Saurabh Saxena: A Visionary Leader Leveraging Sharp Business Acumen & Industry Expertise To Drive Business Profitability | CEOInsights Vendor
Saurabh Saxena: A Visionary Leader Leveraging Sharp Business Acumen & Industry Expertise To Drive Business Profitability

Saurabh Saxena: A Visionary Leader Leveraging Sharp Business Acumen & Industry Expertise To Drive Business Profitability

 Saurabh Saxena,  Chief Business Officer

Saurabh Saxena

Chief Business Officer

Owing to the exceptional cooking convenience as well as growing popularity among the urban and semi-urban population in the country, the Indian Frozen food industry, slowly but steadily, has been experiencing growth and is currently dominating the Indian FMCG sector. One of the pioneers of the Indian Frozen food sector, Sumeru started its operation in 1989 and today, is considered one of the leading processed food manufacturers in the country. An accomplished business leader with over two decades of industry experience, Saurabh Saxena joined Sumeru just two years back and has been leading the business from the front. He also has been a part of Del Monte’s journey in India for more than a decade in various positions. Under his able guidance, Saurabh is trying to expand distribution while focusing on new launches to help Sumeru reach the next level.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Saurabh sheds light on his overall professional experience, his leadership approaches as well as business strategies, and much more.

Give a brief account of your professional background and experiences. What is the motivation that fuels your daily routines?
I did my engineering from Nagpur and my MBA from Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Pune. I started my career at LG Electronics and worked there for four and a half years before joining SAB Miller. After two and a half years at SAB Miller, I joined Del Monte Foods and worked there for 11 years. During my extensive experience at Del Monte, I have held various roles and responsibilities. I joined the firm as the Head of Trade Marketing and was later promoted to Regional Manager-West India before heading Modern Trade and e-commerce. Two years back, I joined Innovative Foods, also known as Sumeru, as the Vice President Sales
before being elevated to chief business officer. Currently, I'm working in the capacity of the President and Executive Director for the organization.

During my stint at Del Monte, I have seen the journey of the firm from a new brand to a large organization. Even at Sumeru, my primary ambition is to take the firm’s success to the next level. Being empowered to work in an organization as your own is something that excites me and fuels my daily routine.

As a leader, it’s important to empower your team, encourage them to take risks, & give them the freedom to experiment

Define Sumeru as an organization and its current position in the market. As the Chief Business Officer, what are strategies you have adopted to expand or optimize operations and to engage new audiences in the market?
A pioneer brand in the Indian frozen food industry, Sumeru has been a part of this industry for over 30 years. We are one of the market leaders in the frozen food space and are also currently planning to add more frozen food categories to our existing portfolio. While we as an organization, have a stronghold in the tier-1 cities, we are also planning to penetrate tier-2 cities, where I believe, have a significant scope for growth.

One of the primary challenges that we still face in the frozen industry is in terms of infrastructure. We are massively dependent on proper logistics as well as the infrastructure available at the outlets that we deliver. In my capacity, we are trying to bridge this gap by adopting smart logistics strategies while ensuring fresh processed food is delivered to the outlets in less time.

As pioneers in the Frozen food sector, our responsibility also includes educating the consumers about frozen foods in India while attracting new consumers into the category. We are trying to achieve this goal through various smart marketing campaigns as well as introducing new categories in the frozen space. With a strong focus
on Health and convenience, we are committed to introducing new products in the Indian Frozen Space.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
Leadership, irrespective of the business we do, at any level is all about managing people. As a Leader, I strongly believe in the culture of team empowerment while developing traits of entrepreneurship in them. We must develop a team of passionate people who, rather than just as employees, consider the company as their own. As Leaders, we must always back them and support and develop a fearless culture, which will automatically propel the organizational growth in the direction we want the company to grow.

How has been your path to success and what is your success mantra?
If we have a look at my recent experience, Del Monte was a more. company in India with limited categories when I joined. I have been instrumental in launching gifting packs, shaping the e-commerce business, and launching new product categories at Del Monte while helping the firm experience tremendous growth at the pan-India level. Even at Sumeru, we are working on taking the retail part of the business, which constitutes our presence in the brick-and-mortar format as well as e-commerce, to newer heights. We have been able to scale up the business and currently, I am, in my capacity, looking towards driving business profitability in this role.

Saurabh Saxena, Chief Business Officer, Sumeru
An accomplished professional with around two decades of experience in various domains, such as Marketing, Sales, Trade, and so on, Saurabh started his career with LG Electronics before working for many reputed firms, such as SAB Miller, Del Monte, and so on. Currently, he is working as the Chief Business Officer at Bengaluru-based leading processed food manufacturing firm, Sumeru.

•Favourite Cuisine: Indian Non-veg food
•Favorite Book: Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy
•Favorite Travel Destination: Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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