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.
Partner - L Catterton Asia
Ms. Paranjpe is Partner at L Catterton Asia, focusing on the India and Middle East markets and portfolio. Ms. Paranjpe has over ten years of experience in investment management and corporate advisory across Mumbai, Singapore and London. Ms Paranjpe, joined L Catterton Asia in 2009 as an Associate and worked on the first two investments made by the Fund in Sincere Watch Limited and Charles & Keith Group out of Singapore before relocating to India in 2011 to focus on India investments of the Fund. She has been involved in sourcing, executing, monitoring and exiting the Fund's investments in India.
Prior to joining L Catterton Asia, Ms. Paranjpe was an Analyst at Lehman Brothers/Nomura, Mumbai, India, in the Principle Investments Group and focused on making growth investments in India.
Ms. Paranjpe holds a MSc. Finance and Economics, from The London School of Economics and Political Science; an MA Economics from University of Mumbai, and a BA in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, India.
Managing Partner - L Catterton Asia
Mr. Bhagat is a Managing Partner at L Catterton Asia. Prior to joining L Catterton, Mr. Bhagat was Head of Private Markets for South Asia and concurrently head of the global healthcare portfolio at Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Mr. Bhagat also spent 14 years at McKinsey & Company, including six years as Managing Partner of the Singapore office. He was a leader in the principal investor, healthcare and operations practices and worked extensively with private equity and sovereign wealth funds to develop strategies, execute transactions, manage risk, and implement board governance initiatives.
Mr. Bhagat received a degree in Architecture from the University of Mumbai and an M.B.A. in International Business from INSEAD.
Principal - L Catterton Asia
Mr. Mehta is the Principal at L Catterton Asia, based in Mumbai. Prior to joining L Catterton, Mr. Mehta worked at CX Partners where he focused on a diversified portfolio of India-centric growth capital investments. Previously, Mr. Mehta worked in London with the 3i Group and in Singapore with Temasek Holdings, focusing on growth investments and buyouts across emerging and developed markets.
Mr. Mehta holds a B.Tech. degree in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Delhi and is a management graduate from IIM Bangalore.
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.
Divya is the newest ninja to join the Impresario crew, leading marketing activities across the company’s numerous brands including SOCIAL, antiSOCIAL, Smoke House Deli, FLEA Bazaar Cafe, Ishaara, Slink & Bardot, Souffle S’il Vous Plait and more. Her primary expertise lies in consumer marketing and insights, and sales, which she has honed through her years of experience at India’s biggest FMCG brand Nestle, and most recently at Twitter India.
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.
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.
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 – South
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!
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.
Business Head – Smoke House Deli
Jaydeep or JD joined the Impresario family in August 2018 as custodian and business head of Smoke House Deli. He brings to the team immense hands on experience of both a chef and an entrepreneur; having set up and run multiple stellar restaurants and subsequently his own pet project Millhouse. An alumnus of IHM Mumbai, Jaydeep started his career with the Taj Group of Hotels and then spent several years sailing on board Cunard’s Luxury Liner Queen Elizabeth 2. JD breathes the business of hospitality and believes that an eye for detail to the little things is what creates memorable experiences!
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.