How can you create a cooperative team of rockstars? This week, we’re joined by Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Brands. Discover his strategy for creating a winning team, the three things you need to manage yourself, and the importance of servant leadership. Bonus: at the end of the episode, Niren persuades us to eat chicken sandwiches with a special musical performance.
Bio: Niren Chaudhary is the CEO of Panera Brands, one of the world’s largest fast casual restaurant companies with nearly 4000 locations in 10 countries. Panera Brands is comprised of Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros Bagels. Niren also serves as the CEO of Panera Bread, a pioneer and market leader in fast casual.
Previously, Niren served as Chief Operating Officer and President of Krispy Kreme where he implemented a new operating model to elevate consistency across the global brand and created a path for enterprise value growth of 3x over 5 years. Prior to that, he spent 23 years at Yum! Brands serving in global leadership positions including Global President of KFC and President of Yum! India.
Niren is guided by his deep passion for serving others and building future leaders. He spends his personal time sharing his personal and professional journey with students and professionals, often wielding a guitar to sing about his life or even a new Panera menu item. In addition, he dedicates his personal time serving on the Tufts Medical Centre Board and as an advocate for DKMS, a leading non-profit with the world’s largest stem cell donor registry.
As a lifelong learner, Niren focuses on both formal and informal education. Formally, Niren holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, an MBA in marketing from the University of Delhi, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Informally, Niren speaks 4 languages – Hindi, English, Dutch and German. He holds a black belt in Shotokan karate and is an avid golfer, tennis player and musician with his own rock band.
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