Flemingo Travel Retail CEO Manishi Sanwal is to leave the company and start his own business in the field of data analytics, effective 16 August.
Sanwal will remain with the company until 31 August to facilitate a management handover. He will then be replaced by Flemingo Duty Free CEO P.K. Thimmayya, who has been instrumental in developing the company’s Colombo Bandaranaike Airport operations.
Since joining the company around seven years ago, Sanwal has successfully led Flemingo Travel Retail Ltd (formerly DFS India PVT. Ltd) in the Indian Sub-Continent and was responsible for establishing Mumbai Duty Free in the new Terminal 2 at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Prior to joining Fleming, he held various leadership roles with French luxury goods company LVMH in India and China. While working at LVMH, he launched Tag Heuer watches in India in 2002 and was responsible for the brand’s success in the Indian Sub-Continent.
His new company, Voiceback Technologies, in which he has acquired a controlling stake provides data analytics-based solutions to business problems. Based in Bangalore, the company has a strong market research and analytics background, backed by experienced leadership and a team of data scientists and engineers.
Sanwal told TRBusiness: “For many years I have wanted to do something on my own, but been faced with various challenges which have demanded my full attention. Eventually, however, you come to a point where if you are going to do something on your own it has to be done now. Otherwise it will not happen at all.”
He added: “I don’t want to look on life and grumble about not taking the jump when I should have done.”
Reflecting on his time with the company, Sanwal commented: “A lot of good things have happened, but when I look back, I will be prouder of the things which were done for the first time.”
Initially, Sanwal was unsure exactly what he would do next once discussions over his departure commenced. He recalled: “I knew I did not want to open a store, join a competitor or get into something I have been doing all my life.
“During this period, I saw a big opportunity with data analytics for business. There are a lot of companies doing this, which either understand the technology very well, but not the way business is done, or understand the business very well, but not the technology.”
Sanwal, who looks set to move to Bangalore from where he will handle the Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore sides of his new venture, will benefit from the experience of working for a data-centric company. “In Mumbai, we do a lot of analysis in-house and look into many things minutely before deciding what to do.”
Atul Ahuja, Group CEO, Flemingo International commented: “Manishi has been a strong pillar of growth for Flemingo. In his tenure, he has given good growth, diversified into several new directions, fought challenging battles and kept team spirit high. It was a difficult decision to let him go, but I wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”
He added: “P.K.Thimmayya joins us from within the Flemingo group itself. He has been instrumental in establishing and developing the Colombo operations, which deliver one of the highest retail sales per square foot for Flemingo.
“We hope to leverage the learnings of Colombo in our Mumbai and India operations and wish him success and growth in Mumbai and India.”
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