G Srinivas Raghavan, CEO & Global President (TVS Division), TV Sundaram Iyengar & Sons Ltd.
We have evolved to be a corporate dealer and India´s leading dealer to many manufacturers says G Srinivas Raghavan, CEO & Global President (TVS Division), TV Sundaram Iyengar & Sons. Excerpts from the interview...
Could you give us an overview of TVS dealership business?
TVS dealership business has a charter, instead of being a dealer at one site or one location. We have been a strategic partner to the automobile and equipment manufacturers, in addressing a region´s needs and therefore enable a high market share to them and also ensure a higher customer satisfaction. Today we have evolved to be a corporate dealer and India´s leading dealer to many manufacturers. The philosophy is that how we can translate the TVS way of service in enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction so that it can convert into market share proposition for the manufacturers. This creates a meaningful strategic partnership where we collaborate with the manufacturers, not only in sales and marketing but also in product development. TVS has two faces, one is sales and marketing and the other is the customer market share. Therefore as a combined proposition, we have been a strategic partner to the manufacturers, that is the charter and that is where we are today.
How would you rate your relationship with a company like Escorts?
Relationship can be defined in three directions. One is sheer history of the fact that how we are engaged in the relationships. So most of our relationships are time-tested. Escorts is also time tested as we have seen ups and downs. We have seen a journey where a manufacturer discovers and rediscovers himself or reinvents himself with a portfolio of products and how he takes it forward. So, most of our relationships are since the beginning of the manufacturers. We have been a partner with them than looking at monitory benefit. Obviously we will have to make profit. Having said that, we have seen the ups and downs of the industry along with the manufacturers from the eyes of the manufacturer. Therefore, we collaborate together to cut down the costs. From that perspective, we have a very strategic relationship with Escorts.
What is your strategy in retaining your achievements and leadership?
It is very important that we have a series of interactions with our manufacturing clients. We call them as strategy sessions wherein once every six months we have deep-dive what we see from the market. Either it is product improvement or new product line up or customer enhancement we could do. That is the governance mechanism which we have established with all manufacturers. I think the biggest challenge with a manufacturer is how he can get a 360o view of the customer. Then we can guide the OEM to develop and that is where the future is. How can we guide Escorts on what product range to develop. I am purely talking about cranes. There are a multitude of applications for cranes and similarly for backhoe loaders because the same customer is not constant. He is dynamic and expanding into businesses. How can you take the product and keep expanding with his businesses for a different application is where I see the future of successes to lie for both Escorts and our division. The second area is where the customer is going for parts. How do we ensure the parts line up? TVS has been a pioneer in parts distribution management. We have offered this consultancy to Escorts who faced challenge in parts distribution.
What excites you the most and what makes you loose your sleep?
I get most excited when I meet a customer as this is an operations driven business. What excites me the most is that you are inherently dwindled into the life of a customer. This is not selling soap. This is about selling equipment to the customer from which he is going to earn his livelihood. TVS, through its commercial vehicles and construction equipment business, deals with 2 to 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs, not as customers. This means that today TVS has formed a big entrepreneur ecosystem. My only challenge is how do I stay relevant to the ambitions of the entrepreneur.
What would you term as your vision for 2020?
We have laid out our vision. We want to be the top 20 dealership in the world. For parts and aftermarket support, we want to be among the top 10 in the world.