B9 Beverages Ltd is the parent company of Bira 91, has appointed Manoj Kohli, previously Managing Director at Bharti Airtel and former SoftBank India Country Head, along with Bharat Anand, a Partner at Khaitan & Co., as Independent Directors for its Board.
This strategic move aims to utilize the extensive global business expertise of these appointees as Bira 91 expands its operations both domestically and internationally.
Additionally, these appointments are intended to fortify the company's corporate governance framework.
“I am truly excited to bring on-board Manoj and Bharat as independent directors at Bira 91. We are at an important inflection point as a business, and as we continue on our journey of high growth, we would want to ensure that we develop a business that has long-term sustainability, improved risk management and increased quality of corporate governance. With Manoj’s and Bharat’s experience, I am sure we will be able to strengthen Bira 91 considerably on these aspects." said Ankur Jain, Founder and CEO, Bira 91.
Manoj Kohli has been instrumental in various leadership roles, notably as the former Managing Director and CEO of Bharti Airtel. His tenure witnessed Bharti Airtel's remarkable growth, evolving from a customer base of 2 million to over 400 million, positioning it as the third-largest telecommunications company globally.
“Over the next decade, my mission is to support entrepreneurs in building successful businesses that can scale not only in India, but also create a strong presence globally. Bira 91 is amongst the fastest growing beer brands in the world and is at an exciting phase of its business journey. I am excited to partner with their team and help take the business to newer heights." said Manoj Kohli.
Kohli significantly contributed to Airtel's international expansion. Serving as Softbank India's Country Head, he provided strategic guidance to prominent startups like Ola, Paytm, Lenskart, Snapdeal, and WeWork.
Presently, Kohli holds board positions at notable companies such as WeWork India and Triveni Engineering. He also acts as a senior advisor for Deloitte India and Masters’ Union.
"Bira 91 has done a great job of disrupting a really promising, high growth category. As B9 evolves into a large business, I hope to help support its transition into a well-run corporate and facilitate sustained growth” said Bharat Anand.
B9 Beverages Ltd, the parent company of Bira 91, has risen to become the fourth-largest beer company in the country. With six manufacturing facilities spanning India and a diverse range of flavorful beers, it has expanded its market reach to over 1,000 cities across 24 countries.
In 2023, B9 Beverages made a foray into the Beyond Beer segment by introducing Hill Station Ciders, an alcoholic cider portfolio, and Grizly Seltzers, a line of hard seltzers inspired by cocktails.
Bira 91's operational footprint includes four taprooms situated in Bangalore and Delhi-NCR, where it unveils a new beer every week. Recent strategic acquisitions, such as that of The Beer Café, India’s leading pub chain, aim to fortify its presence in pubs and taprooms.
The company has significant backing from global investors, including Kirin Holdings, a prominent Japanese beer company, MUFG Bank, the largest bank in Japan, Sofina from Belgium, and Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia India).
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