Vinita Bali is a global business leader with extensive experience in successfully leading large Companies both in India and overseas. She has worked with eminent multinationals like The Coca-Cola Company and Cadbury Schweppes PLC in a variety of marketing and general management roles in the UK, Nigeria, South Africa, Latin America and the USA, in addition to Britannia Industries Ltd., in India.
Vinita started her career as a Management Trainee with Voltas Ltd (A Tata Company), in 1977 after completing her MBA. In 1980, she joined Cadbury India as Brand Manager and rose rapidly to become the youngest General Manager of the Company. She also worked with Cadbury’s in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa and served on the Boards of Cadbury Nigeria and Cadbury South Africa as Sales and Marketing Director. She is credited with leading the transformation of the business through an unrelenting focus on the consumer. She headed the Sales & Marketing function in South Africa in 1993-94 during the period of the most profound transition in the country.
In 1994 Vinita joined The Coca-Cola Company as its Worldwide Marketing Director and played an instrumental role in doubling the brand’s historical growth rate during the next 3 years. In 1997, she took over as Vice President of Marketing for Latin America and in 1999 relocated to Chile as President of the Andean Division. In 2001, she was made a Corporate Officer of The Coca-Cola Company and appointed Vice President and Head of Global Business Strategy. She also represented The Coca-Cola Company on the Boards of The American Foundation for the Blind, New York, as well as the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC.
In July 2003, Vinita joined The Zyman Group, as a Managing Principal and Head of the Business Strategy practice in the USA. As a member of the Company's Board of Managers, Vinita shared responsibility for developing and managing Zyman Group's consulting business.
In 2005, following 16 years of overseas assignments, Vinita returned to India as MD & CEO of Britannia and during the next 9 years, significantly diversified the geographic and product portfolio, steered the Company on a Health and Nutrition course, developed a successful Dairy business in India and more than quadrupled revenue. Vinita brought new focus and energy to Britannia with a clear strategic vision propelled by all-around innovation, operational excellence and a professional and high energy team.
In 2009 Vinita created the Britannia Nutrition Foundation and since then has pioneered the cause of addressing malnutrition in India. Britannia’s work in this area was recognized at the closing plenary of the Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York, in 2009. In 2012 Vinita was selected to the Lead Group of the “Scaling Up Nutrition” (SUN) initiative of the United Nations to help improve maternally and child health and continues to serve in that capacity.
Effective April 2014, Vinita moved from a full-time operational role in Britannia to pursue her wide-ranging interests in the corporate and development sectors, through a portfolio of roles and responsibilities. She is a Non-Executive Director on the global Boards of Syngenta International AG, Smith & Nephew plc, Chairman of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and on the Advisory Board of Cornell University’s Department of Nutritional Science. She also serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of several companies in India – CRISIL Ltd, Titan Industries Ltd, and Kasturi & Sons Ltd; and is a Member of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management - Bangalore. She brings a global and pragmatic perspective to strategy and operations, having lived and worked in 6 countries and 5 continents and handled global roles in addition to regional ones.
Vinita is also a speaker at forums in India and overseas on topics as diverse as marketing and brand strategy, business strategy, leadership, corporate responsibility etc. She has been recognized nationally and internationally and received several awards and accolades for her leadership and contribution to the business