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BW Businessworld

India’s Most Valuable CEOs: The Transformer

Radhakrishnan played a crucial role in transforming TVS Motor from a local company to the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India

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TVS motor, the Flagship company of India’s largest automotive conglomerate TVS Group, has carved a separate identity for itself. It is the largest seller of mopeds which continues to be in great demand. It has good presence across segments, especially in the premium segment and is rapidly growing in the three-wheeler market.

K. N. Radhakrishnan, who is well known for his strategic planning and eye for technology has been the President and Chief Executive Office of TVS Motor since August, 2008. Radhakrishnan played a crucial role in transforming TVS Motor from a local company to the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India. During his tenure, the company’s turnover increased from Rs 2,955 crores (2004-05) to Rs 10,000 crores (2014-15) and achieved annual sales of over 2 million two-wheelers. Under his leadership, the company commenced its overseas plant in Indonesia in June 2007 and entered the 3-wheeler segment in March 2008.

In the third quarter of FY2017, TVS Motor posted a healthy 10.36 per cent rise in net profit - recording RS 132.67 crore against Rs 120.21 crore during the same period of last year on the back of wide portfolio. Moped sales for TVS surged at 2.34 lakh units during the quarter as against 1.84 lakh units in the year-ago period, up 27.17 per cent.

Radhakrishnan holds a Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai and has held several positions in the TVS group. In his previous role, he held the position of Executive Vice President (India operations), of TVS Motor. He started his career as management trainee in Sundaram-Clayton Limited (A TVS Group Company) Automotive Brakes Division and later became the head of Business Planning and HR & TQM of Sundaram-Clayton.

Under Radhakrishnan’s leadership, the Chennai-based company has gained market share domestically and continues to expand in global market. Stylish Apache, fuel efficient Star City and the urban centric scooter Wego have been bang on target for TVS. The innovative engineering approach and a decent marketing strategy helped TVS to maintain a decent market share of around 14 per cent in the fiercely competitive two-wheeler market. TVS now hopes to grab 18 per cent share of the market in the next two years. In an interview last year, Radhakrishnan said, “If you stand by your customer and give best quality products, even under strenuous conditions, there’s always an opportunity to come back in a big way. In the last 10 years, we have done our own design and development.”

Last one year has been exciti ng for TVS. The company has already started manufacturing products for BMW at its Hosur facility and is expected to launch the bike very soon. TVS formed strategic partnership with the German auto automaker to manufacture bikes in the fast growing sub-500 cc category.

Not just restricting itself in the domestic market, it has become a big name in the global market under Radhakrishnan’s and is currently India’s second largest exporter of two-wheelers after Bajaj Auto.