When Sanjay Khosla took over as President, Developing Markets at Kraft Foods in 2007, the company was present across multiple geographies and categories, many of which weren’t doing very well. He decided that the focus would be on chocolates and biscuits in these economies – which led to the eventual acquisition of Cadbury and Danone Biscuits. He also took the difficult decision to de-prioritize cheese which was a key product in the US, as well as exit certain geographies including India. Business went from $5 billion to $16 billion in six years across 60 countries and profitability went up by 50%.
Explaining the process behind this decision making, Khosla, now a Senior Fellow at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a senior adviser at BCG says, “It comes down to choosing where you want to focus. They have to be areas where you have momentum and are gaining traction and margins. Growth for growth’s sake is irrelevant.