Toyota hosts sales and service skills contest for India dealer network

by Autocar Pro News Desk 07 Aug 2017

Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), which has its own skilled workforce development programme across its dealer network in the country, recently conducted an in-house ‘National Skill Championship 2017’ for all its dealership personnel across India. The skill contest is a TKM initiative, in consonance with the Skill India initiative, to bridge the growing skill gap in Indian industry.

TKM has been organising the sales and service skill contest for the past 15 years under different disciplines like Technician-General, Service Advisor and Service Parts, Sales and Customer Relations.

This year’s contest honored 111 finalists recognising their excellence in the areas of sales, service and customer relations categories. Held at three levels – across dealerships, regional and national levels – the contestants were evaluated on various parameters such as knowledge, process demonstration, soft skills and proficient role plays in providing premium customer experience and human touch among others. 

According to TKM, this year saw 48 sales personnel, 48 service personnel and 15 customer relations personnel from Toyota dealerships participate in the contest. The finale was attended by Rajeev Nair, general manager – Toyota Motor Asia Pacific; Babu Moopan, dealer principal – Nippon Toyota along with the senior management of Toyota Kirloskar Motor;  Akito Tachibana, MD; Shekar Viswanathan, vice chairman and whole-time director; Yoshihiro Horinouchi, DMD; T S Jaishankar, DMD; N Raja, senior VP and director; senior VPs Hitoshi Iwanaga, Akitoshi Takemura, Kan Asaine, Raju B Ketkale, Sailesh Shetty; B Padmanabha, VP and S K Keshava Prakash, vice-president.

There were a total of 21 winners, 9 from the sales, 9 from service and 3 from customer relations categories. The winners are listed below:

The winners were awarded a cash prize, rolling trophy, winner plaque and a gold medal. The champion from each category will represent TKM at the National Champions Assembly to be held at Japan in October 2018 at a global level.

Commenting on the conest, N Raja, senior VP and director (Sales & Marketing), TKM, said: “My heartiest congratulations to all the participants for upping the ante of this skill championship each year by exhibiting exceptional performance in each category. Each one of them deserves appreciation for their dedication and enthusiasm. Customer delight is the cornerstone principle for Toyota. To achieve this, it’s essential to hone the skill sets of the personnel periodically.” 

“The National Skill Championship is a platform that not only recognises and rewards the best performers but also gives our dealership staff an opportunity to sharpen their skill sets. It is also a powerful means to assess the training needs to build a strong pool of skilled staff. We strongly believe that competitiveness will in turn nurture a healthy work environment and develop each of our employees’ potentials, challenging them to aim higher and be the best. This further enriches the best-in-class sales and service levels at each customer touch-point.”

“In addition, we at Toyota Kirloskar Motor, constantly work towards improving the skills of our employees and develop them through a comprehensive on-the-job training program to transform them into world-class skill champions. We have undertaken dedicated initiatives such as establishing the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI), Toyota Technical Education Program (TTEP) in addition to an in-house Gurukul and other comprehensive training programs to nurture the manpower skills to higher levels with great career prospects,” added Raja. 

Enhancing skill sets

TKM says it continually undertakes training initiatives for its personnel in areas such as dealer networking, marketing skills, customer voice, periodic reviews and coaching skills for team leaders and provide its sales and service personnel a comprehensive module on topics such as basic auto technology, products, sales SOP (Standard Operating Procedures), team development and value added services to enhance overall customer satisfaction.

In 2007, TKM also established the Toyota Technical Training Institute (TTTI) which offers a three-year rigorous full-time training in – Automobile Assembly, Automobile Paint, Automobile Weld and Mechatronics. Additionally, Gurukul, a well-equipped learning centre at TKM, imparts diverse training to employees at all levels which helps them to improve their abilities and thoroughly fulfill their roles.

To ensure that only the highest level of automotive professionals work on Toyota vehicles, the company has partnered with industrial and technical training institutes all across India to create the Toyota Technical Education Program (T-TEP). The program aims at providing technical know-how training to ITI students across India along with providing hands on real time experience within Toyota dealerships. Over 10 years, TTEP is now associated with 46 training institutes under the program, across India.