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Last Updated : Apr 01, 2019 10:28 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Exclusive: Bajaj Auto rejigs top deck, appoints new heads of verticals

This is the third major reshuffle at Bajaj Auto in five years.

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Bajaj Auto, India’s third-largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, has seen a shake-up in its top management, with senior executives appointed in three positions while a 12-year vetaran has exited.

The Pune-based company appointed Sarang Kanade to replace Eric Vas as the president of the motorcycle business.

Vas, who was appointed as president in 2014, has been asked to take over the Urbanite Business Unit, from Sumeet Narang who was appointed as its vice president just last year.


Narang will now be heading the Probiking Business Unit.

While Amit Nandi, who was the president of Probiking since its creation in 2011, has quit the company after 12 years of service.

This is the third major reshuffle at Bajaj Auto in five years, with the last one brought into effect in July last year. The current rejig was implemented this month, said a senior Bajaj Auto executive.

The changes

As President of the motorcycle business, Kanade has the challenge of pushing slow moving models including Avenger, V15, Dominar and Discover,  which trail fast moving models like CT 100, Platina and Pulsar.

Under Kanade's predecessor Vas, Bajaj Auto regained lost market share to push it beyond 20 percent in the domestic market on the back of heightened demand for the CT 100, Platina and Pulsars. Vas was also instrumental in keeping the inventory levels and production closer to retail demand levels.

Vas taking over the Urbanite business is crucial as Bajaj Auto’s electric vehicle venture will be under the Urbanite brand.

The first of such products, which is expected to be an electric scooter, will debut in the first half of FY20. Bajaj will start with two-wheelers before moving on to other formats of the intra-city mobility solutions.

A separate retail network will be created to sell the electric vehicles which will be fourth such network for the company after Bajaj, KTM and RE.

Narang's Probiking unit deals in KTM business operations and will soon take on the additional charge of Husqvarna brand.

The exit

Besides being head of the India Probiking business, the outgoing Nandi was also the head of KTM Motorcycles in South Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Nandi who confirmed his exit to Moneycontrol said he is currently serving the notice period. He, however, declined to provide details of his next venture.

Before being appointed as head of Probiking, Nandi was the general manager marketing.

The business

In FY2018, KTM was the fastest growing motorcycle brand with a year-on-year growth of 32 percent, versus that of 14 percent for motorcycles as a whole.

KTM saw sales of 46,321 units last financial year partly on account of the success of the model year 2017 product range, and the introduction of a new model, the KTM Duke 250.

During the April-February period, Bajaj Auto clocked a growth of 28 percent to 2.32 million units as against 1.81 million units sold in the same period last year. Countrywide sales of motorcycles during the same period grew by less than 10 percent led by weak demand for Hero and Honda models.

In July last year, Rakesh Sharma, Head of International Business, was appointed as the Chief Commercial Officer, a newly-created position under whom the export business functions.

Sharma’s deputy Grihapathy Krishna Srinevasa who was Senior Vice President – Africa business, assumed the role of head of international business.

Correction: A previous version, in one instance, said Sumeet Narang will be taking over as head of Urbanite. This has been changed as Eric Vas will be head of the Urbanite business.
First Published on Mar 27, 2019 03:55 pm