Ashok Leyland: Road To Perfection
Ashok Leyland’s positive growth also reflects in its LCV business
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The year 2018 has been stellar for Ashok Leyland, with the highest ever sale of 174,873 units, crossing the 1 lakh M&HCV truck sale in a year, and rolling out 2 lakhth light commercial vehicle (LCV) . Achieving a revenue of Rs 26,248 core and a profit of Rs 1,563 crore, together with sustaining the market share gains in a competitive environment is quite commendable. “We are driven by our brand philosophy, ‘Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet’, which means we are focused on the success of not only our customers but also our dealers, suppliers, shareholders, communities attached to us and all other stakeholders. It is this approach that has helped us become the most profitable CV manufacturer in the country,” says Vinod Dasari, MD & CEO Ashok Leyland.
Last year, 17 new products were launched across different segments. i-EGR performed extremely well surpassing all expectations, and the option of swappable batteries in electric vehicles (EV) was introduced. In the EVs segments, the truck maker plans to leverage on the proven success of the Optare range in the UK to position integrated offerings that straddle developed and emerging markets.
“We are the most profitable commercial vehicle company in the country and it is only possible when one has a smart and lean approach towards business. Our balance sheet is debt free, we have tight control over costs, we have a strong R&D team which has built a solid pipeline of innovative products and solutions, our network has rapidly expanded as more and more customers are trusting us with our products and solutions, and our other businesses are seeing good traction. For example, ‘ServiceMandi’, launched a year ago, has already completed 3 lakh transactions and Rs 150 crore in gross transaction value,” says Dasari.
Ashok Leyland’s positive growth also reflects in its LCV business, which grew by 37 per cent and also gained considerably in market share. The Defence business grew by 32 per cent last year with a five-year CAGR of 23 per cent, becoming one of the largest firms in the private sector. The company’s investments in international operations have started to pay off as the exports grew 38 per cent driving the truck maker towards the goal of having a third of their revenues from outside India.
“Practicing eco-friendly manufacturing is an important aspect of our responsibility towards the environment. Ashok Leyland was India’s first commercial vehicle manufacturer to win the ISO 14001 certification. Our Bhandara unit had won the Frost & Sullivan and Energy Resources Institute’s ‘Front Runner Award in Sustainability’. Aimed at increasing the green belt, we have planted more than 10 lakh trees while we maintain grasslands across our various plants. We have adopted the Miyawaki forest concept across all our plants, and today, all our plants have a predominant green cover supporting the habitat of many animals and birds.” adds Dasari
At Ashok Leyland, one of the key motivators is the company’s thriving work culture which embodies transparency and promotes entrepreneurial spirit. It promotes an entrepreneurial spirit wherein every employee owns his/her work, and enjoys the liberty to innovate.
“At Ashok Leyland, our culture is to encourage anyone who has an idea and provide the resources and environment for that idea to fructify. For example, our digital solution for customers and drivers, ‘Service Mandi’ was developed in-house by a team of young professionals who worked as a startup within the Company. They had complete freedom and decision making power on what they wanted to do with this idea. There are many platforms and internal competitions as well, where employees come up with improvements in all fields. It is this culture which makes us a fun and caring place to work,” says Dasari.
In conclusion, Ashok Leyland has raised the bar on performance in all fronts and the success, without doubt, is owed largely to the committed employees across the board.