Board of Directors
C.E.O. and Managing Director
Riyaaz is amongst one of the most recognized restaurateurs in the country today. Starting out as a young and passionate entrepreneur, he is now the driving force behind the success and evolution of Impresario. The journey which started with a single restaurant has now transformed into a multi-brand empire. Over the last decade, he has created many new concepts across the nation and earned the admiration and respect of the Indian hospitality industry. A pioneer in his field, Riyaaz is famous for his uncanny ability to provide one-of-its-kind experiences to the customers, through innovation. In 2011, he was deemed as the 'Best Restaurateur' in India at the Time Out Food Awards. Riyaaz is the youngest Indian to have won the title. Very recently, he has been appointed as the President of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) - a coveted post for which he was unanimously selected by his peers. Internationally, his restaurants have been nominated for UK's Restaurant & Bar Design Award as well as shortlisted for Miele's Top 50 Restaurants in Asia.
Arshad Syed is actively involved in developing a cohesive vision and strategic plan to guide the company. He is an official spokesperson for Impresario and the professional advisor to the Board of Directors. He joined Impresario in 2008 and since then has fostered effective team work and communication between the board and the company. He is responsible for identifying, assessing and informing the Board about internal and external issues as well as ensuring that the routine operations meet expectations and targets. Prior to Impresario, he worked with Gitanjali Group in the diamond and jewellery business, where he picked up skills to manage large companies and coordinate between different departments.
Kiran along with Riyaaz and Varun is one of the co-founders of Impresario and is currently a prime promoter of the company. He also owns 'Country of Origin' in Malabar Hill which sells a range of high end gourmet food products and a whole lot of other ingredients that are still relatively hard to find in the city. Prior to that pursuing his passion for design, he set up a boutique furniture store called 'Designscape', known for period furniture and accessories in contemporary settings in South Mumbai. Kiran has completed his graduation from Sydenham College in Mumbai and also worked with Kotak Mahindra post that.
Srinivas is responsible for ensuring and maintaining the financial well-being and progress of the company. As a chief financial spokesperson, he spearheads the direction, execution and coordination of various arenas of the company including the administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting. His primary duties include budget management, economic forecasting, overseeing the capital structure of the company, reporting accurate and timely historical financial information for the company. His significant past experience in various roles at the Senior Financial Management rank for companies like Six Senses Hotels, Resorts & Spas – Mumbai, Rep of Maldives, Sun Island amongst others have provided him a strong platform for understanding the critical business financial needs in the hospitality division.
Jishnu is primarily in charge of business planning and expansion across all divisions. Responsible for the overall growth of the company, he ensures that all his team members understand execution plans and how exactly their roles impact the success of that plan. He supports the work of the CEO by focusing on the establishment and optimisation of day-to-day operations of Impresario's various formats, including the casual segment and fine dining division and is an indispensable part of the company. Jishnu brings with him a great pedigree in the Hospitality Industry, having worked with reputed organisations such as Kambala Hospitality, Hot Brands International, Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt. Ltd. and Indigo.
Director - Marketing & Strategy
Shobita's expertise lies in brand architecture, branding and communication design - all of which she has honed through years of experience across the USA and India. Her belief that a brand is built by paying attention to the details has helped provide distinctive identities for each of Impresario's brands. Leading the company's marketing and strategic planning, she ensures that all marketing and public relations functions and activities are aligned and support the company's overarching and well-defined creative vision and direction. Prior to Impresario, Shobita worked with Renegade Marketing Group in New York after obtaining her Masters in Global Marketing & Advertising from Emerson College, Boston.
President - Operations, North India
Satyajit Dhingra carries a diverse experience of more than 16 years, acquired across an array of industries that include restaurant, service and retail. In his professional journey, he has been associated with brands like McDonalds, Essar Telecom and Amoretto's Retail in the operations domain. Within the span of over 9 years at Impresario, Satyajit has climbed the ladder only upwards, from being a Restaurant Manager at Mocha to being the Regional Head at Impresario today. In his realm, Impresario has successfully launched several new businesses and turned around the existing ones. He is also instrumental in managing the company's overall franchising strategy and network management for brands including Mocha, Smoke House Deli as well as Social. He is responsible for creating a sustainable business model for North India operations and also looks after the project implementation, commercial operations and liasoning with the authorities & regulatory bodies.
Business Head - Social
A career spanning for over more than 11 years and a diploma in Hotel Management, Mayank had started off as a Bartender in Mumbai and moved to UK to complete his masters in Hospitality from University of West London and to work with renowned Chef Cyrus Todiwala. His work portfolio includes restaurants from the UK as well Mumbai like Café Spice Namaste, Lemon Grass, Blue Frog and the leading alcohol company Diageo India. Mayank joined Impresario as a Business Head for Social where he heads several verticals like operations, programming, events and the beverage portfolio for the brand, Pan-India. .
With over two decades of experience in the lifestyle business, Harmeet looks after the design and aesthetics for all the restaurants in Delhi. She is also actively involved with the team to collaborate and conceptualize events and looks after strategic partnerships for the brands. With several successful alliances like Wills Fashion Week, Vogue, GQ, Cosmopolitan, etc she has expanded the horizon of the Impresario's brands from the food industry to the fashion industry, thereon setting new trends. Having completed her MBA from Delhi University she has studied at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and has one of the most versatile portfolios in the industry today. She also owns a fashion brand, Bian and a successful garment export company which manufactures private labels for designers in the U.S and the U.K.
Director and Head of Food & Beverages
Sid always knew food was his first love and what gave him the edge in the food industry was a world vision, with an indigenous approach to hospitality. He developed an appreciation for fine food because of his extensive exposure to some of the best restaurants in London and New York while working there in private banking and equity trading for a span of nine years. He joined hands with Riyaaz and came onboard with Impresario after which he is actively involved with every aspect of opening a restaurant. Today he looks after food and beverage (pan – India) for the group and also handles the latest venture in outdoor catering.
Gresham Fernandes' skills of innovation and experimentation has lent him a name amongst the top chefs for European cuisine in India and rightly so as he was one of the very few talents to be part of a 3 month culinary residence program with the world's best restaurant 'Noma' in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today he spearheads the kitchens of Salt Water Café, Smoke House Deli in Mumbai and Stone Water Grill in Pune where he is constantly cooking up a storm with new flavours, textures and techniques, so much so that people from all across the country come to dine with him. He also take all the brands a notch above its peers and successfully manages to do so by creating specialised concepts and courses. He also comes from a very strong hospitality background where he has worked with brands like The Leela, Aurus, Salt Water Grill and also was one of the pioneers of the concept of 'molecular gastronomy' in India.
Group Executive Chef
With a keen eye to find unusual combinations and a penchant for contemporary as well as comfort European cuisine, Shamsul is in charge of the brand, Smoke House Deli. He is currently the man behind kitchen counter, innovating and experimenting incessantly to keep the food and brand a step ahead of the game. Starting at Sous Chef for Smoke House Grill and Smoke House Deli in 2007, his passion and creativity has led him to head the team across India for Smoke House Deli and Smoke House Café Bar (T3). Post the completion of his hospitality course he has also worked with the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi and a British Cruise Liner as Demi Chef De Partie.
President - Legal Administration
Vinod is responsible for all the legal and government liasoning for the company. With a great insight and expertise in the legal field, he also has an unmatched business acumen and hence has been a pillar of support for Impresario from the very beginning. His association with Impresario started off with brand Mocha as a restaurant manager. Today he holds over 28 years of experience in Hospitality industry and along the line hasalso consulted many restaurant groups and multi-national companies.
Business Head – Bangalore
In a career spanning over a decade, Ranveer traces the origins of his experience in hospitality to graduating from the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development.
While his journey boasts of some of the most renowned names in the industry, such as the Taj group of hotels, where he was Assistant Manager, F∓B of Wasabi at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel; his role as Manager of Frangipani and Verandah at The Trident (Nariman Point), as well as his involvement as an integral part of the pre-opening of the Trident BKC has further honed his expertise in conceptualising and starting-up new projects.
An exhibit of this skill-set is his recent tenure at Banyan India Pvt Ltd, a chain of hotels and restaurants, where he fulfilled his role as Director of Operations of The Black Rabbit delivering tremendous results!
Managing Director - L Catterton Asia
Ketki oversees the India and Middle East markets and portfolio, to which Impresario is the latest addition. She has over ten years of experience in investment management and corporate advisory across Mumbai, Singapore and London. She joined L Catterton Asia in 2009 as an Associate and worked out of Singapore before relocating to India in 2011 to focus on the fund’s Indian investments. Prior to joining L Catterton Asia, she was an Analyst at Leman Brothers / Nomura in Mumbai in the Principle Investments Group. She holds an MSc. Finance and Economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Vice Chairman and Managing Director - L Catterton Asia
Narayan leads investment strategy for LCA and heads the India office, working with brands based in the country such as Impresario. He oversees the planning and allocation of assets as per the fund’s goals in the Indian market. He was the former Chairman of RBL Bank and prior to that, worked at Morgan Stanley India, Rogers Casey and Goldman Sachs. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He also serves as the Chairman and co-founder of InKlude Labs, a social business enterprise working in the field of education and public health, as well as on the board of several entrepreneurial companies and foundations.
Senior Vice President - L Catterton Asia
Varun focuses on the fund’s investments in India and West Asia, including those in Impresario. He has more than ten years of experience in private equity, and prior to joining L Catterton, he spent 6 years at India Equity Partners (IEP). As a Vice-President at IEP, Mr. Khandelwal sourced and executed several transactions across consumer, logistics, renewable energy and financial services sectors. Prior to joining IEP, he worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Lehman Brothers. He received an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and a Bachelors in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India.
Director – Finance and Commercial
Ram is part of senior leadership team at Impresario. He comes with strong experience in strategy, operations and finance across healthcare, ITES, telecom, insurance and manufacturing industries. His key contributions include building and managing wide retail networks, inorganic growth through mergers and acquisitions, institutionalisation, business partnerships and joint ventures, business planning, treasury and corporate finance, accounts and compliance. He is a Chartered Accountant and prior to joining Impresario worked with reputed organisations like Apollo, GE, Airtel and NFCL.