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Arvind Nair to head India operations of Domino's

Domino’s Pizza India has announced the appointment of Arvind Nair as CEO. Nair succeeds Pavan Bhatia who quit the organisation earlier this year

agencyfaqs! news bureau


Domino's Pizza India yesterday announced the appointment of Arvind Nair as chief executive officer. Nair succeeds Pavan Bhatia who quit the organisation earlier this year to take charge of South Delhi-based cineplex PVR. Forty-five year old Nair is slated to assume office on October 3.

Nair joins Domino's Pizza India from Aptech Internet, where he was president and managing director. Nair, a management graduate from IIM, Ahmedabad, has wide experience in profit centre management, marketing and sales in a diverse range of industries including consumer durables, engineering and information technology.

Nair began his career 21 years ago with Garware Nylons and then went on to gain hard-core field sales experience with Asian Paints and Berger Paints, over a period of seven years. This was followed by a three-year tenure at Netlon India, where he was involved in launching a new concept that involved generating sales through an innovative distribution network and promotion plans. Prior to the Aptech assignment, Nair was CEO of Amtrex Hitachi Appliances for nine years, during which time the company emerged as the second largest player in its field.

Nair joins Domino's at a time when the largest international food chain in India is going through a challenging time. Domino's Pizza India, which is the master franchisee for India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, is promoted by Shyam Bhartia and Hari Bhartia of the Vam Organic Group. It opened the first Domino's Pizza store in India in January 1996 in New Delhi. Today, Domino's Pizza India has grown into a countrywide network of stores, with a team of over 2,000 people.

While growth was pretty fast in its early days, things haven't been particularly hunky dory this year. After Pavan Bhatia quit the company, the company got into a scrap with its advertising agency Grey Worldwide (India), Delhi, over some payments issues. Thereafter the two parted ways and Domino's hired the services of Delhi-based Equus. Yet, if industry sources are to be believed, even before Equus could have settled down, Domino's has started looking around for an agency all over again. However, when agencyfaqs! got in touch with the company, Namita Jain, head of marketing, denied any such development.

To make things worse, the company's rapid expansion plans have hit a speed-breaker and its aggressive Indian menu has found few takers. A recent report indicated that after branching out in smaller cities at a break-neck speed, the Michigan-based pizza chain is shutting shop in Bareilly, Meerut, Moradabad and Gwalior. It seems eight of its outlets have been shut down - albeit temporarily.

A spokesperson for the company, however, told agencyfaqs!, "‘Shut down' is not the right word. We are in the process of shifting these outlets. That is the beauty of our business model. If we find an outlet is not doing too well, we just move it away a few kilometres where it has chances of doing better. While we have a total of 101 outlets, 93 of them are operative currently."

Whatever be the case, Nair was not available to comment on his brief or on the company's course of action for the immediate future. "He would be ready to speak to the media once he assumes office and settles down. It will take some weeks to unveil the company's new plans," said the Domino's spokesperson.

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