Naina Desai was appointed as the Business Unit Customer and Commercial Leadership Director for the newly formed Southern and East Africa (SEABU) Business Unit in August 2014. Prior to this, she served as BU C&CL Director for CEWA Business Unit. Naina is an experienced Coca-Cola Company executive who brings a deep understanding of our African markets, combined with broad global experience and extensive strategic and operational knowledge of our system dynamics to this role.
In her eighteen years with The Coca-Cola System, Naina has worked in a number of key positions in the system across several international markets. . A native of Kenya, she has worked in a variety of key roles within The Coca-Cola system. She started her career with the company as head of marketing for Kenya Region in the North Africa Division. She was head of Marketing, Flavors, for South Africa for almost four years before moving to Coca-Cola corporate headquarters in Atlanta to take up a role in Global Commercial Leadership where she helped lead the global roll out of Revenue Growth Management initiative. She has also been instrumental in driving the Company’s Immediate Consumption and Cold Drink investment strategy.
Notably Naina held senior leadership roles in the company-owned Bottling Investments Group, first as the Executive Assistant to Irial Finan, EVP, and President of Bottling Investments Group in Atlanta, and later as Commercial Planning Director for Coca-Cola Bottlers Malaysia. In this role, she has led the creation of strong commercial capabilities within the bottling organization. While in this role, Naina led the roll out of Salesforce Effectiveness initiative, and contributed substantially to RTM redesign for the Malaysian market. She also built a robust sales capability organization.
Naina is a passionate advocate for Africa and has given generously of her time, serving as The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Marketing Director on a voluntary basis, between 2009 -2012, and President of the Asian Pacific Business Resource Group in Atlanta. She is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa.