Royal Enfield’s president Rudratej Singh quits

by Amit Panday 08 Jan 2019

A little while after Autocar Professional broke the news that Royal Enfield’s President, Rudratej Singh (Rudy) has resigned from his current role and is moving on from the Eicher Motors’ owned motorcycle business, the Chennai-based motorcycle maker officially confirmed the news through a release. It remains unclear where Rudy is headed. Rudy had been at Royal Enfield for about four years.

Singh, who had an FMCG background and worked for Unilever in Singapore prior to his appointment as the President at Royal Enfield in January 2015, was based in Gurgaon and reported to Eicher Motors’ MD and CEO, Siddhartha Lal.

Singh’s primary responsibilities at Royal Enfield included leading the commercial business for the iconic motorcycle brand in India and globally. It also included global sales, after-sales, branding and marketing, new product strategy and driving new business opportunities for the company that also involved apparel and merchandise vertical.

Some of the recent successes such as Classic 350 Redditch, Thunderbird 500 X and 350 X, Classic 350 and 500 series (including limited editions) are a few examples of product strategies at work understood to be potentially coined by Singh during his stint.

Lalit Malik to be the new CCO
This publication also learns that the company's top management has been restructured, another fact that company confirmed later through its release. Lalit Malik, who is currently serving as the CFO, is to also take up the role of Chief Commercial Officer (COO).

Shaji Koshy (Head – Business Markets, India), Rod Copes (Head – Business Markets, North Amercia), Arun Gopal (Head – Business Markets, Europe and LATAM), Vimal Sumbly (Head – Business Markets, APAC), Rich Rawlins (Head – motorcycle accessories), Puneet Sood (Head – apparel) and Pankaj Sharma (Head – customer experience) will all now report to Malik in his new role effective immediately.

Malik, an IIM-Bangalore alumni, has been serving Royal Enfield for the past eight years, the period during which this company has recorded a robust turnaround. Notably, Royal Enfield’s cumulative sales increased from about 52,000 units (in CY2010) to more than 800,000 units in FY2018. To industry insiders, Malik is already known for keeping a close watch on the operational efficiencies and improving cost structures within the company and also as someone who exercises strict control on investments and profitability.

According to reliable sources aware of the new management restructuring, Lal plans to oversee two functions – Product Strategy & Industrial Design, and Brand and Marketing. Mark Wells (Head – Product Strategy and ID) and Shubhranshu Singh (Head – Global Brands) will report to Lal directly.

In December 2018, the company reported total monthly despatches of 58,278 units, down by 13 percent YoY (including domestic and export businesses).

The 350cc models, which have been contributing lion’s share in Royal Enfield’s volume growth in the past, reported a decline of 15 percent YoY in December 2018 (53,790 units against 63,269 units in December 2017).

Also read: Two-wheeler demand crawls in December 2018