Exclusive: K Vijaya Kumar appointed CEO of Greaves Electric Mobility as Sanjay Behl steps down

A former president at Greaves, the company will be banking on Vijaya Kumar's new strategy to come back in the reckoning amid falling volumes and market share.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 05 Apr 2024 Views icon24162 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Exclusive: K Vijaya Kumar appointed  CEO of Greaves Electric Mobility as Sanjay Behl steps down

As part of revamping its future strategy, Greaves Electric - has brought on board K Vijaya Kumar as its new Executive Director and CEO of the company.

Vijaya Kumar takes charge from Sanjay Behl, who has resigned from his position. Kumar joins Greaves from SAR Electric Mobility - which is into the electric two and three-wheeler space. 

An automotive industry veteran who has worked with Greaves Cotton in the past as its president between 2017 and 2020, makes a comeback to help revive the EV business, which has more than halved.

Greaves Electric was averaging about 12,000 to 13,000 units a month and was amongst the top three players in FY22, but the discontinuation of subsidy and the inability of the company to come back on the Government’s portal to claim incentives despite paying a penalty almost 6 months ago has impacted the brand's competitiveness.  

Vijaya Kumar – who terms himself as a turnaround specialist on his LinkedIn profile – moved to Greaves from his previous role as MD and CEO of SAR Electric Mobility – and will be crafting a new plan towards profitability.    

A Greaves Electric Mobility spokesperson confirmed the development and said, “We eagerly anticipate K Vijaya Kumar’s leadership as we continue to pursue success and growth in the electric mobility sector.  Sanjay Behl, CEO of Greaves Electric Mobility, has opted to pursue personal interests outside the organisation.”

The brand has slipped to number 8 and volumes have fallen below 5000 units a month.  Lower volumes and the inability to access subsidies has rendered the brand highly uncompetitive.

To be sure, the top three players of FY22 – Hero Electric, Okinawa and Greaves Electric Mobility have borne the biggest brunt of the change in the subsidy regime. All of them are working hard to re-align their business operation to compete with the likes of Ola, Ather, TVS Motor and Chetak Technologies – who have risen up the ranks thanks to investors money and legacy money fueling EV business.   

Apart from the resignation of Sanjay Behl, the head of product planning and the HR head of Greaves Electric Mobility have also stepped down recently.

At the same time, the company had also resorted to some right-sizing activity of several dozen employees to become leaner and agile. About 5-10% of the workforce was either asked to go or moved to other group companies.

The spokesperson added that every year, the company comprehensively assesses its business strategy, adapting it to accommodate shifts in the business landscape. 

“Given the dynamic nature of our environment, this entails organisational restructuring, including reassessing our skill set, redistributing resources to different businesses within our Group and potential employee transitions. Such adaptability is vital for companies like ours to sustain agility and flexibility and avoid redundancy. We are steadfast in our dedication to enhancing value for our business, employees, and shareholders,” added the spokesperson.

Under Vijaya Kumar – the company is likely to realign its future product portfolio and network strategy to get back in the reckoning and compete with the likes of Ola, Ather and other legacy players.  

 

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