IIM-B grad Sameer Suneja to head Perfetti Global | business | Hindustan Times
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IIM-B grad Sameer Suneja to head Perfetti Global

Alpenliebe is all set to acquire an Indian flavour — at the very top of the Italian group. Sameer Suneja has been appointed global CEO of the €2.25-billion (about R18,350-crore) sales Italian sugar confectionery makers Perfetti Van Melle (PVM). Himani Chandna Gurtoo reports.

business Updated: Aug 07, 2013 01:56 IST
Himani Chandna Gurtoo

Alpenliebe is all set to acquire an Indian flavour — at the very top of the Italian group.

Sameer Suneja has been appointed global CEO of the €2.25-billion (about R18,350-crore) sales Italian sugar confectionery makers Perfetti Van Melle (PVM). PVM is the maker of popular candies including Alpenliebe, Mentos and Center Fresh and the 41-year-old Suneja, a former India head of PVM, may become the first one from outside Italy to head the privately-held firm.

PVM India confirmed the development on Suneja, who will be the youngest global CEO to be appointed from an Indian background. He is expected to join his new role on October 1. Suneja is only three years older than Marissa Mayer, who is leading Yahoo at age 38.

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Suneja, who studied international marketing at the business school, joined as the brand manager of Colgate Palmolive in June 1994. He left Palmolive in January 1996 to join Frito Lay, where he worked for a little over an year.

He joined Perfetti Van Melle in February 1997 and was promoted to the role of executive vice-president for global innovations and business development in August last year. With over 15 years of vast experience in the company, he is now ready to take on the global role.

Suneja will report to the board of directors of the Netherlands-based holding company of the group.

“In consumer-driven organisations like Perfetti, youth will rule the roost as they are more likely to ensure consumer connect,” said Rajiv Burman, managing partner, Lighthouse Partners, a leading search firm.

“This is a sign that Indian managers have tremendous experience to lead competitive consumer markets globally,” said Pankaj Chandra, director, IIM Bangalore.