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R S Sodhi to ‘advise’ Reliance to scale heights in retail business

After retiring from ‘Amul’, country’s largest dairy brand, its former Managing Director R S Sodhi will now advise Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Group on developing its consumer business that has a focus on fresh products, including vegetables and fruits under the group’s subsidiary Reliance Consumer Products Limited (RCPL).

Reliance Group did not respond to the queries sent by businessline, while when contacted, Sodhi declined to comment on the matter.

However, sources aware of the matter informed that Sodhi would be in an advisory role at the Isha Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ventures.

Notably, Sodhi had retired from Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited (GCMMF) in January this year after helming the affairs at the Amul marketer for 12 years with a total of four decades of association with the dairy major.

Under his leadership at Amul, the dairy major had ventured into multiple non-dairy segments taking on the global majors in various categories, including beverages, cookies, flour, edible oils, and chocolates. This had put the dairy major in direct competition with Cola brands like Coke and Pepsi, FMCG majors ITC and Britannia, Fortune brand in grocery, and Cadbury in chocolate categories.

Reliance, on the other hand, already faces stiff competition with American major, Amazon, and Walmart-funded Flipkart besides the domestic players in the retail space.

Sodhi currently chairs the Indian Dairy Association (IDA), a national body of the dairy industry in India, with his appointment in 2022 for a term of three years.

A rural management graduate who joined Amul as a sales officer in 1982, Sodhi has been vocal against the multinational companies exploiting Indian consumers and influencing the markets. Under his tenure of over a decade at Amul, the dairy major clocked annual average growth of over 14.5 per cent as its turnover increased from about ₹800 crore in FY10 to over ₹47,000 crore in FY22.

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