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Maruti recasts marketing for a sporty look

20-September-2005
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Maruti recasts marketing for a sporty look

Maruti Udyog has gone in for massive restructuring of its marketing network to make the company more nimble and responsive to local/regional needs. Under the new structure, Maruti has cut down on overlapping functions and lines of authority and streamlined the entire structure to concentrate both responsibility and accountability in the hands of four zonal heads.

According to company officials, the new set-up divides the entire country into four regional strategic business units (SBUs) to be headed by a commercial business head (CBH). The CBH - whose rank is that of a general manager, but who will wield complete control over the entire sales, marketing and service requirements of his region - will essentially act like the CEO of his zone and all other functional general managers will work through him.

The new system has also increased the number of regional managers from 13 to 22, making each state a 'region' with a manager in charge. The regional managers, in turn, report to their respective zonal managers or CBHs on all aspects of marketing and sales including Maruti's other service businesses like finance, True Value and insurance. Each CBH has a zonal deputy GM under him to look after the services part of the business. The four CBHs, in turn, report to director sales and marketing K Saito.

The new system is a big change from the earlier structure where a multitude of GMs - in charge of separate functions like sales, marketing, dealer development, True Value, insurance & finance, spare parts etc - reported to Mr Saito and had 13 regional managers reporting to them. The dealer network, in turn, reported to the RMs. The restructured network will allow Maruti greater flexibility to forge local marketing and promotional strategies and extend dealer and service footprint countrywide.

“The ultimate aim of the CBH would be that they would become marketing and sales companies including services and we would become just a manufacturing company,” Maruti MD Jagdish Khattar told ET. “We start off by tailoring every region's marketing and sales needs to local requirements.” Maruti has also inducted a mix of MBAs, engineers and bean counters in its choice of CBH to make sure the handling of the regions is different. Currently, there are four MBAs, one engineer and a service expert among the roster of freshly-minted CBHs.

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