initially produce around 60,000 metrics tons (MT) of Cadbury Dairy Milk each year.

By 2020, it will produce multiple categories with an annual capacity of 250,000 MT and will employ around 1,600 staff.

Mondelēz is the chocolate confectionery market leader in India with a 55% value share in 2015, according to Euromonitor International.

Tax probes

Mondelēz is facing an ongoing investigation​ by India’s Department of Excise for allegedly claiming unlawful tax exemptions for its separate Himachal Pradesh factory built in 2010.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating​ whether the firm, then Cadbury India, bribed Indian officials to establish the plant.

Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of Finance is engaged in a further tax evasion probe​ against the company in relation to Kraft Foods’ takeover of the Indian subsidiary in 2010.

Management changes

In July 2013, Anand Kripalu, MD Cadbury India and president for India & South Asia, left the company. Mondelēz said the departure was unconnected to the tax probe. He was replaced by former PepsiCo India CEO Manu Anand.

Anaud became Mondelēz’s president for chocolate in Asia Pacific in January 2015 and was replaced as India MD by Venkatesan.

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