New Delhi: The board of directors of Jubilant FoodWorks Limited on Friday, March 11, accepted the resignation of Pratik Rashmikant Pota as the CEO and wholetime director “as he wishes to pursue opportunities”, the firm said in a statement. Jubilant operates Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin’ restaurants in India.
“We wish to inform you that the board of directors of the company in their meeting held on March 11, 2022, accepted the resignation of Pratik Rashmikant Pota as the CEO and wholetime director of the company as he wishes to pursue opportunities outside Jubilant FoodWorks Limited,” the company said in its filing to the stock exchanges.
Pota will continue in his current role till June 15, 2022, according to the company.
“The board places on record its sincere appreciation for the outstanding contribution made by Pota during his tenure with the company and wishes him the very best in his future endeavors,” the company said in its filing to the stock exchanges.
The company has initiated the process of identifying his successor, it informed.
Pota had joined Jubilant FoodWorks in 2017 and is credited with the company’s turnaround. Pota had taken over from Ajay Kaul at a time when the company was struggling with sluggish performance of Domino’s franchise due to subdued consumer sentiment which had impacted discretionary spending.
Reacting on the development, Pota took to Twitter and wrote, “I will be moving on from Jubilant FoodWorks in June. I have spent five extremely fulfilling & eventful years here, and am immensely grateful for the support & trust of the Board, the JFL team & all other stakeholders.”
He also wrote, “While I am proud of many things we got accomplished in the last five years, I am without doubt proudest of the team of ambitious, determined, entrepreneurial, resilient & change-adept leaders we have built across JFL, and the amazing team members across the stores & commissaries..”
He added that he has no doubt that JFL will under their stewardship grow into being a multi-brand, multi-country, food tech powerhouse.
Adding more, he wrote, “I will be moving to pursue a quasi-entrepreneurial opportunity and will share more details soon. I am excited and also admittedly a little nervous, but moving ahead with a strong belief in my credo that, beyond fear lies victory…”
I will be moving on from Jubilant FoodWorks in June. I have spent five extremely fulfilling & eventful years here, and am immensely grateful for the support & trust of the Board, the JFL team & all other stakeholders.
— Pratik Pota (@pratikpota) March 11, 2022
Excessive price increase in products by Jubilant FoodWorks, indicated analysts, had also impacted Domino’s.
“Jubilant FoodWorks’s EBTIDA margin had taken a significant hit, declining to 11 percent in FY16 from a peak of 18 percent earlier. This weakness in profitability was driven by aggressive expansion and weak performance of Dunkin’ Donuts,” said a report by ICICI Securities.
Pota’s initiatives to turnaround the business hinged around improving the value-for-money equation and making the product the hero of the offering.
“He changed the strategy from deep discounts (day-based discounts) to offering consumers assured value and low prices every day (everyday value). This helped shift the consumption pattern from occasional to spontaneous leading to an increase in buying frequency among existing consumers and also helped acquire new consumers,” according to the report. At the same time, said the report, Pota invested in product upgrade with new crust, liberal amounts of cheese, other toppings, new imported sauce and a visibly-pleasing packaging. He relaunched pizza with these superior offerings, however, at the same price points across the country.
This resulted in a sharp recovery for the brand – reporting 15.4 percent average same-store-sales growth for the next 8 quarters and improving the comparable EBITDA margins to 16.8 percent in FY19 from 9.3 percent in FY17, it added.
Pota in his previous stints has worked with Hindustan Unilever, Bharti Airtel and PepsiCo. According to his LinkedIn profile, he started his career as a sales manager with Hindustan Unilever in 1993. He had worked with PespiCo India in various roles before being appointed the CEO of Jubillant FoodWorks.