What's In My Portfolio: Vijay Pillai

Interview by Anton D. Javier
10 Dec 2020

Vijay Pillai is the CEO of Caerus Holding

The portfolio that I am putting forward is the growing stable of F&B brands under Caerus Holding. It is made up of brands from around the world that offer unique experiences and have gone on to become remarkable success stories and culinary cornerstones of their community. We work with these brands as both their regional partners and guardians, serving as a natural extension of the brand to inject them into the local dining scene, amplify their presence while keeping true to all aspects of the product, and eventually expanding them into the region.

Caerus started in 2008 as a wine distribution business. When we diversified into F&B in 2013, we had a vastly different strategy that was anchored in creating original concepts. But the core of our business has always been focused on bringing unique experiences to the local and regional market and that remains unwavering today. We first brought in Lady M in 2013 and through its success, we found a new niche and have built on that since, with the opening of Danish patisserie Leckerbaer from Copenhagen and Luke’s Lobster of New York in the third quarter of 2020.

We remain focused on bringing unique dining experiences from around the world into the local market, and committed to expanding their footprint across the region. With travel restrictions worldwide, what we bring to the local market is more important than ever today. For some, it’s a conduit for memories of their go-to lobster roll every time they visit New York City, or a box of småkager they pick up as gifts on their way home from Copenhagen. For others, we’re bringing a piece of culinary fabric from overseas and weaving it into our own.

(Related read: All roads lead to Luke's Lobster)

We are working on the opening of a few more new-to-market brands that will bring the same sense of excitement as any of our past brands did. Once we’ve amassed a wider portfolio, we’re looking to expand these brands as collective units in a way that is intended to shake up the mix and inject new life into traditional retail operations, such as shopping malls and departmental stores.