Sudhir Rao, Managing Director, Skoda Auto India, has resigned from his post, reported ET Auto this evening. Rao will serve his term until the 30th of June this year. Word has it that his role is to be filled by an Indian exec. Rao’s exit comes ahead of a time when VW group is in the process of signing a partnership deal with Tata Motors. It is likely that Skoda will play a keen role in the agreement.
Our sources at Skoda India whose names we have been requested not to disclose have confirmed that the end of June will mark five years and three months -- in which -- he turned around a company that was steeping itself in losses, and made it profitable. Rao who took up the office in 2012, brought an end to a four-year drought in which Skoda did not have a Managing director.
Rao had joined Skoda, after spending four years at Renault India as Deputy MD and COO, where he played a key part from Renault's side in the divorce process with Mahindra. And there he defined the comeback plan for Renault India’s solo ride. He worked with General Motors for over two decades and he also had a stint with Avtec Engines, a CK Birla Group company.
Rao who is a veteran of the industry, joined Skoda after his four-year term at Renault India. During his term, he played an instrumental role in Renault during their split with Mahindra and then charted the road ahead for the companies solo campaign. He also has over two decades of experience in General Motors and Avtec Engines ( a CK Birla Company).
During his tenure, he pulled the loss-making Fabia from their local offerings and was integral in reducing their workforce. Although this decreased the company's annual volumes it managed to stem their losses.
Rao also played a pivotal role in addressing the perception of a car maker with poor sales, after sales and service cost, invariably address the customer's grievance himself on a daily basis. In his last interaction with ETAuto, Rao had stated that he has traversed over 70-80% of that journey on the sales and service perception issue.