As the country head for mobile and information technology business, Ranjit Yadav was instrumental in turning Samsung into India’s largest mobile phone seller.
In two years flat – from 2010 to 2012, the Korean chaebol’s market share of smartphones in India quadrupled from 12% to 47%.
To be sure, Yadav had the massive tailwind of the biggest mobile maker’s fantastic products and range and aggressive Android adoption across the world.
Tata Motors now wants him to do the same for its listless passenger car sales charts.
The company has been seeking marketing and product mojo for a while now, as well as rivals zoom ahead.
And that will be Yadav’s biggest challenge.
“Both mobile and cars are an intensely customer-focussed products and Ranjit having done a great job at Samsung, is expected to know the customer’s pulse. He can bring the flair of outside perspective to the company,” said Rajesh A R, who heads employment services at Manipal Education and had been a human resource major at various organisations.
Rajesh said the scuttlebutt earlier was that Yadav was joining Apple India.
Yadav first joined Samsung India as the head of its IT division in 2008 and was later given the charge of its mobile division.
“Ranjit Yadav put in place a strong foundation for growth in our mobile and IT business which Samsung India will further build on and consolidate from here on,” said B D Park, president and CEO, Samsung South West Asia.
An analyst with a domestic brokerage said Tata Motors had seen erosion of market share to rivals such as Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Mahindra & Mahindra.
“While Tata, Maruti and Ford are growing slower than the industry, new entrants such as Renault and Nissan, or Toyota have been gaining traction,” he said.
According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), between April and August 2012, Tata Motors’s passenger car sales have grown at 8% while rivals were expanding at an11% clip, albeit on a lower base.
The company also announced appointment of Neeraj Garg, former head of sales at Volkswagen India, as vice president, commercial, for the passenger car unit and insider R Ramakrishnan as vice president, commercial vehicles business unit.