Monday, April 1, 2019

Royal Enfield CEO Vinod Dasari knows the U.S. well

Line-up of people on Royal Enfield motorcycles at Milwaukee HQ.
Royal Enfield's new CEO Vinod Dasari visits the U.S. HQ in Milwaukee June 20, 2019.
(Royal Enfield Photo.)
Royal Enfield's new Chief Executive Officer Vinod K. Dasari is a prominent business leader in India, where he successfully managed to turn around a major truck maker by adopting Total Quality Management techniques to reduce defects, and serving customers better.

And he knows the United States well.

He takes over as Royal Enfield CEO from Siddhartha Lal, who continues as managing director of parent company Eicher Motors. Lal "will continue to support Vinod and the team on product and brand related areas," the press release states.

"Royal Enfield is an inspiring story and I am very excited to be part of such a fantastic brand," Dasari is quoted as saying in the April 1 press release.

"Personally for me, working with a consumer brand will be a tremendous learning opportunity, and professionally, I am looking forward to the challenge of creating a global consumer brand from India."

And, from Siddhartha Lal:

"Royal Enfield is now building the foundations of its next level of growth. As we commence another exciting chapter, I believe, there is no better person than Vinod Dasari to lead Royal Enfield into its next phase of evolution to a global brand.

"Vinod is a proven leader who combines business vision and people skills. He has been a catalyst in reviving the fortunes of his previous company...

"Vinod’s fearless entrepreneurial leadership, experience of managing complex businesses globally, deep understanding of customers and his vision of how digital technology will be used and experienced around the world are precisely the qualities that Royal Enfield needs."

Dasari held executive positions in the U.S. but moved to India almost 20 years ago, becoming the CEO and managing director of Ashok Leyland, a major manufacturer of commercial heavy trucks, in India. He resigned in 2018, satisfied with strong growth there.

Ashok Leyland became the first commercial vehicle company outside Japan to earn the prestigious Deming Prize for Total Quality Management.

He explains how it was done in this video, below:

Dasari went to college at Louisville University, and then took masters degrees at the Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of Engineering, both at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

I mention Northwestern because that's where I — many years earlier — allegedly studied journalism. If nothing else, I can guarantee you he understands a Midwestern winter.

With the new job as Royal Enfield CEO he also joins the Board of Eicher as an executive director.

He served as president of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) from 2015 to 2017 and as president of Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), 2013 to 2015. Business Today and Business Standard have named him  "CEO of the Year," and he was CV Magazine's "Man of the Year" and Autocar "Professional of the Year."

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