Technologist and entrepreneur Rahul Powar has been appointed to the Co-op Group’s board of directors.
Mr Powar, founder and chief executive of Red Sift, a base service product specialising in cyber-security automation, will serve as an independent non-executive director.
With an M.Eng in computer systems engineering from the University of Warwick, Mr Powar has been involved with a number of tech companies. Between 2002-2008 he was principal technical architect at Shazam Entertainment. He then joined Method, which specialises design, strategy and product development, where he worked as senior technical architect for a year, until 2009.
The same year he founded Apsmart, a mobile data platform, being the company’s chief executive until it was taken over by Reuters in 2015. He went on to serve as head of advanced products and innovation. In 2012 he founded and joined the board of MPme, an online radio discovery app launched by Apsmart, which he left in 2015 to set up Red Sift.
Rahul Powar said: “I was drawn to the Co-op [Group] because it has a clear, ethically driven purpose, which clearly differentiates itself from its competitors. It wants to innovate and use digital as a force for good and I believe my experience in this area can help it create more value for its members and their communities.”
Group chair Allan Leighton said: “I am delighted Rahul has agreed to join our board at this exciting time in the Co-op’s history. We have a clear ambition to grow our Co-op and increase the positive impact we can have in communities throughout the UK.
“Digital technology will play a key role in driving our commercial ambition, while helping us to connect more with the communities where we operate. Rahul brings with him a wealth of experience in this area and his insight will be hugely valuable as we progress and execute our plans.”
Non-executive board members of the Co-op Group’s board provide professional industry knowledge. They are selected and appointed by the board but need to be approved by the wider membership, who voted for or against them remaining on the board at the first AGM following their appointment.