Budgens Caterways Ramesh Shingadia

Sussex retailer Ramesh Shingadia has been appointed as the new chair of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) board.

Ramesh owns and operates two Budgens stores in Horsham, Sussex with his family, and he has won numerous awards during his 40 years in the industry. He was previously Vice Chair on the ACS board, a position he has held since February 2021. Ramesh replaces Louise Hoste as chair of the ACS board, who served in the position since September 2021.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “I am delighted to be working closely with Ramesh, Phil, Colm and Maria in their leadership positions on the board. Their combined experience and knowledge of the convenience sector is invaluable and will further strengthen ACS’ position as the influential, effective and truly representative voice for all convenience stores.

Lowman praised Hoste for her time in the role as chair. “Louise has been a fantastic chair throughout the last two years, as well as being an incredible advocate for ACS and the work that we do to represent our members. Louise’s leadership of the board has helped us to bolster our support for both retailers and suppliers.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Ramesh Shingadia said: “As an independent retailer and previous vice chair on the ACS board, I am deeply honoured, humbled, and privileged to be elected to the role of the Chair. The convenience market is a complex and dynamic sector, with significant changes, challenges, and opportunities at every corner. Against this background, the ACS has demonstrated great foresight, innovation, and leadership in providing guidance and support to both the retailer and supplier. The ACS Board and management team looks to build on this foundation, to continue lobbying the government on agendas impacting the convenience sector but more importantly, supporting on a day-to-day basis the retailers and suppliers who are an integral part of our sector.”

Phil Ponsonby of Midcounties Co-operative, Colm Johnson of Booker and Maria Eaton of MFG have also taken leadership roles on the board.

Phil Ponsonby said: “I have been a member of the ACS Board for the last seven years so it’s a real privilege to take up one of the two vice-chair roles. ACS has always achieved a strong balance in working with retailers and suppliers for their mutual interests and is uniquely placed to promote and enhance the standing of the convenience sector to Government through a firm understanding of the issues and opportunities in front of us.”

Colm Johnson said: “The work of the ACS is incredibly important to the convenience sector and I’m really excited to take on this role. We have been through a period of extraordinary change, which has brought many innovations and through the ACS, we will be able harness these opportunities, as well as continuing to be the voice of local shops on the matters that make the most difference to them.”

Maria Eaton said: “I am honoured to have joined the ACS Board as a member since November 2022, and to Chair their Audit Committee. A truly worthwhile organisation, the ACS team work tirelessly to support local shops and ACS members by lobbying government on relevant issues, simplifying legislative requirements and providing its’ members with learning and networking events which they ordinarily wouldn’t have access to, connecting retailers and suppliers together.”

The ACS board:

· Main Board Chair: Ramesh Shingadia, Independent Retailer

· Main Board Vice Chair: Phil Ponsonby, Group Chief Executive Officer, The Midcounties Co-operative

· Main Board Vice Chair: Colm Johnson, Managing Director, Booker Retail

· Audit Committee Chair: Maria Eaton, Finance Director, Motor Fuel Group