New GC at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages

Preeti Balwani

Preeti Balwani has joined Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the bottling arm of Coca-Cola, as its general counsel.

Prior to HCCB, Balwani was the general counsel of Kraft Heinz. She now moves to Bengaluru to work out of the corporate headquarters of HCCB, from Mumbai, for the new role.

“I will be taking over the role from Shukla Wassan, who is superannuating from the organization in December,” said Balwani. “I am spending this time with her for a smooth induction and handover.”

On her move from Heinz to HCCB, she said working in the food and beverage sub-sector was her core strength. “HCCB fits in very well with what I was doing at Kraft Heinz in terms of the laws and regulations of the sector.”

The importance given to the legal function by the company was an important criterion for Balwani’s decision to work with HCCB. “A lot of times this function is rolled up into finance. I would prefer to work in an organization where this function is an important business partner and custodian for ethics and corporate governance.”

Balwani will be reporting to Christina Ruggiero, the CEO of HCCB. Just before Kraft Heinz, she was working as vice president at the Welspun Group. She has also spent more than 10 years working in law firms, during which time she worked with Singhania & Partners, Khaitan Sud & Partners and ALMT Legal.