Bira 91’s parent company, B9 Beverages, has announced the appointment of Manoj Kohli, Former MD of Bharti Airtel and former Country Head at SoftBank India, and Bharat Anand, Partner, Khaitan & Co. as Independent Directors on its Board.
With this appointment, Bira 91 expects to leverage the significant global business experience of the new appointees as it expands its business in India and overseas, as well as strengthen its corporate governance.
In a career that spans over four decades, Kohli is the former MD and CEO of Bharti Airtel. He has led the transformation of Bharti Airtel’s business into the number three telco in the world, from two million customers to over 400 million customers, and played a key role in driving Airtel’s global expansion. He was also the Country Head for Softbank India, and helped guide startups such as Ola, Paytm, Lenskart, Snapdeal and WeWork.
Kohli currently serves on the Board of companies including WeWork India and Triveni Engineering, and is a senior advisor for Deloitte India and Masters’ Union.
Bharat Anand is a corporate lawyer and serves as the Partner and Office Head, New Delhi at Khaitan & Co., India’s oldest full-service law firm. He is known for his expertise in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity transactions within the Indian business landscape, informed an official statement.
Ankur Jain, Founder and CEO, Bira 91, said, “I am truly excited to bring on-board Manoj and Bharat as independent directors at Bira 91. We are at an important inflection point as a business, and as we continue on our journey of high growth, we would want to ensure that we develop a business that has long-term sustainability, improved risk management, and increased quality of corporate governance. With Manoj’s and Bharat’s experience, I am sure we will be able to strengthen Bira 91 considerably on these aspects.”
Kohli said, “Over the next decade, my mission is to support entrepreneurs in building successful businesses that can scale not only in India, but also create a strong presence globally. Bira 91 is amongst the fastest-growing beer brands in the world and is at an exciting phase of its business journey. I am excited to partner with their team and help take the business to newer heights.”
Anand said, “Bira 91 has done a great job of disrupting a really promising, high growth category. As B9 evolves into a large business, I hope to help support its transition into a well-run corporate and facilitate sustained growth”
B9 Beverages was established in 2015 and is now claims to be the country’s fourth-largest beer company. It has a portfolio of flavorful beers and sells its products across over 1000 cities in 24 countries.
In 2023, B9 Beverages entered the Beyond Beer category and launched Hill Station Ciders and Grizly Seltzers. Bira 91 operates four taprooms in Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR, where it releases one new beer every week. It has also recently acquired pub chain The Beer Café.
B9 Beverages is backed by investors including Japan’s leading beer company Kirin Holdings, Japan’s largest bank MUFG Bank, Sofina of Belgium, and Peak XV Partners (formerly Sequoia India).
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