• Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Business

South Asian food group Vibrant Foods appoints Damian Guha as new CEO, Nish Kankiwala as non-executive chair

By: Shubham Ghosh

Vibrant Foods, Europe’s biggest south Asian food group, has announced the appointment of Damian Guha as its new chief executive officer (CEO) and Nish Kankiwala as non-executive chair.

Guha will replace Umesh Parmer, the current CEO who moves to the role of managing director (MD) and will oversee operations, supply chain, and procurement.

Guha brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise, having served recently as the MD of Upfield’s UK & Ireland team, the world’s leading plant-based food company and maker of household brands such as Flora, Elmlea, and Violife.

He also held in the past several senior positions within Mars and at Marks and Spencer, both in the UK and across Europe.

“To become CEO of a company with such distinctive brands and rich heritage is truly exciting. I would like to express my gratitude to Rohit for his outstanding work as Chair, and I look forward to working together to deliver on Vibrant Foods’ next phase of growth,” Guha said.

Incoming non-executive chair Kankiwala currently serves as a non-executive director of John Lewis & Partners and, until recently, was the CEO and chair of Hovis.

It was also learnt that Vibrant Foods’ executive chairman Rohit Samani will step aside from his current position and manage the role of a special adviser to the company’s board. He held the position since November 2019 and led the acquisition of a number of popular Asian food brands — TRS, East End Foods, Cofresh, Fudco, and Everest Dairies, to form Vibrant Foods.

It was under his leadership that Vibrant Foods recorded a 58 per cent revenue growth from its inception in 2019 to 2021.

Samani said, “It has been a privilege to serve as the chair of Vibrant Foods and to have led a team that achieved so much. With Damian and Nish at the helm we have two seasoned leaders who I have every faith will build on this momentum. I wish them all the best for the future.”

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