In a significant move demonstrating its ambitious focus on inclusion and diversity and continued investment in the talent pool in India, Mars Wrigley today announced the appointment of three new women executives in its India Leadership Team and chose two executives from India to take up global roles critical to the company’s growth strategy.
Richa Singh, Sunita Patnaik and Shahine Ardeshir have joined Mars Wrigley India Leadership Team as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Director – Corporate Affairs, and Director – People and Organization (P&O) India, respectively, while Chirag Shah has been elevated as CFO of Nature’s Bakery, a Mars business in the US, and Hegeler Solomon promoted to Director of People and Organization, Mars Wrigley Asia.
Making the announcement, Kalpesh R Parmar, General Manager, Mars Wrigley, India said, “Fostering talent and building capability remain a cornerstone of Mars Wrigley and we are highly intentional in finding the best talent, building the right capabilities and creating an environment of inclusion and diversity. This is instrumental to our ability to deliver our growth legacy and navigate the challenges as well as capitalize on the opportunities that lay ahead as we remain steadfast on our long-term commitment to India. Aligned with this, I am pleased to welcome Richa, Sunita and Shahine to Mars Wrigley India’s leadership team. These appointments advance our commitment to bringing on board strong women leaders to position us well in our journey of purpose-led growth.
Equally, I am very excited that Chirag Shah and Hegeler Solomon have been elevated to lead global positions within Mars. Both of them have been strong architects in India’s growth story for Mars Wrigley and have made significant contribution to the business. I am very proud of this move as it is a strong testament of our ability to nurture and export world-class talent from India for the company globally. Their unique experiences in a diverse and fastest growing market like India will help shape and contribute to the transformative growth strategy of the company across the markets. I wish all of them the very best as they begin their new assignments.”
Richa Singh joins as Chief Financial Officer. Richa Singh comes with a global experience of over two decades across consumer durables and FMCG companies, leading business accelerations and transformations, process optimizations, among others. She joins from Niine Pvt Ltd, a start up in feminine hygiene that she led for three years. Prior to Niine, she worked in Philips Healthcare@Home, Philips Consumer, J&J Medical ASEAN, Coca-Cola and P&G across India, ASEAN, Australia and Japan.
Sunita Patnaik has been appointed as Director – Corporate Affairs. She comes with nearly two decades of experience in journalism, corporate affairs, communications, CSR and Sustainability. Sunita joins from Facebook India where she led content and programs policy communications. Prior to Facebook, Sunita was associated with Walmart India and Cargill India. In her current role, Sunita will be responsible for leading government relations, corporate communications, PR and advocacy efforts across all Mars Wrigley India brands and verticals.
Shahine Ardeshir has been promoted to Director – People & Organization. Shahine comes with a wealth of experience, a large part of it from within the company, having joined Mars in 2012. She has held a number of key roles within the leadership team, including most recently as Associate Relations (AR) Lead for the segment across India, Middle East and South Africa. She played an integral part in launching and stabilizing AR operations of the new People and Organization operating model, across a diverse region, supporting all segments including Mars Wrigley, Pet Nutrition and Royal Canin.
Richa, Sunita and Shahine will be based in Gurugram.
Richa replaces Chirag Shah who becomes CFO for Nature’s Bakery based out of the US. Nature’s Bakery offers wholesome and delicious snacks, and was recently acquired by Mars to extend Mars’ portfolio of businesses in the Health and Wellness space. Chirag will be relocating to the US shortly. Chirag joined the company in 2016 as CFO for erstwhile Mars Chocolate segment in India. He was later appointed as Finance Director for the Mars Wrigley integrated business in 2017 in India.
Shahine replaces Hegeler Solomon who has been elevated as Director of People and Organization, Mars Wrigley Asia. Solomon will transition to his new role in September. Solomon joined Mars in May 2014 as People and Organization Business Partner for erstwhile Wrigley segment and subsequently moved as Director – People and Organization for Wrigley South Asia. Later he was appointed as Director – People and Organzation for the combined Mars Wrigley unit in India. During this stint, Solomon played the lead role in integrating the structure of the two different organizations and created an enabling culture which helped the company secure a ‘Great Place to Work’ status in India. He also lead talent transformation and assembled a robust Leadership pipeline for the business.