Generation next at Ceat’s apex
Ceat, an RPG group company and India’s fourth-largest tyre maker by tonnage, will now be steered by the generation next! Thirty year old Anant Vardhan Goenka, son of RPG Group Chairman Harsh Goenka, has taken over as Managing Director of the company where he has been serving as Deputy Managing Director since 2007.
“My aim would be to make Ceat amongst the most profitable tyre companies in India in the next five years by strengthening the Ceat brand and improving operational efficiencies,” he was quoted as saying in an interview soon after his appointment as MD.
An MBA from America’s Kellogg School of Management and a BSc in Economics from the Wharton School, he has taken over the reins from Paras K Chowdhary, who has retired. Anant was the company’s Speciality Tyre Business head before joining the Board. The young executive had served earlier as Vice President (Corporate) of KEC International and later as its Executive Director. He also had enough experience working with other RPG group firms and companies like Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong and Hindustan Unilever in Mumbai.
It is significant that Anant has assumed charge at a time when the company aims to optimise capacity utilisation of its newly installed plant in Halol (Gujarat) as well as expand its reach in Asian markets aided by a new facility in Bangladesh. Ceat also recently bought the global rights to the Ceat brand which will allow the tyre maker to market its products in Latin America and Europe both of which were restricted earlier.
Commenting on Anant’s appointment, RPG Enterprises Chairman Emeritus R P Goenka has reportedly said: "Anant will add a lot of value to the business due to his academic background and skills he acquired working with other group firms and international companies." There is no reason why he wouldn’t!
Leading BKT’s European expansion
A respected and outstanding figure in the tyre industry with a 30-year experience, matured in multiple leadership roles and leading brands in several market segments, Lucia Salmaso took over as Managing Director at BKT Europe on January 1, 2012.
As Marketing Director, Lucia has been directing BKT’s strategic marketing and communication activities since January 2009. She was instrumental in opening the European Subsidiary headquartered at Seregno (MB) at the gateway to Milan. Under her direction, BKT’s perceived value has grown exponentially: The efficient initiatives relating to the launch of the new logo over significant advertising campaigns, the brave but conscious choice of implementing independent quality testing for BKT tyres etc. have contributed immensely to confer notability and authority to Lucia, one of the few women in the top management of a multinational company. Thanks to her resoluteness, the Indian company has won recognition as a global leader in the off-highway tyre sector for technology, quality as well as for productive and distributive capacities.
“I feel honoured to be able to hold this even more strategic role,” Lucia says. “We are going to strengthen the brand and we will spare no effort in firmly trying to keep to our goal, i.e. to reach a 10% global market share for BKT EUROPE SRL by 2015,” adds a confident Lucia.
DESMA bids adieu to veteran, greets successor
On April 1, 2012, a technician holding a doctorate degree, Dr. Harald Zebedin, took over as Technical Managing Director at Klöckner Desma Elastomertechnik in Fridingen, Germany. He is now responsible for managing sectors such as technology, production, research and development, the tasks done previously by Dr. Bernd Scholz who went into a well-earned retirement by end March.
Dr. Zebedin hailing from Graz, studied and did his doctor's degree at the Technical University of Vienna and started his career at AVL in Graz, Austria, which develops power-train systems. This was followed by jobs in both the electrical and the automobile industry at VA Tech and Magna Powertrain. Since mid-2005, he has been Area Director and member of the Management Board at the company Battenfeld-cincinnati located in Vienna, Austria. These responsibilities comprised the areas of competence of purchase, production, materials logistics and quality. He was also operationally responsible for China and for the joint venture in India. Thanks to his experience gained in the electrical and automobile sectors and from the time as Division Manager in the plastics industry, he fits perfectly to the new coveted position at DESMA.