With eye on future, Maruti Suzuki creates new management level


New Delhi: India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki Ltd has created a new management level as it seeks to build management and leadership bandwidth for the future, three people familiar with the development said, asking not to be identified.

The car maker, which aims to sell 2 million cars in India by 2020 (it sold 1.43 million units in 2015-16), has promoted six executives to the newly created position of executive vice-president, the three people said, citing a 28 April memo by the company that Mint has not seen.

“We have no comment to offer. Organization changes are an annual exercise at Maruti Suzuki. They are designed to meet the business plan and develop leadership at Maruti Suzuki,” the company said in a statement.

The very American designation of executive vice-president is fairly uncommon among Japanese companies operating in India.

The six executive vice-presidents are: Partho Banerjee, formerly in charge of Nexa (the company’s experimental alternative dealership network for some new models) and current head of service; Tarun Garg, earlier vice-president (sales) for Maruti Suzuki outlets, and current head of Nexa; Ram Suresh Akella, who will now head domestic sales; D.D. Goyal in the finance department; and Vikram Khazanchi, P. Roy and Sunil Kakkar, who work in Maruti’s manufacturing operations.

Garg and Akella will report to R.S. Kalsi, executive officer (marketing & sales); Banerjee to the company’s managing director and chief executive officer Kenichi Ayukawa; Khazanchi, Roy and Kakkar to Rajiv Gandhi, the firm’s executive officer for production; and Goyal to chief financial officer Ajay Seth.

The three people added that the senior-most non-board designation would continue to be that of executive officer.

“All the changes are in line with the target of two million sales by 2020,” said one of the three people.

The company also scrapped designations such as managing executive officers and senior managing executive officers, which led to a power tussle, a second person said.

On Monday, shares of Maruti Suzuki rose 0.91% to 3,829.55 points, while the benchmark BSE Sensex closed at 25,436.97 points, a decline of 0.66%.