MSD India appoints Bhargavi Kakunuri as HR lead, India

Kakunuri has moved from P&G India Consumer Health


MSD, better known as Merck & Co. Inc. has appointed Bhargavi Kakunuri as the human resources lead, India and member of the India Country Leadership Team, as well as the Asia Pacific HR Leadership Team.

Succeeding Sameer Tamhane, who retires in November, Kakunuri will be responsible for developing and implementing the HR strategy that drives innovation and business growth in India. She will lead the HR function across the enterprise to not only enable an agile learning culture, but to leverage talent opportunities in the market. Her responsibilities will also include promoting managerial and leadership capability building, and bringing impactful diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives to life. In her current role, Kakunuri will report to Noora Alsagoff, head of human resources, MSD Asia Pacific.

Kakunuri has more than 10 years of experience as a seasoned HR professional in a variety of HR business partner and HR director roles, encompassing corporate, commercial, sales and supply-chain operations.

In her previous stint with P&G India, she served as the centre of excellence for HR operations. There, she led the annual business-formulation exercise, focusing on strengthening capabilities for the future. While building a strong leadership succession pipeline, she also managed to drive an engaged and high-performance culture. Diversity, equity, and inclusion have always been at the forefront of her priorities as an HR leader. She has executed many innovative initiatives to improve gender balance and create a culture of inclusion in her past organisations. She formerly served as the supply-chain organisation’s human resources director for the AMA West Region.

Announcing the new appointment, Rehan A. Khan, MD, MSD India region, said, “Kakunuri brings a wealth of experience in shaping a diverse, inclusive and high-performance culture. Her background in leadership development, organisational planning, and HR strategy will be an asset to this organisation. We are thrilled to have someone of her calibre join our team.”

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