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Rajat Luthra, a former KFC executive, is named Third Wave Coffee’s new CEO; Sushant Goel joins the board

In a move signaling both transition and continuity, Third Wave Coffee Roasters, the beloved specialty coffee chain, has announced a change in its executive leadership. Rajat Luthra, a seasoned veteran in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and quick-service restaurant (QSR) sectors, will take the helm as the new chief executive officer (CEO) in the first quarter of FY25.

The baton passes from Sushant Goel, a driving force behind Third Wave Coffee’s meteoric rise since its inception in 2016. As Goel transitions into a board member role, his legacy of steering the company’s business strategy and fostering investor relations will continue to shape the company’s trajectory. His unwavering dedication and vision have been instrumental in establishing Third Wave Coffee as a household name, with over 100 outlets spanning eight cities nationwide.

Luthra, with a decade-long tenure as CEO of KFC India and Nepal under his belt, brings a wealth of experience and insight to his new role. His deep understanding of the QSR landscape and proven track record of scaling businesses make him a natural fit to lead Third Wave Coffee into its next phase of growth and innovation.

Despite recent challenges, including a restructuring exercise that saw the departure of some team members, Third Wave Coffee remains steadfast in its commitment to expansion and excellence. A recent Series C funding round, led by Creaegis, injected $35 million into the company, earmarked for nationwide expansion, supply chain optimization, technological advancements, and capability enhancements.

Reflecting on the transition, representatives from Westbridge Capital and Creaegis expressed gratitude to Goel for his pivotal role in shaping Third Wave Coffee’s journey thus far. They warmly welcomed Luthra aboard, anticipating his fresh perspective and leadership to propel the company to new heights.

As Third Wave Coffee embarks on this new chapter, the aroma of possibility hangs in the air. With Luthra at the helm and Goel’s continued guidance, the stage is set for a continuation of the brand’s legacy of excellence and innovation in India’s vibrant coffee culture.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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