Dasgupta confirmed the appointment with Campaign Asia-Pacific, and said his personal goal in the new role is to quickly build a globally leading and respected marketing team, “which would be regarded amongst the best in the world”.
He will be based in Singapore and the post is a newly created role. The company previously had a cateogry structure with category heads and has now combined its consumer business into one.
Dasgupta has been promoted from his prior post as vice president and global head for the company's Everyday Nutrition business. Before that he spent several years with PepsiCo across various Asian markets; his career at the soft-drink giant culminated with more than a year in New York as senior director of the global beverages group.
The New Zealand-based multinational dairy co-operative boasts a multi billion-dollar consumer brands portfolio that includes brands such as Anchor, Anlene, Anmum, Mainland, Perfect Italiano and Soprole.
“We have really strong brands, with specific geographies where we've seen huge success,” said Dasgupta. “There's a big opportunity to truly harness the power of the global brands, expand geographic presence and take the portfolio to a different level.”
According to Dasgupta more than 30 per cent of the current consumer needs from dairy are unmet globally—despite the thousands of dairy products currently in the market.
“The commercial opportunity for any company which manages to deliver against those needs, runs into tens of billion dollars, not to mention the health benefits of delivering true dairy nourishment to consumers,” he said.
For Dasgupta, this is both the biggest opportunity, and the biggest challenge for Fonterra.
“Of course, all of these would need to be done in a way that’s truly disruptive and cutting edge,” he said. “We do not have deep A&P pockets like the durable brands, or even Cola brands. Therefore smart disruptive campaigns leveraging the power of new-age digital marketing will be critical.”
Fonterra is currently undergoing an overhaul of its business, with a total of 750 roles slashed since the middle of the year and with another announcement made in September that an additional 230 jobs will be cut.
Fonterra began a review of its business in December 2014, after concluding that the global dairy market wasn’t on a path to a quick recovery and will continue to be volatile.
In its most recent annual financial report, the company reported a NZ$506 million (US$337.9 million) net profit, while revenue for the year was NZ$18.8 billion (US$12.56), down 15 per cent on the previous year.