M Gopalan, IIMC Alumnus appointed CEO of P&G India

View News Link

Procter & Gamble said Madhusudan Gopalan, the head of its Indonesian business will replace Al Rajwani as its India MD. The change is effective April 1, the maker of Olay skin cream and Tide detergent said Wednesday in a statement.

Gopalan, an IIM, Calcutta alumnus, started his career at P&G India in 1999 in the sales function. The 42-year old has also worked in the Cincinnati headquarters with the P&G-Walmart business team and later as the head of market, strategy and planning in India.

"P&G is bullish on India and it is a priority market for the parent company. The strategy for India will be to continue the progress we have made towards balanced growth to drive strong shareholder value," said Gopalan in a statement. "We will raise the bar across everything we do to continue to accelerate sales growth, improve productivity, and empower our organization to deliver sustained, strong performance."

The company said Rajwani, until his retirement in June, will help in on-boarding the new CEO on the India business and enable a smooth transition. Rajwani, spent 37 years in P&G across the US, China and Arabian Peninsula markets in roles ranging from product supply, marketing and general management.

Over the past three years, the world's largest consumer products maker has been de-prioritising several unprofitable lines of business in India, in line with its global strategy, that hurt short-term revenue growth but led to much more profitable business. During his nearly three-year tenure at the helm of P&G India, Rajwani led the portfolio transformation of the business changing the company from consecutive losses to delivering triple-digit profit.

"India was an enriching experience for me, especially the portfolio transformation we undertook on the business that has enabled us to get on the path of profitable growth," said Rajwani in the statement.

The contribution of the business it has been fixing, or exiting, is about 15% of the total portfolio which impacted sales. P&G's three entities in India, which sell products ranging from detergents and shampoo to razors and sanitary napkins, have combined revenue of under $2 billion, less than 3% of its overall sales.

While its unlisted arm P&G Home Products has seen declining growth last fiscal, its listed entities - P&G Hygiene and Healthcare and Gillette has been posting double digit sales growth.

"In the first half of the current year ending December 2017, P&G delivered double-digit sales growth with majority of the business growing share. Al has also been heavily invested in developing Indian talent and sharpening the company’s focus on sustainability, said the company. P&G has invested more than Rs 2,000 crore in India in the past few years, mainly to set up manufacturing units to reduce dependence on pricier imports.