Pizza Hut India’s head Unnat Varma is appointed as the new managing director for the pizza chain’s Asia Pacific operations by Yum Restaurants. This new responsibility will be bringing 5,500 restaurants spread across 17 countries under him from next month.
Mr Varma, from now on will operate from his Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. He has been working with US-based Yum Brands Inc’s Indian arm for over 12 years till now.
Some operations from Pizza Hut’s India have been merged with Asia outfit. Pizza hut’s India operation, which was earlier reporting to the US parent company, is being merged with the Asia outfit. While other operations including marketing, execution and store operations will be headed by current marketing chief Prashant Gaur. Other functions such as business development, HR and finance, which are being integrated with the Asia operations, will continue to be overseen by Mr Varma.
India is the Kentucky-based pizza maker’s second largest market in the Asia Pacific region after China, which has over 2,000 outlets. It has 430 Pizza Hut restaurants and a potential consumer base of 1.5 million.
Mr Varma said, “Value, convenience and reliability are fuelling growth, and we need to continue to make the brand relevant for different consumers. There are key learning from India which we will take to other markets.” India has shown a positive growth from last nine quarters. This time Pizza Hut showed 20% system sales growth in India for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018. Mr Varma said, “Consumption in the overall food sector has grown, and pizzas are leading the pack as a category.”