09 June 2015
Shivani Hegde, who made Maggi a household name in India, is back to rescue it. As brand Maggi is going through troubled times, Nestle Global CEO Paul Bulcke has called Hegde back from Sri Lanka temporarily for damage control.
Hegde is a member of the parent company's global marketing leadership council and took over as head of Nestle in Sri Lanka four months back.
She will come to India with a mission, to re-build brand Maggi.
Economic Times reported earlier that the country's longest-serving custodian for any brand and a Nestle veteran of three decades, Hegde took Maggi through brand extensions into new categories and variants, shifted the advertising angle from taste to health and widened distribution. This made Maggi available across the country, even its remote corners, leading to a 70%-plus share of the noodle market.
Hegde is an economics graduate and holds a master's degree holder from Faculty of Management Studies.
She joined Nestle as management trainee and was elevated as managing director of Nestle's Sri Lanka business in January.
She's married to Arun Hegde, former managing director of Wrigley's, who quit the confectionery maker in 2007 to start his own consultancy.
"She made Maggi a household name and brought in a bottom-of-the pyramid connect to the brand without alienating upmarket consumers —that's been her X factor," a top executive of a food company who knows her closely but declined to be identified told ET, adding "but she remains extremely low-profile in the public space and somewhat risk averse."
On this news, Hegde didn't comment anything beyond helping out by reading a question.