RAJENDRAN

Business Unit responsibility, Strategy, Marketing, Sales, Product Management

Institutional Sales, Distribution management, Brand management, Digital Marketing, Retailing, Business Collaboration management, Business Development, Partner relationship, Alliance management, Event management, Celebrity Management, Press conferences, International marketing, Consultancy and Government affairs among other things. Industry recognition by World Marketing Congress for the last 4 years; Guest lectures in IIMs/MICA; Speaker in plenary sessions and panel discussions of Dun & Bradstreet Knowledge Seminars. An independent Strategy consultant and Mentor for companies in a spectrum of specialties like Sales & Marketing (both B2C and B2B), Team building, Organization structure, Crafting Vision & Mission, frameworks for strategic growth, Review mechanisms, Collaboration deals and Key account management.

Acer India (P) Ltd., Bangalore as CMO with Business unit head responsibility. Nov’99 to May’16.

Earlier General Manager – Marketing from Nov’99 onwards; helped set up the CPG (Consumer Product Group) for improving indirect sales in 2002; helped set up Retail footprint of Acer that today extends to beyond 500+ outlets and accounts for > 35% of total revenue. Business grown to ~ $ 500 Mn. in India.

Responsibilities: In charge of Product management (PCs, Servers, Notebooks-Product positioning, pricing, configurations, product reviews & interface with factory); Marketing ( spanning Brand Building, Advertising, Digital Marketing, Promotions, Celebrity management Public Relations, Press interactions, Event management) and Distributor relationship&Sales. P&L responsibility: End to End business ownership for the Consumer Product Group; International business: Full responsibility for the countries of Bangladesh & Bhutan. 

Redington India Ltd., Chennai as Business Manager from Dec’96 till Nov’99. 

Responsibilities: Profit centre head for the Rs 150 crore HP business. Currently handling Samsung/Canon business and part of ERP project team. Instrumental in implementing the ERP package across 13 sales offices/warehouses/service centres. Conducting road shows, reseller meets, dealer meets, advertising and publicity, marketing campaigns, channel schemes, and product launches.

Maxworth Home Ltd., Chennai as General Manager – Marketing & Sales pan India. Dec’95 and Dec’96. 

Responsibilities: New project launches and sales; conducting road shows both in India and abroad (Middle East); Advertising and public relations. 

TVS Electronics Ltd., Bangalore/Chennai as Manager – All India Sales between Aug’90 and Dec’95.

Responsibilities: Product planning; business planning; techno commercial responsibility with collaborators; all India sales responsibility. New product launches; conducting reseller meets, road shows and launching and administering channel and sales schemes.

Tata Economic Consultancy Services (A division of Tata Sons Ltd.,), Madras 

Senior Consultant: between May’84 and Aug’90. 

Responsibilities: Market surveys; Techo economic feasilibity studies; new project set up. Interactions with Govt and Development banks for project clearances and financing. 

Notes on specific personal attributes:

High growth environment:  

The stints at TVS Electronics, Redington and the assignment at Acer, have exposed me to the highly dynamic, often turbulent environment that is so characteristic of the IT industry. At Redington the growth has been practically doubling every year: and I was in charge of the business group that has been pummeling this. As the profit centre head for the HP business at Redington, and with the support of my team members, I could champion the growth from Rs 70 crores to Rs 135 crores in a period of just 12 months. This led our principal HP to christen us as the fastest growing business partner in 1997/98. At Acer – a 100% subsidiary of Acer global set up 13 years back – the pace has been scorching: spanning diverse areas such as local reconfiguration; India specific products; channel policy; Retail set up; events and partner programs. This period also witnessed Acer making strong inroads into key large vertical segments such as BFSI, Government & Education. Though as a business model the fulfillment has been through channel partners, the ground work of positioning the brand, getting the products evaluated and concluding the commercials has been that of the Product Management team in such large enterprise purchases. 

The setting up of the team for Smart handhelds and the addressal of the telco channel had proven to be very challenging and interesting.

Adaptability: 

The experience at Tata Sons Ltd (Tata Economic Consultancy Services a division of Tata Sons), where I worked on a wide diversity of projects – spanning varied industries – has helped me to quickly adapt to changing scenarios. This has inculcated in me the capacity to quickly absorb the essentials of a situation and respond in an appropriate manner. This ability has been further strengthened in my assignment at Redington, where the pace of change – technology, products, market characteristics, competition – has been very brutal. Quickly learnt the basics of the ERP package and adapted to the role of an internal resource for business process reengineering, trainer and implementor. At Acer, the job entailed quick understanding of the ERP package (MF PRO); setting up systems in the area of product management and adopting the culture of the Far East (Taiwan).

Building a business:

As the Business Development Manager at TVS Electronics I was instrumental in enabling key diversification ventures: Heavy duty printers from Oki Electric, Japan; UPS systems – which matured into a profitable contract manufacturing activity – from Vintron, Netherlands; Non impact printers from Lexmark (erstwhile division of IBM). These were started from base zero and grown into self-sustaining divisions. The experience involved discussions/negotiations from the incipient stages to building the team in the organisation, and developing the market and sales channel for these products.  At Redington, as the head in charge of the newly added line of Canon for inkjet printers – the business has achieved 100% growth rates within 6 months.   The experience at Acer has been very akin to growing the business from ground zero as it were. And the challenge has been in getting the brand accepted in the dispersed SME market. 

Communication and organising skills:

Personally championed the ‘industry-first’ reseller meets/frequent buyer programs at TVS Electronics.  This involved development of communication tools/presentation materials, event management and addressal to audiences in various cities numbering in excess of 10.  Apart from this there have been opportunities for making presentations to senior people of various hues  –  senior management at Citizen Watch company, Oki Electric, Lexmark, Vintron, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Canon, Acer and top officials in Govt. bodies, and end customers. Extensive experience in conducting road shows;  product launches; reseller meets; and other allied marketing campaigns.  It was a challenge to position Acer, being a Taiwanese company, in the MNC space among various constituencies – customers, press, channel partners.  Slowly, but steadily, by a combination of  communication strategies, today, the image of Acer has moved up many notches in the Indian customers’ minds. After establishment of the Consumer Products Group (CPG) in early 2003, the business in the first year of operation grossed Rs 50 Crores; and at peak it had scaled to nearly 50% of the annual revenues of Rs 3000 Cr+. This business, essentially to Corporates, SME , SOHO and Home segment, was to give the much-required ‘face’ to the common customer in India. With the aggressive initiative taken in Notebooks, to address the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ Acer has grown from strength to strength in the Indian IT industry. Retail has been another area where I have led the team at Acer in setting up the Retail network in the country, that today has a footprint in excess of 1000 nos. spanning over 100 cities and towns. 

Govt affairs & others:

  • As an Executive Council Member of MAIT (Manufacturers Association of Information Technology), have been playing a significant role in advocacy to Government on many aspects. Been part of delegations that have had meetings with senior policy shaping entities both in Govt. and otherwise. 
  • Member of the Economic Intelligence Unit of ‘The Economist’ – participate in forums on business outlook and trends.
  • Member of Gerson Lehman Group (GLG) Council and have consulted with their customers in the US, HongKong, Taiwan and some other parts of APAC. This has also entailed my visiting HongKong and Singapore on two specific assignments for interactions with key customers on a face to face basis. 
  • Have delivered guest lectures in IIM Bangalore for PGP and Research Students as well as helped the faculty with conducting industry workshops for middle and senior management. 
  • Have been a guest lecturer at IIM Calcutta for PGP X students.
  • Have been a guest lecturer at MICA, Ahmedabad for the 1st year students. 
  • Invitee by Marcus Evans for a few of their programs as an expert speaker both within India and outside.
  • Participated in plenary sessions and panel discussions in Dun&Bradstreet Knowledge Series seminars.
  •  Individual recognition for Marketing under the aegis of the World Marketing Congress as below: 
    • Pride of the Industry award in 2012.
    • 50 Most Talented Brand leaders of India in 2013.
    • 100 Most Talented Marketing Leaders in 2014.
    • 100 Most influential Marketing Technology leaders in 2015.

Being a believer of  ‘ Continuous learning’ have indulged in online courses from Coursera for well over  10 months and have qualified in all of the 10, with distinction.

Experience. Expertise. Excellence

  • Spelling out a clear vision for the company/group to declare the goal and direction for an effective outcome.
  • Heightened awareness of the product-market dynamics to understand the pulse of the industry and associated competitive trends, to pivot on a timely basis and help navigate the organization over time.
  • Robust team management skills to build team spirit and align all employees’ efforts to the organization’s objectives.
  • Sales and marketing skills to help build the brand and maintain relationship with clients and other stake-holders including regulatory bodies.
  • Operational execution to keep the business on plan and budget with sharp focus on financial parameters, ensuring that the basic health of operations is solid and sustainable.
  • Build a culture of ‘can-do’ with the right elements of evangelism, competitiveness and fair treatment for all-round inclusion.