R.S. Sodhi, the former managing director of Amul, has joined Reliance Retail Ventures as an advisor where he will be responsible to build its fresh fruit and vegetables businesses.
Sodhi joining the company is expected to result in a greater traction of these segments at Reliance Retail. The Reliance group did not respond to queries on the subject.
His entry comes at a time Reliance is beefing up its consumer business: last month, Reliance Consumer Products Ltd (RCPL), the FMCG arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Retail, announced the launch of the iconic beverage brand, Campa.
The company's FMCG portfolio now comprises heritage brands from Sosyo Hajoori, confectionary range from Lotus Chocolates, Sri Lanka’s leading biscuit brand Maliban as well as daily essentials under its own brands Independence and Good Life.
The arrival of Sodhi may see the arm venturing into new categories and acquiring some brands as well.
Sodhi had quit Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF), the parent of Amul, after a 40-year run.
Beginning his innings as a sales officer, he was promoted to the role of managing director of Amul in 2010. Under his tenure, Amul ventured into categories such as chocolates, cheese, edible oil and cookies .
The retail business at Reliance Retail is headed by Isha Ambani. It had posted a record revenue of Rs 67,623 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2023 which marked a growth of 17 per cent over the same period of the previous fiscal. On the other hand, the net profit of the business jumped 6 per cent to Rs 2,400 crore.
The business grew its physical network with 789 stores totalling 6 million square feet opened in the quarter.
During the quarter, the digital commerce and the new-commerce businesses grew 38 per cent over the same period last year and contributed to 18 per cent of the revenue.
The grocery business delivered a revenue growth of 65 per cent led by broad-based growth in categories of fruits and vegetables, staples, general merchandise and packaged foods.
Beauty biz foray
Reliance Retail on Wednesday entered into the beauty space with the launch of Tira, an omnichannel beauty retail platform.
The country's leading retailer will now compete with the brands such as HUL's Lakme, Nykka, Tata and LVMH's Sephora in India's growing beauty and personal care marketplace.
Along with the Tira app and website, Reliance Retail also opened its flagship Tira store at Jio World Drive in Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.