Vipul Chawla to take over as FairPrice chief; Seah Kian Peng to continue as NTUC Enterprise CEO

Mr Vipul Chawla (left) will be taking over from FairPrice group CEO Seah Kian Peng on April 5, 2022. PHOTOS: WWW.FAIRPRICEGROUP.COM.SG

SINGAPORE - Pizza Hut International president Vipul Chawla will be the new chief executive of FairPrice Group, taking over from current group CEO Seah Kian Peng.

A statement from FairPrice Group and NTUC Enterprise on Thursday (Feb 17) said that Mr Vipul, a Singaporean, will be taking over from Mr Seah on April 5, ending a global search that considered internal as well as external candidates.

Mr Seah, 60, who currently fulfils the dual role of chief executive at NTUC Enterprise and FairPrice Group, will now focus on driving growth across NTUC Enterprises' social enterprise clusters. He will also be appointed deputy chairman of FairPrice Group and chairman of FairPrice Foundation.

NTUC Enterprise is the holding entity and single largest shareholder of the labour movement's social enterprises, including NTUC FairPrice, NTUC First Campus, NTUC Foodfare, Kopitiam, NTUC Health, NTUC Income and NTUC LearningHub.

Mr Vipul, 54, will continue the efforts made by Mr Seah to accelerate the growth of FairPrice's physical stores and online retail, supported by a robust supply chain strategy.

Mr Bobby Chin, chairman of the board at FairPrice Group, said Mr Vipul's experience in a variety of industries would be valuable to the company.

"Following a global search, we identified Vipul as the best person for the job. His strengths will augment the leadership team. I am confident that he will build on our legacy and propel our ambitions for the group," he said.

Mr Vipul will leave his Pizza Hut post on April 1. He has held leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods (Unilever) and food services industries.

As president of Pizza Hut International since 2018, based in Dallas, United States, he oversaw markets in more than 100 countries with a combined revenue of US$7.5 billion (S$10.1 billion), and was able to navigate the company through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Vipul has been involved with the labour movement in the past as part of NTUC's "U Circle of Friends" to promote the talent pool here. He has also worked with local food banks to assist those in need.

He holds a postgraduate degree in management studies from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research at Bombay University.

Mr Seah, who started as chief operating officer at FairPrice Group in 2001, became CEO of NTUC FairPrice in 2016.

Under his leadership, new ventures such as FairPrice Xtra, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xpress and FairPrice Shop were introduced.

The statement noted that he strengthened FairPrice's position as supermarket chain in Singapore, turning an annual revenue of less than $1 billion when he joined to more than $4 billion at present.

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