OUR EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

Our senior leaders bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the global and regional food and restaurant industries ensuring the successful implementation of our strategy through operational excellence, continuous innovation, and effective management of our workforce across the region.

AMARPAL SANDHU
AMARPAL SANDHU CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Amarpal leads Americana Restaurants multi-brand, multi-country restaurant portfolio across MENA and Kazakhstan.

He joined as the COO of KFC in 2017 to lead the transformation and turnaround of Americana’s largest brand with close to a thousand restaurants across 12 countries and was promoted to CEO in 2019.

Amarpal has been instrumental in fostering a performance driven – values led culture deep into the organization and building a world-class management team. He leads Americana’s strategic vision of becoming the fastest growing restaurant operator in the world through a laser sharp focus on efficient capital deployment, promoting innovation and creativity, turning around brands and markets, and ensuring right talent at the right place.

Before joining Americana, Amarpal served as Vice President and Brand Head, Texas Chicken International for Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Europe. He was responsible for expansion of the brand in 10 international markets from 2011 to 2017 and negotiated three of the largest franchise development agreements in the Company’s history in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

During his 17-year career at Wendy’s from 1994 to 2011, Amar managed both equity and franchise business portfolio for the brand across USA and International markets.

He holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, Canada.

HARSH BANSAL
HARSH BANSAL CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND CHIEF GROWTH OFFICER

Harsh is the CFO of Americana Restaurants since 2018. He took on the additional responsibility of CGO (Chief Growth Officer) in 2021.

He began his career in the Americana Group as a Senior Director - Corporate Finance & Strategy function. He was part of the transformation team post-acquisition in 2016 and played a pivotal role in divestments of non-core businesses and defining the new organisation structure.

Harsh has led the finance function to be a true business partner, delivered on multiple cost and cash efficiency projects, and partnered with the IT team on key technology project implementations.

As the CGO, he leads Americana Restaurant’s strategic vision of becoming the fastest growing restaurant operator in the world, with an accelerated focus on expanding the current portfolio through new store openings, expansion of brands in existing and entering new segments/categories such as Coffee in our core markets of GCC.

Prior to his role in Americana, Harsh served as an Associate - Investments at Alabbar Enterprises (Family Office of H.E. Mohamed Alabbar - Investments) in UAE from August 2015 to July 2016. He served in Standard Chartered Bank in Mumbai as Analyst - M&A (South Asia) from July 2013 to August 2014, then worked in Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore as Analyst and Associate - M&A (Southeast Asia) from September 2014 to July 2015.

He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, a CFA level-3 from the CFA Institute, USA, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Communication from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology in India.

Vishal Bhatia
Vishal Bhatia Chief Operating Officer (Yum Brands)

Vishal is the COO for Yum! brands in Americana Restaurants heading its KFC & Pizza Hut business. He joined Americana in 2020.

In his role, Vishal leads Americana’s largest restaurant portfolio across MENA and Kazakhstan. A strong advocate of bringing together consumer orientation and commercial outcomes, he drives a culture of consumer-centric operating excellence within the team, and with the franchisors. He has built a multi-cultural team with diverse experiences that continues to build best in class executional capability for the business.

Before joining Americana, Vishal was the CEO for New Supply Business driving Cloud Kitchens, Private Brands, and Virtual Brands at Swiggy- India’s leading food delivery operator. Through his career, Vishal has held various commercial leadership roles across India, Indonesia & the U.K. in consumer goods companies like Reckitt, PepsiCo and Britannia.

Vishal holds an MBA from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India, in addition to holding a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India.

Ramandeep Singh Virdi
Ramandeep Singh Virdi Chief Information Officer

Ramandeep is the CIO of Americana Restaurants. His global career of more than 23 years spans business domains including retail, airlines, travel, R&D, hotels, business process outsourcing and products. As a digital leader, Ramandeep has a proven track record of transforming organizations through technology and delivering business impact.

As the CIO, Ramandeep has been instrumental in driving innovation for Americana Restaurants by leveraging a suite of best in class integrated technology systems that now supports 2,100 restaurants across 12 countries.

He has built a digital ecosystem at Americana Restaurants which is now powering some of the best rated apps in the QSR industry. His focus on self-service through smart kiosks, tablets and car hops supported by advanced analytics has led to improved guest experiences.

His last position was Sr. Vice President IT with Jubilant Foodworks, the largest overseas franchisee for Dominos, USA. Prior to that he was the Vice President – Group IT for Interglobe Enterprises, a leader in aviation and hospitality.

Ramandeep holds an MBA from University of Surrey, UK and an MTech in Computer Sciences.

Oksana Staniszewska
Oksana Staniszewska Chief People Officer

Oksana joined Americana Restaurants in April 2021 as the Chief People Officer. As a CPO, she created and brought to life the People Strategy involving over 40,000 employees of Americana Restaurants covering 12 countries in the MENA region and Kazakhstan.

Being passionate about people development, Oksana created and launched One People Process, covering Employee Life cycle and Americana University to tap talent and build future leadership for Americana Restaurants.

Additionally, Oksana is a senior coach and consultant at Oxford Group and LSP Leadership. Prior to Americana Restaurants, she served as Chief People Officer at AmRest Holdings SE, the largest independent chain of restaurant operations in Central and Eastern Europe. During her 14-year career at AmRest from 2006 to 2020, Oksana performed multiple roles including Talent Development Director, Chief Administration Officer and Chief Operations Officer for the international AmRest markets of Europe and Russia.

Oksana holds a postgraduate qualification in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics from Kyiv National Linguistic University, and a dual 5-year diploma in Economics, Bookkeeping & Audit and Linguistics & Pedagogies from Kyiv National Linguistic University. Ms. Oksana Staniszewska is a practitioner of multiple psychometric tools (EQ, MBTI, OAD, Mindsonar), an ICC certified coach (neuromindfulness coach, team coach, executive coach), and has completed various learning programmes (among others, Artificial Intelligence in Strategy application from MIT) over the years.

Dusan Folta
Dusan Folta Chief Development Officer

Dusan joined Americana Restaurants in early 2021 as Chief Development Officer and is responsible for the Development function, including Real Estate, Design, Construction, Maintenance, Sales and Catering, across 12 countries.

As the CDO, Dusan has led the design revamp for most of Americana brands, with a focus on off premise sales channels and new openings through carve outs of current stores. He plays a key role in organizing the development processes such as data driven market planning, transparent new openings-remodels workflow and strengthening Company negotiation capabilities through team training and creating market specific rent strategies.

Prior to joining Americana, Dusan worked with AmRest for 19 years, where he went from team member to Shift Supervisor, District Coach, Market President and then to Brand Operations President (Brand COO) of KFC in Europe and Russia.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Management from College of Economic Studies in Prague.

DEBA ADHYA
DEBA ADHYA HEAD PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLY CHAIN

Deba leads Procurement, Supply Chain and Quality teams at Americana Restaurants handling billion-dollar procurement budget and servicing all brands and markets across MENA region and Kazakhstan. He started his Americana journey in 2019 as Area Director KFC for UAE, Oman & Qatar and then went on to lead the Home Delivery function.

Deba has over 28 years of leadership experience in startups and large corporates in Consulting, Retail and Restaurant businesses. Before joining Americana, he was CEO KFC business at Sapphire Foods, a master franchisee of Yum India. Prior to that he headed retail store operations, private label, merchandising & store design at Croma, India’s premier electronics retailer. He also did a decade long stint in management consulting focusing on retail and consumer sectors.

Deba holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.

HESHAM TALAAT
HESHAM TALAAT GENERAL MANAGER HARDEE’S AND CHICKEN TIKKA

Hesham Talaat has been with Americana Restaurants since the last 3 decades. He currently leads Hardee’s and Chicken Tikka brands in the MENA and Kazakhstan. Through his career journey with Americana, Hesham has grown within the organization, starting off with running operations at a store level to leading the second biggest brand within Americana.

Having successfully demonstrated the ability to transform the business, Hesham has been instrumental in leading the turnaround of our operations in Morocco and KFC in Kuwait, KSA and Egypt driving our revenue and profitability. Prior to taking over the reins of Hardee’s, Hesham was the Senior Area Director for KFC – KSA, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq and Bahrain.

His connect with restaurant teams, stakeholders, franchisors, unwavering focus and passion for operations excellence has ensured his constant growth and success within Americana.

Operating with a mindset of taking his team and people along with him, Hesham has been able to ensure that his people constantly grow and develop, thereby making sure of a strong succession plan in place.

Hesham holds a bachelor’s degree in Law from Ain Shams University and is a life-long learner.

METTE HYBSCHMANN
METTE HYBSCHMANN GENERAL MANAGER, MULTI BRANDS

Mette is responsible for running our Multi Brands and developing new brands including Wimpy, Krispy Kreme, Baskin Robbins, TGI Fridays and Peet’s Coffee.

Previously she worked as Global Vice President, Strategy & Development for the German Knauf Group. One of the world’s largest building material producers across 110 countries.

Prior to that she worked 13 years with the McDonald’s Corporation, and held leadership positions within various areas and functions: Customer Experience, Operations, Branding, Digital Transformation, Training & HR.

She holds a Master in Innovation & Leadership, a Bachelor in Business Economics, Strategy & Organizational leadership and an education within Media & Journalism in Commercial Branding & Communications.