1. Introducing the smashing new Team FIAT T-Shirt !! To order yours click here : Team FIAT T-Shirt

Interview with Rajeev Kapoor

Discussion in 'Fiat India News' started by Ravi, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Q&A: Rajeev Kapoor, President & CEO, Fiat India

    It`s the right time for us to grow in India

    Though a late re-entry into the growing automobile market, Fiat India Automobiles Ltd hopes to establish itself across all segments with a wide range of products and service network, says its president and CEO, Rajeev Kapoor, in an interview with Yogima Seth Sharma. Edited excerpts:

    Fiat has brought in two good products in the Indian market but sales are yet to match industry levels. How do you plan to cope?
    The basic principle of forming a joint venture with Tata Motors was to bring back the Fiat brand into India and share the Fiat engine technology with Tata Motors. Now that we have achieved both, I think it’s the right time for us to grow in India.

    With Grande Punto, Fiat Linea and Fiat 500 in our product stable, we hope to almost double our sales in the country in 2010-11 at 40,000 to 45,000 units, as compared to 23,000 units in 2009-10.

    What do you think are the strengths of Fiat in India?
    Though we currently have just two models, along with Fiat 500, there are varied engine options across Punto and Linea that help us to cater to a wide spectrum of people. Our spare parts are not just easily available, they are also competitively priced, and Fiat India now has a widespread presence through 175 dealerships.

    What are your expansion plans over the next two years?
    We are adding another high-end variant of Linea later this year, over and above the high-powered diesel variant of the Grande Punto launched recently.

    Our new small car, smaller than the Punto and powered by a 1.0-litre engine, would hit in 2012 and we expect it to be a volume product for the company. Our dealer network will touch 200 by the end of 2010-11 and over a period of time, localisation levels of Punto and Linea are expected to go up from 85 per cent now to 90 per cent, as we strengthen our vendor base.

    What has been the progress on your small car?
    We have just concluded our customer survey to understand what kind of car they expect in 2012. The product is being jointly developed by our research and development team in India and in Italy. While the styling and designing of the car is being done in Italy, our Indian operation will contribute in component aggregates and reliability test of the vehicle.

    How do you see the new small car changing the image of Fiat in India?
    The A+ or the B segment, where we have cars like Spark, Santro, etc, is growing very fast in India. In fact, it is a highly cluttered segment, with almost every player present. Despite this, I feel there is space for more to come in, primarily because of extremely low car penetration levels in the country.

    Fiat’s ability to make high-tech products and sell these at highly competitive prices as we go down the price ladder will help us to regain our position in India.

    Source - http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... ia/401929/
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    [attachment=0:2qxz661l]3.jpg[/attachment:2qxz661l]
    Q - What are the biggest challenges faced by Fiat India today, and how do you plan to address them?
    Rajeev Kapoor: We have started a lot of new initiatives of late. The biggest challenge we have today is to improve our dealership experience to our customers. In recent past we have seen a lot of attrition on manpower from dealers so there is a very focused effort going on to hire more qualified manpower to handle Fiat brand. That is why, when we are talking about the premium productss like the Linea T-jet, we are deploying people who have been trained by us on the dealership. In the dealerships selling the T-Jet, the people who are going to present the car to the customers have been deployed by us so that they can give the real experience to the customer. It’s also a training for the dealer to understand how it should be presented. So that is one big challenge for us, as there is a lot of poaching going on the field between brands. Everybody’s poaching people across, so that’s one big challenge.
    Second is, we thought that co-existance of both the brands together in the showroom can be handled easily, but then it has been proved that it’s not an easy job. With multiple offerings from both the companies, actually, the space sharing, the way the brand should be presented is requiring a totally new look, and Mr. R Ramakrishnan (VP, Commercial, Passenger car business, Tata Motors Limited) and his team, is very actively working with the dealers to make sure that both the brands present totally different handling. So we are working on that, we had this problem of a (lack of) high powered engine which we have addressed now, and this addresses about 40+ of the C+ segment in terms of volume. So I think all these initiatives together along with our back end support on spares and service, which is getting better and better by the day we are building a very strong foundation for the brand to grow. And going forward I think that the numbers should improve.

    [attachment=1:2qxz661l]2.jpg[/attachment:2qxz661l]

    Q - What are the numbers you are expecting for the T-Jet in the coming year?
    Rajeev Kapoor: Your see, for me, any number is a small number. It is for the commercial team to deliver that. The T-jet, however should have a fifteen percent share of the segment itself. Because, if you look at the numbers of our competitors, the numbers are pretty big there. And that’s where we have to operate.

    Q - The Linea is available in RHD only in India, so is there a chance for the car to be exported to some other RHD countries?
    Rajeev Kapoor: We are already exporting to South Africa, and the T-Jet will also go to South Africa – that’s an RHD country. We are opening a dealership in Sri Lanka next month. We are opening another dealership in Nepal.

    Q - What is the kind of growth you are expecting in the next one year. Not just for the Linea, but Fiat as a brand?
    Rajeev Kapoor: It’s a very difficult question to answer. Next year the market will grow by 14 to 16%, and we should be in line with the market.

    [attachment=2:2qxz661l]1.jpg[/attachment:2qxz661l]

    Q - Unfortunately the brand perception about Fiat seems to be a deterrent to its growth. People appreciate your cars as a machine, but just because it’s a Fiat, based on the past experiences, they are apprehensive to buy it. So is there a strategy to change the brand perception about Fiat?
    Rajeev Kapoor: Well first, with the T-Jet which is our top-end car, the buying experience is going to be different for the customers. We have hired hostesses and sales experts and we have trained them – they will be deployed at the dealerships. We are establishing brand boutiques across five cities to actually let people understand what Fiat brand stands for. They will be established in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore Chennai and Delhi. And those brand boutiques will be a real experience point for Fiat. You saw our other initiatives like advertisement, and event participation – we always keep on doing that. We recently gave away cars in Sri Lanka for cricket matches because we are going to open dealerships in Sri Lanka. We have started doing that activity so that we can start building up the brand. But when there is a legacy it takes some time for the perception to change, though the perception is changing. It’s not that it’s not changing and a lot of positive media helps that. And with new offerings, with new experience, and with sharing of those experiences, it’s bound to change.

    Q - Based on customer feedback, what have been the changes that Fiat has made after the brand made a fresh start in India a couple of years ago?
    Rajeev Kapoor: One of the first feedbacks was about service and that prompted us to have separate base for Tata and Fiat Motors workshops, and train their mechanics in handling our products. The second was on the pricing of the spares so we made some price adjustments to make our spares very, very competitive. Our spares are actually very competitive today. There’s a lot of feedback on the way dealers handle our customers, so, those feedbacks go back to the dealers.

    Q - Are these dealership specific feedbacks usually positive or negative?
    Rajeev Kapoor: They are both positive and negative feedbacks. Experiences will always be mixed. In this world you cannot have only positives or only negatives. What works for you may not work for me, so you know, different people have different expectations and aspirations. But then whenever we capture something, we try to find out whether it’s a uniform phenomena or an isolated case. If it’s uniform than we immediately work on that. So there are teams working with Tata Motors on distribution, there are teams working on dealerships, there are teams working on after sales, so there are back to back teams which are working together on improving all areas.

    Q - Does Fiat intend to open any ‘exclusive’ dealerships or showrooms in the near future?
    Rajeev Kapoor: No, we don’t have plans to open any exclusive showrooms. We already have done 175 dealerships with Tata Motors, I don’t think there is a need to expand at this point.

    Q - The dark blue colour for the T-jet that you showed at the Auto Expo 2010, we loved that colour. That colour has been omitted for the production T-jet. Any specific reasons?
    Rajeev Kapoor: Yea, we did a colour study after that, and the feedback on the blue didn’t come very positive. As a matter of fact we launched an electric blue colour for the Punto which just didn’t sell as much. It’s also a beautiful colour, but somehow doesn’t sell. Actually the colours which are the frontrunners are white, red and steel grey. That’s why we have selected this colour for the launch, this is a golden beige colour, and is exclusive to the T-jet.

    Source - Motoroids - http://motoroids.com/features/in-conver ... t-and-ceo-–-fiat-india-automotive-private-limited.html

    3.jpg
  3. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    :drinks I hope what you have said turns into reality and you get a high market share.
  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    6,001
    Bangalore
    Grande Punto 1.3
    So it is confirmed news :dance :dancing .
  5. HarishSegar

    HarishSegar

    Messages:
    141
    Mumbai
    The dealership guys have definitely learnt how to talk to customers but thats about it. The overall sales experience for a customer is when he walks out of the showroom with a smile on his face and with the least hassle in purchasing the product. Displaying the product, talking about it until the customer writes out the first cheque is just the start. This part has definitely improved. The part that comes after the booking is still a major mess.

    In my case, i got my TJet after numerous delays and with almost 2-3 follow up calls everyday. My first booking payment was on 14 Oct. Delivery on 3rd Nov after pressurising them. Now, its 13th of November, i am still waiting for my registration number.

    Do i like the car? - Yes
    Is the car worth buying? - Yes
    Am i a happy customer? - NO.

    The day the last one changes to a Yes is when i believe FIAT have made an impact.
  6. Rajen

    Rajen Regolare

    Messages:
    275
    Bangalore
    Harish

    My experience on sales experience when I walked into a Fiat Show room at Mumbai (I was on the way to Blr from Gujaratr) was exceptionally good.

    But at Bangalore the story is different with atleast one dealer who is closed to my home. Inspite of me visiting in October and earlier and making numerous phone calls and personal visit last week the response is bad. Fortunately for me, second dealer responded well and I booked T Jet Plus with them. Let us hope these guys would respond same way in delivering and ASS.
  7. nk4FIAT

    nk4FIAT Superiore

    Messages:
    576
    Hyderabad
    Really Glad to read the whole post.
    Absolutely correct and crystalclear questions. Very frank and approp. answers by CEO.(also very good photosession . A confidance is clearly seen in his eyes)

    My interesting Q.....

    Q - The dark blue colour for the T-jet that you showed at the Auto Expo 2010, we loved that colour. That colour has been omitted for the production T-jet. Any specific reasons?
    Rajeev Kapoor: Yea, we did a colour study after that, and the feedback on the blue didn’t come very positive. As a matter of fact we launched an electric blue colour for the Punto which just didn’t sell as much. It’s also a beautiful colour, but somehow doesn’t sell. Actually the colours which are the frontrunners are white, red and steel grey. That’s why we have selected this colour for the launch, this is a golden beige colour, and is exclusive to the T-jet.

    Now they have again introduced electric blue in Punto.(seen in showroom while taking delivery of my Linea) Eventhough I missed in my Linea, may be sometime in next year they can introduce in linea T-jet . It will give some variety and change.

    Sir, Wish you best luck from Heart!!! Every FIAT adding on road makes all of us more n more happy!!!!
    Please work towards my dream....
    "25% market share by 2015, and 50% by 2020. We'l love to see every alternate car on Indian roads by 2020 as FIAT!!!!!!!"
  8. I agree with you Harish, me too had issue wrt delivery..I booked tjet plus black color on 19th Oct and got it on 7th Nov...still waiting for the registration number and rear parking sensor...Is somebody on this forum can pass this information to CEO so that these issues can be addressed?
  9. Ichimaru

    Ichimaru Regolare

    Messages:
    377
    Gurgaon, India
    why don't you post your issues at the CEO corner on FIAT India website?
  10. I did post my issues with CEO corner however have not got any response from so called "CEO Corner" till date..

Share This Page