Last month, the Tata Group sold its entire holding, 34.3% , in Barista Coffee to Sterling.
Prior to Mr Bannerjee, Barista was headed by Mr Yogesh Samat who was brought in from Hindustan Lever. Mr Samat, however, quit the company soon after the Sterling Group acquired a 65% stake in the chain from Turner Morrison for about Rs 30 crore in April 2004. After Mr Samats exit, the company was directly being led by Sterling Group director Mr TS Krishnamurthy and a close confidant of Sterling Group chairman C Sivasankaran. Mr Krishnamurthy had, in fact, moved to Barista, Delhi, ever since the Sterling Group came on board in April 2004, to drive strategy for the chain.
With Baristas ownership now in full control of the Sterling Group, Mr Krishnamurthy has moved back to company headquarters in Chennai. Meanwhile, the retail chains COO Sandip Dang has also moved to another Sterling Group company called Fresh n Honest.