Pizza Hut ropes in Merrill Pereyra as MD for Indian Subcontinent

Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent is aiming at launching more than 100 new stores across the market in the coming 2020.
  • Vaishnavi Gupta Features Writer
Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut International has hired QSR veteran Merrill Pereyra as the Managing Director for Indian Subcontinent. He will be responsible for leading Pizza Hut into the next phase of long-term profitable growth across the Indian Subcontinent.

In his new role, Merrill will be overseeing the growth and expansion of the brand’s footprint across the subcontinent countries, based out of the headquarters in Gurgaon.

Merrill Pereyra, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent, said, “I am excited to lead the Pizza Hut business in the Indian Subcontinent market. It is an exciting phase right now for both the brand and the QSR industry at large. The industry is rapidly growing in size and volume and presents unique challenges and opportunities for those who are part of it, and Pizza Hut being one of the leading pizza brands in the region is well-positioned to leverage this opportunity.”

Business Growth in India

In India, Pizza Hut has been for over two decades. The brand has been voted the Most Trusted Brand in the country 13 times, including 2019.

Presently, the pizza chain 547 stores in the Indian subcontinent, of which, 460 are located in India.

Pizza Hut also strengthened its focus on launching Fast Casual Dining (FCD) stores, a concept pioneered by the brand in 2017. Presently, the brand has 81 FCDs in the country. It further targets to increase the share of FCD stores to 40% of its real estate by 2022.

The brand ended 2019 on an upward trajectory with positive same-store sales growth and strong transaction growth. Last year, Pizza Hut also strengthened its focus on food innovations, value offers and a brand refresh to innovatively engage and delight its customers.

In the Indian market, the brand’s key campaigns include the pilot launch of Black Pizza, rider tracking feature, a first in the QSR segment in India, association with India’s biggest YouTuber, Bhuvan Bam to dial-up the quirkiness quotient for the brand, among others.

Future Plans

Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent is aiming at launching more than 100 new stores across the market in the coming 2020.

In his new role, Merrill will oversee all the core functions of the organization with a dedicated focus on growth, expansion and innovations positively impacting its shareholder value in the market.

Unnat Varma, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Asia Pacific, stated, “Merrill brings with him over three decades of rich experience and leadership in the QSR sector. With his unique brand of leadership and compelling experience, we are confident he will strengthen our brand further in the region.”

Merrill added, “I look forward to working closely with each person at Pizza Hut India to collaboratively make the brand one of the most dynamic QSR brands in the Indian Subcontinent.”