It is finally formal. Putting an end to the intense speculation for the past couple of months, Rajeev Karwal, CEO & Managing Director, Electrolux Kelvinator India, has announced that he has resigned. In a note circulated among the Electrolux India senior management on Friday, Karwal said that he had put in his papers on May 2 this year. He will continue to attend office, if required, till the end of the month.
Karwal wrote: “There has been much speculation on my resignation. This note is to inform you officially that I had resigned on the 2nd of May, 2005, of my own volition. I had deliberated on the reasons leading to this decision of mine in my resignation note and hence would not like to explain them here.” Karwal added that he had “wanted to communicate this (resignation) to you earlier but circumstances prevented me from doing so.”
When contacted by exchange4media, Karwal said, “I want to take a sabbatical from corporate life for three to four months. As of now I am not joining anywhere. I have done all that I could to turn Electrolux around. In segments like microwave ovens, frost-free refrigerators and airconditioners, we have achieved a decent position in the market today.”
Karwal thanked his management team colleagues for their cooperation in the last 28 months. “You have delivered the June financial KPIs (ket performance parameters) also in most difficult circumstances. In fact, for the month of June the team delivered almost 40 per cent higher sales turnover than last year, with very tight receivables and improved margins. Many thanks for all your efforts. I have seen the July plans which are looking good,” he wrote in his parting note.
Karwal pointed out that the company’s dependence on refrigerators had been reduced substantially and “we have broken into the top 3 brands in microwave ovens and top 4 brands in ACs within one year of their launch. Within refrigerators we have been one of the fastest growing brands in frost-free refrigerators”.
His parting line: “As I relinquish this post, I have no doubt that Electrolux in India is in a very good position to see its first year of profit in 2006.”
However, the market is currently abuzz with speculation regarding the future of Electrolux in the Indian market. There is widespread speculation that the company is seriously considering selling off its manufacturing facilities. If market sources are to be believed, Videocon is top of the list of suitors.
Karwal began his career in marketing with Onida. Thereafter, he spent four years in the Kishinchand Chellaram Group in the Canary Islands, Spain, and then had a short stint with Surya Roshni. He came into prominence at LG Electronics where he was Vice-President, Sales & Marketing. From LG Karwal moved to Philips India for three years before taking up the top job in Electrolux.