Future Group rejigs key positions, trims staff

Friday, 24 February 2012

To deal with the debt pressure and fuel growth prospects, Kishore Biyani’s Future Group is taking all measures to make a comeback. The group is currently in the process of restructuring and realigning its businesses. The company has also reshuffled some key positions, and the Biyani family has decided to take charge of operations. The company redeployed some of its key executives to generate faster growth and to position itself better to attract foreign investments once the government gives the nod to global supermarkets.

According to the analysts, the move is in line with the Group’s strategy to increase food sales to more than half of its total business, up from the current 35 per cent, within four years. Sadashiv Nayak, Joint CEO of Future Value Retail will become Chief Executive of the same firm that runs Big Bazaar supermarkets. Damodar Mall, Director of Integrated Food Strategy at the Group, will strategise on future businesses apart from overseeing rural retailing venture Aadhaar, small neighbourhood supermarket format KB’s Fair Price and integrated food parks. Devendra Chawla, President of FMCG and Food, will oversee the overall food business including buying and planning operations at Big Bazaar, while Sanjeev Agrawal, joint CEO at Future Value Retail will move to head a start-up joint venture firm. Kailash Bhatia, CEO of Pantaloon Retail has been given additional responsibility of fashion merchandise and apparels at Big Bazaar. In a BSE filing recently, Pantaloon had said its board had formed a review committee to consider various options for realignment and divestments. Meanwhile after appointing a committee to suggest measures to reduce the debt burden and taking charge of the key positions within the group, it is now working on people management by trimming its workforce by 3,000 employees over the last 12 months. As a part of its streamlining process, it has stopped fresh recruitments and transferring employees from closed stores to functioning ones. , Future Group is also trying to increase its employee productivity on a per sq. ft. basis. The Group’s retail business had a headcount of around 40,000 a year back, which has now come down to around 36,000 people.

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