Our leadership team comprises a passionate agriculturist who perpetually seeks to enhance his knowledge about nurturing & processing coffee; a master strategist with a knack of staying ahead of the curve; and a next-gen duo with a flair for innovative marketing and coffee evangelism. While they bring diverse strengths to the art of nurturing, processing and selling coffee, one binding factor is their commitment to exceeding customer expectations.
Born into a family of coffee planters, D.M. Shankar has been committed to agriculture through his entire professional career. As part of a fourth generation responsible for taking forward the family’s coffee interests, Mr. Shankar focused on introducing contemporary and cutting-edge technological practices into the field. He has pursued specialist education in agricultural practices, including hands-on training in Holland, from leading international institutes with a view to applying the learnings and knowledge to enhance the quality of produce from the company. His focused attention on these aspects have ensured that our estates are renowned for the production of some of the finest, most awarded Arabica and Robusta in the world. He also manages the company’s high-end dry processing units, a key curing process that ensures retention of quality of coffee.
A committed agriculturist, focused on sustainable cultivation, Mr. Shankar’s interests range from coffee, the core of his passion, to areas such as dairy farming and other agricultural practices. His commitment to sustainable & inclusive development also reflects in his other interests - philanthropy and programs for rejuvenation of lakes & rivers.
Part of the fourth generation of coffee planters that established the heritage for Classic Group, Mr. Purnesh is from Chickmagalur, the birthplace of coffee in India. He has led the growth of Classic Group into the creators of coffees that are renowned and loved the world over. He is a member of the Coffee Board of India, a council member of the Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce and Secretary of the Specialty Coffee Association of India.
Mr. Purnesh has also led the expansion of the activities from coffee to a wide range of other sectors, resulting in the Classic Group being a leading conglomerate in diverse fields, including real estate, retail and Modern Trade Retail. In each of these fields, Classic Group has established a strong reputation for innovation, customer-centricity, trust and quality - values that every operation within the company holds dear. Not Just Wine & Cheese was a pioneering concept in alcobev distribution when it was introduced; and the concept of gated communities was brought to Bangalore by the Group’s real estate ventures, as a couple of examples highlighting these values.
Director, Marketing & Promotions
Tapaswini is a food & beverage aficionado, who is committed to promoting the coffee consumption and appreciation culture in India. Armed with a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, the most prestigious culinary school in the world, Tapaswini took over the responsibility of steering the marketing vision of the 150-year-old company to take gourmet coffee to a larger audience in India. This 5th generation coffee scion combines her culinary knowledge and understanding of flavour patterns with her expertise in brewing techniques to craft coffee that appeal to the Indian palette. Tapaswini travels the world in search of interesting brewing and marketing techniques to promote pure coffee grown in the lush coffee growing regions of India.
A frequent visitor to coffee festivals around the world, Tapaswini is also actively involved in promoting the only coffee tasting festival in South India. In addition to her passion for exploring brews, Tapaswini works on discovering new foods and flavour profiles, to create interesting pairings for coffees.
CHANDINI D MANEESH
Director, Marketing & Administration
Chandini is driven by the vision of promoting the concept of coffee tourism in India. As a fifth generation planter, she has inherited the passion, vision and drive to promote coffee in the country. She has taken forward the concept of introducing homestays at the Group’s lush coffee estates – with her eye for detail ensuring that visitors gain from an enriching experience, connected to nature in the most comfortable environs.
In addition, Chandini leads the marketing and administration activities at the Group, with active involvement in all aspects of concept promotion and outreach. An engineer by training, Chandini has an MBA in Entrepreneurship & Marketing and has worked in India, South Africa and the USA.