South Asian foods specialist Vibrant Foods has appointed a new leadership team to spearhead further growth under private equity owners Exponent.

The company, which is Europe’s largest South Asian food group, has appointed Damian Guha as CEO and Nish Kankiwala as non-executive chair.

Current executive chairman Rohit Samani will step back from his role and assume the position of special adviser to the board, while incumbent CEO Umesh Parmar will oversee operations, supply chain and procurement as MD.

Incoming CEO Guha was most recently MD of Upfield’s UK & Ireland team and has held senior positions within Mars and at Marks & Spencer, both in the UK and across Europe.

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

Samani has been exec chair of Vibrant Foods since November 2019, leading the acquisition of five Asian foods brands: TRS, East End Foods, Cofresh, Fudco and Everest Dairies, to create the new Vibrant Foods platform under Exponent’s ownership.

Under his leadership, Vibrant Foods has recorded revenue growth of 58% from its inception in 2019 to 2021.

“It has been a privilege to serve as the chair of Vibrant Foods and to have led a team that achieved so much,” said Samani. “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.”

Guha added: “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.”