Specialty coffee and food brand Third Wave Coffee has announced that the company’s co-founder Sushant Goel will transition from his current role as CEO and become a board member. The former CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) India & Nepal (Devyani International Limited), Rajat Luthra will be the company’s new chief executive effective from Q1 FY25.

Luthra has nearly three decades of extensive experience in the FMCG and QSR sectors, of which during the last 10 years, he has been serving as the CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) India & Nepal (Devyani International Limited).

“As I transition to the Board, I am excited to continue contributing towards our vision and growth from a different vantage point. Rajat is a veteran in the QSR industry, and I am filled with optimism on what the future holds for Third Wave Coffee under his stewardship,” said Sushant Goel, Co-founder & CEO.

Since its inception in 2016, Sushant, along with co-founders Ayush Bathwal and Anirudh Sharma, has been successfully able to scale the company to 100+ outlets across India. As CEO, Sushant was responsible for steering the company’s business strategy and forging robust investor relations.

In his capacity as a board member, Goel will continue to guide the strategic direction of the company and develop new initiatives for Third Wave Coffee, the company said.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Sushant for his instrumental role in shaping the remarkable journey of Third Wave Coffee thus far. His vision, dedication, and unwavering commitment as CEO have been pivotal in propelling our company to new heights,” said investor companies Westbridge Capital and Creaegis.

“We also warmly welcome Rajat Luthra, who has rich experience with QSRs at scale, and are excited about the fresh perspective and leadership he will bring to the table. Together, under Sushant’s continued guidance and Rajat’s leadership, we are poised to embrace new opportunities and drive the company to new heights, the added.

Third Wave Coffee has over 100 stores across eight cities in the country. The company recently raised $35 million in Series C funding from Creaegis and existing investor WestBridge Capital.