Name: Manvinder (Vindi) Banga
Was: President of global foods, home & personal care at Unilever
Now: Operating partner at Clayton Dubilier & Rice
Number of years in grocery: 33
Career background: Banga joined Unilever India in 1977 and during his career with the company worked in a number of senior roles. He was chairman and MD of Hindustan Unilever from 2000 to 2004, and president, home and personal care Asia, based in Singapore from 2004 to 2005. In 2005, he joined the Unilever executive board as president, foods, and in 2008, he was given additional responsibility for home & personal care.
What is he doing now? Banga joined private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in June 2010 as an operating partner, based in London. On taking up the role, he said: “CD&R’s history of incorporating strong management leadership skills into its investment activities is very appealing to me.” He also joined Marks & Spencer as a non-executive director in July 2011.
Biggest achievements in grocery: At Unilever, Banga led the creation of a One Unilever Global Foods, Home & Personal Care Global Category Organisation, which is now responsible for innovation and marketing mix development for all brands. He was also responsible for the company’s sustainability agenda. When he left, CEO Paul Polman said: “Vindi was responsible for a significant improvement in our innovation results, delivering bigger ideas with global scale.”
Other achievements: In 2004, he was appointed to serve on the Indian Prime Minister’s Council of Trade & Industry. In 2010, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, a prestigious civilian award.
What’s next? With his roles at both M&S and CD&R, Banga retains an interest in grocery. You wouldn’t rule out him taking up a non-executive role on the supplier side in the future.