Staff Reporters
Aug 30, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Rupen Desai, Dole Sunshine

While managing Dole’s US$100 million marketing and innovation budget, Desai strives to put purpose, people, planet and prosperity at the heart of every business decision.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Rupen Desai, Dole Sunshine
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Rupen Desai

Global chief marketing officer
Dole Sunshine
Member since 2021

Returning to the list for the second year, Rupen Desai is the global CMO for Dole Sunshine, the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables. Since taking up the mantle as CMO in 2019, Desai has worked on spearheading Dole’s brand purpose with the Dole Promise, a manifesto which aims to address food insecurity and sustainability. He remains committed to building a positive message around Dole’s values and social impact. 

This was highlighted with recent campaigns like Malnutrition Labels: Food Waste, a food-waste awareness campaign that transformed the very symbol of waste into a valuable tool supporting waste reduction and fighting hunger. And last August, Desai and his team led a partnership with Ananas Anam to achieve a zero-waste goal by turning Dole's pineapple waste into upcycled vegan Piñatex leather. 

Desai is focused on “building brands our conscience can live with”, which is his personal purpose and greatly influences the types of campaigns he puts marketing dollars behind. Social impact is clearly a priority, raising awareness for the brand on issues that impact customers every day. He says he has always been a strong advocate of the responsibility purposeful business and creativity have towards the prosperity of people and the planet.

A strong proponent of gender equality in the workplace, Desai is closely associated with Women of the Future (WOF) Programme, a platform to unlock a culture of kindness, support and collaboration among a new generation of female leaders. He has also served on the Jury of their APAC Kindness Awards for the last three years. 

Prior to Dole, Desai was Edelman’s vice-chairman across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. During this time, he also led Edelman’s Women’s leadership network for the region. He began his career with MullenLowe, where he spent two decades and led the Asia-Pacific region for six years. In his role at Dole, he oversees a global marketing and innovation budget of over US$100 million. 

Desai can be found on Twitter at: @rupendesai

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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