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Anuradha Desai, VH Group: Keeping The Legacy Intact

Desai is also the chairperson of the National Egg Co-ordination Committee or NECC, which is an association of poultry farmers in the country that has membership of over 25,000 farmers

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Anuradha Desai typically prefers to keep away from limelight.  As the chairperson of the Pune-headquartered VH Group (popularly known as Venky's), Desai carries with her over 30 years of experience in the poultry industry.

For the uninitiated, VH Group, founded by B.V Rao (referred to as 'The Father of the Indian Poultry Industry') in 1971, specialises in poultry products, including processed food, animal vaccines, human and animal pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Its group company - also the flagship one - is the publicly-listed Venky's, which supplies chicken to quick service restaurants such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos, among others. VH Group is known for its poultry products across the county. Its other group companies include Venco, Bala Industries and Entertainment, Eastern Hatcheries, and Uttara Impex, among others.

Desai took over at the helm of the business at the VH Group in 1996 after the demise of her father in 1996. Since then, she has been instrumental in working on the company's fortunes and expanding its operations in the country and worldwide. Over the years, the company has diversified its activities to include SPF eggs, chicken and eggs processing, broiler and layer breeding. Besides, the group is also engaged in genetic research and poultry diseases diagnostic, poultry vaccines and feed supplements, vaccine production, among others. Today, the group is the largest fully integrated poultry group in Asia.

Apart from India, the VH Group has several offices worldwide in places such as London, Switzerland, South Africa, Brazil, among others. Currently it exports to over 40 countries across the world.

In December 2010, the group launched Venky's Xprs, a fast food restaurant specializing in chicken. The first outlet opened in Pune, India.

Desai is also the chairperson of the National Egg Co-ordination Committee or NECC, which is an association of poultry farmers in the country that has membership of over 25,000 farmers. There, she plays a significant role in the quantum leap of egg production, consumption and export in the country. What's more, she is also the first woman to be elected as President of World Poultry Science Association (IB) for 4 years from 1996.

While Desai holds a doctorate from Tamil Nadu University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, she also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Arts and Law from the Pune University, Maharashtra.


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