Nissan Motor India has appointed Rakesh Srivastava to head the operation as Managing Director, and will be taking charge from 5th September 2019.
One of the largest auto companies, Nissan Motor Corporation has not been able to realise a decent position in India in 14 years of its operations in the country. Many experts are of the opinion that lack of proper leadership has been one of the key reasons behind the company's dismal performance.
With Srivastava’s appointment, the auto company looks to bring in some changes and hopes that new MD’s experience and knowledge helps them gain more market share which currently remains below 1.5 percent.
Srivastava is a veteran from the industry, who has worked with companies like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. In Hyundai, he had been instrumental in capturing 16 percent market share for the Korean carmaker. Under his leadership, the Korean company had launched key products like i10 Grand, Verna, Elite i20 and Creta. He spent 6 years in Hyundai after joining the company in 2012.
Before Hyundai, Srivastava was working as Chief General Manager & Commercial Business Head in Maruti Suzuki, where he spent almost 14 years. In his recent role, he was working with JSW Energy, where he was leading its EV unit. However, the Indian energy sector major shelved the plans due to lack of clarity in policy and complexity in EV business. Besides the auto sector, Srivastava has also worked in the tobacco and paint industry.
How he leads Nissan Motor India to gain more market share will be interesting to watch out for. Considering the current mess the automotive sector is in, the challenges for Srivastava are many. The industry’s slowdown is already creating challenges at a national level, it has already begun impacting production and employment. As per industry body FADA, two lakh jobs have been cut across automobile dealerships in India in the last three months as vehicle retailers take the last resort of cutting manpower to tide over the impact of the unprecedented sales slump.
Leaders of all the auto companies including Nissan Motor have to help their workforce navigate through this challenging phase. Besides focusing on expansion, they have to be mindful about the other trends shaping their industry. They key is to understand the current scenario effeciently and predict or visualize the trends that shall soon follow and prepare their business and workforce for the future.
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