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Speaker detail

  • Naina Desai
  • Director f Customer & Commercial Leadership
  • Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa, South Africa

Kenyan-born Naina Desai is the Business Unit Customer and Commercial Leadership (C&CL) Director for Coca-Cola Southern and Eastern Africa (SEABU) Business Unit, covering 16 countries across Africa. Prior to this, she served as Business Unit C&CL Director for Central, East & West Africa Business Unit. Naina is an experienced senior Coca-Cola Company executive who brings a deep understanding of African markets, combined with broad global experience and extensive strategic and operational knowledge to this role. In her nineteen years with the company, she has served in a number of key positions internationally. Her career highlights include leadership roles in various functions including Brand Marketing, Commercial Leadership and Revenue Growth Management, in Kenya, South Africa, the USA and Malaysia.

Naina is a passionate advocate for Africa and gives generously of her time to various interests. She has previously served as The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation’s Marketing Director, between 2009 -2012, and as the President of the Asian Pacific Business Resource Group in Atlanta. She is an active mentor, to many, including working with American Corporate Partners, a 501 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting United States veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian world.

In addition to her passion for Coca-Cola, Naina loves distance running, regularly participating in races around the world. She has run the Penang Bridge Marathon in Malaysia, and ran her first Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town last year. She is also a regular participant in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Marathon in Kenya, which raises funds for wildlife conservation, and recently ran the world famous Soweto Marathon in Johannesburg. She currently lives in Johannesburg, which she fondly considers her second hometown, after Nairobi.