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Fiat India MD and CEO Rajeev Kapoor retires

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by ramjn, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    MUMBAI: After a challenging stint with Fiat India Automobile Limited, the managing director and CEO of the company, Rajeev Kapoor is retiring from the Italian carmaker's Indian subsidiary on Friday.

    Kapoor retired, after attaining superannuation from Fiat India Automobile Limited, a joint venture between Italian car major Fiat SpA and Tata Motors. Gurpratap Boparai a former Tata Motors employee, who is currently, VP, head, Powertrain Division at Fiat India Automobiles Limited, is likely to replace Rajeev Kapoor, two people in the know of the matter said.

    Fiat India spokesperson confirmed the retirement of Rajeev Kapoor. A mail regarding the appointment of Gurpratap Boparai as Rajeev Kapoor's eplacement, did not elicit any response.

    When contacted, Rajeev Kapoor told ET, "The stint was very exciting for me at Fiat India, setting up of facilities and launching two Fiat and three Tata cars starting Jan 2009. I would have certainly loved to see more Fiat cars on Indian roads. I am sure it would happen very soon."

    Kapoor was the first Indian to lead Fiat in the country, when he was appointed as the MD in 2007. Former general manager and plant head at Hero Honda Motors Ltd, India's largest two wheeler company, was reportedly given a free hand by Sergio Marchionne, the chairman of Fiat in Italy to rev up the Fiat brand in India.

    Kapoor, led Fiat's joint venture in India with Tata Motors, which could have changed the future for Fiat in India. The JV partners invested several thousand crores in an all new car manufacturing and the engine plant in Pune and Tata-Fiat also entered into marketing and distribution tie-up, which gave the Italian major a quick entry into over 100-150 markets through Tata Motors dealers in a short span of time.

    But the marketing & distribution tie-up did not really take off. Though the arrangement was expected to leverage the strengths of the two companies and forge a formidable alliance, it has failed to meet those expectations as Fiat customers regularly complained of sales and service hassles at the dealerships.

    Despite introducing globally acclaimed products like Linea and Punto, Fiat could not sustain the initial euphoria surrounding the products. The sales have been on a constant downhill since 2008-09.

    The JV has been incurring losses year on year. In 2009-10, the JV posted losses of around Rs 288.69 crore, which was brought down marginally to Rs 227.04 crore in 2010-11 thanks to increased component exports. However the company's volumes in the domestic market fell 15% to 21,066 units in 2010-11, when the overall market grew 25-30%.

    The annual volumes took a further beating in 2011-12 with only 16,095 units sold, a 24% decline in spite of heavy discounts of over Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The JV further infused Rs 85 crore into the venture.

    An industry source, said: "Kapoor had to manage demands of two different boards which might have delayed the decision making and on the other, the support from the headquarters in 2009-10 was also found wanting, with Fiat SpA busy integrating Chrysler, which took away the attention from countries like India."

    However Kapoor asserts he had no problems managing the JV, "There are processes to be followed. The success lies in keeping partners in picture and clears all doubts. I faced no problem in getting approvals; on the contrary my board supported all initiatives at JV."

    All along Kapoor had to manage several challenges, right from managing brand perception, marketing the products, building product portfolio and selling them in a highly competitive market environment.

    "On his part, Kapoor led the branding building campaigns with cricketer Yuvraj Singh, started 24X7 road assistance program to address service issues, aggressively pushed the headquarter to bring in a small car for India to build volumes," said a person close to Kapoor requesting anonymity, "And he also began exporting engine and engine components to reduce losses incurred due to low capacity utilization, He did, what he could, but beyond that he had to rely on the headquarters for more products, which was the key," the person added.

    Earlier this year, Tata-Fiat broke the marketing and distribution alliance and Fiat appointed Enrico Atanasio as head commercial to lead the Fiat's future growth plans, which will now happen out of independent dealer network.

    Kapoor says, the future of Fiat in India is going to be more exciting. "They have the right products for India. With restructuring of commercial operations, new launches and independent network, volumes should see healthy growth," he added.

    Source - Fiat India MD and CEO Rajeev Kapoor retires - The Economic Times
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2012
    5 people like this.
  2. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

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    If he had gotten more support from Fiat Italy the fiat would have performed much better in India. New products are essential for growth and we are hearing only statements.
    Mr. Kapoor was a man of sincerity, and a down to earth person which was evident whoever read the fiat factory visit thread.
    7 people like this.
  3. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

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    Rajeev Kapoor was very successful with Hero-Honda JV, but with Tata-Fiat, he could not deliver as per expectation.

    With JV restructuring, anyway we would have a new person to head JV in new form.

    Lets see what changes occur.
  4. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

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    IMO Mr. Rajiv Kapoor should be a very satisfied man today. What he set out to achieve at the start of his career, is not even 25% fulfilled but he has done a very decent job at Fiat. He has given Fiat the foothold in India under very challenging circumstances. He has set up huge factories for manufacturing cars and engines, has given a new dimension to Fiat brand building by opening up Fiat Caffe and has also laid the foundation stone for the exclusive Fiat dealership in the country. The new CEO should now push this initiative further by "Focussing on the End User", that is seriously lacking in Fiat.

    Hope the new team pull up their socks to set up an efficient focussed dealership and service network that connects directly with the Fiat customers and be more aggressive in marketing the Fiat brand and their cars in the market.
  5. I still remember when i he personally sent emails to me when i had some issues with TASS,very down to earth person.
    I guess he did not had a freehand at JV but remember he is the same person who took HeroHonda to number one spot in two wheeler market,which they are still managing cling on.
    Rajeev, if you are reading this thread.I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
    -Sat
    2 people like this.
  6. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

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    Fiat India Automobiles Limited appoints Mr. Gurpratap Boparai as the new CEO.
    31/08/2012
    Fiat India Automobiles Ltd today announced the retirement of Mr. Rajeev Kapoor from the post of President & CEO and appointment of Mr. Gurpratap Boparai as the new CEO of the company. Mr Rajeev Kapoor joined Fiat India Automobiles Limited in 2007 and has overseen the formative years of the operations to its present level and is retiring on reaching 60 years of age.

    Source - Fiat India
  7. sungoa2010

    sungoa2010

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    3 people like this.
  8. jishnu

    jishnu Superiore

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    You will be really missed sir! :(
  9. linealover

    linealover Regolare

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    It is indeed very sad to hear rajiv kapoor departing from fiat.

    he is certainly a down to earth person.

    MVI 0650 - YouTube

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 4, 2012
  10. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

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    Press release

    PRESS RELEASE
    Mr. Rajeev Kapoor retires as President and CEO of Fiat India Automobiles Ltd, Mr. Gurpratap Boparai to succeed him​

    [HR][/HR]
    - Mr. Rajeev Kapoor retires after a successful five years stint with Fiat India
    - Prior to this appointment Mr. Boparai was the Head of Powertrain Division of Fiat India Automobiles Ltd
    [HR][/HR]
    Fiat India Automobiles Ltd today announced the retirement of Mr. Rajeev Kapoor from the post of President & CEO and appointment of Mr. Gurpratap Boparai as the new CEO of the company. Mr Rajeev Kapoor joined Fiat India Automobiles Limited in 2007 and has overseen the formative years of the operations to its present level and is retiring on reaching 60 years of age.
    Mr. Boparai was so far heading the Power Train division of the company. He possesses the requisite skills and experience and will be responsible to scale up the state-of-the-art Ranjangaon facility to further heights under his leadership.
    Having joined Fiat India in 2007 as Assistant Vice President, Manufacturing and Powertrain Division Mr. Boparai took over as Head of Powertrain Division in 2009 where he was responsible for business development and overlooking all the functions of Power Train plants like manufacturing, Finance, HR, PE and others.
    Mr. Boparai comes with over 20 years of experience in the automobile sector and has worked with some of the most reputed companies. His successful stints include Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Limited, Ocap Chassis Parts Private Limited, Iveco and Tata Cummins Limited.


    Source - Fiat India
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    1 person likes this.

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