Reiterating its commitment to growth in the Asia Pacific region, Budweiser Brewing Company APAC Limited has announced changes to its executive leadership teams in its South and East Asia business units.
The company announced the appointment of Kartikeya Sharma as President – South Asia succeeding Ben Verhaert who is now appointed as President – East Asia. These leadership announcements further demonstrate the company’s commitment to drive accelerated growth, elevate go-to-market strategies and innovations, and cultivate talent from within.
Commenting on this leadership announcement, Jan Craps, Executive Director & CEO, Budweiser APAC and President – APAC, AB InBev said, “I am pleased to announce key leadership changes to our India and South Korea teams which is a strong reflection of our strategic roadmap for the region. Ben and Kartikeya have played a vital role in our continued growth and success across geographies, transforming our portfolio, delivering strong brand growth and curating meaningful experiences to our consumers. With their deep understanding of the consumer coupled with the dynamics of the industry and commercial acumen, I am confident that Ben and Kartikeya in their new leadership roles will position us for continued success in APAC. I would also take this opportunity to thank Bruno Cosentino, the current President of East Asia for his many contributions to our company as he takes on a new leadership role to support our company’s growth in Africa.”
Ben Verhaert has been with the company for nearly two decades and has a solid track record in sales, logistics and business unit management. He started his career with the company in Belgium quickly distinguishing himself through positions in field sales and as head of Off-Trade sales. He next served as country head of Luxembourg prior to leading Southern Europe operations as President where he accelerated topline and share growth in France & Italy. He took charge as President – South Asia business in May 2017 and led the integration with SABMiller to create One Team, One Culture and One Management System. Thanks to his strategic vision, he was able to stabilize the business in a volatile environment, delivering a solid topline growth and driving sustainable brand performance. He also spearheaded the company’s Better World dream, promoting beer as a drink of moderation and ease of doing business as well as sustainability initiatives in India.
Speaking on his new appointment, Ben Verhaert, President – South Asia, AB InBev opined, “Asia is an exciting market for us and it is with mixed emotions that I leave India at what is an exciting moment. I am elated to join the team in South Korea. This is a great opportunity for me to drive our robust growth agenda in East Asia, reinforcing our leadership position, embracing innovative strategies to capture white-space opportunities along with building our commercial and digital capabilities. I look forward to working with the teams and growing our business in the region.”
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Kartikeya brings over 14 years of experience in marketing and business development to his new role. He joined AB InBev in 2005 and led business development in Africa, Brand management of Corona in Labatt Breweries in Canada and was part of the team that set up the India business via a Joint Venture, where he managed both Marketing and Trade Marketing. As VP Marketing and more recently VP Sales, Kartikeya played an integral role in driving sustainable portfolio performance, profitable growth and led the team to achieve category-leading brand equity for Budweiser and Budweiser Magnum as well as several transformational initiatives.
Moving into his new role, Kartikeya Sharma, Vice President Sales – India, AB InBev said, “I am humbled and excited to take on this new role and steer the company in South Asia. Ben has laid a strong foundation which I hope to build on and deliver on our business objectives. I see great opportunity ahead for the company in this market. I look forward to working with the teams, our business partners and all relevant stakeholders to tap into high-growth opportunities, supercharge our commercial innovations that will allow us to fortify our presence and deliver value to our consumers.”
Both Ben and Kartikeya will report to Jan Craps, CEO Budweiser APAC and President – APAC, AB InBev. These appointments are effective 1st January 2020.