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Old 28th July 2017, 17:51   #1
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Default Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) India has appointed Raghavendra Kulkarni as the new Head of After Sales Operations. He will oversee the after sales operations for both - Fiat and Jeep and will report directly to Kevin Flynn, President and MD, FCA India.

Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations-fca-raghavendra-kulkarni.jpg

Mr. Kulkarni will also be responsible for the implementation of Mopar workshops across India and lay out a plan to expand FCA's service network in the country.

Raghavendra Kulkarni is a mechanical engineer with 32 years of experience in after sales. He has worked with major car manufacturers including Bentley, General Motors, Mahindra, Toyota and Volkswagen. He has worked in international positions in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Africa as well.
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Old 28th July 2017, 19:04   #2
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Default Re: Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

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Originally Posted by TusharK View Post
Mr. Kulkarni will also be responsible for the implementation of Mopar workshops across India and lay out a plan to expand FCA's service network in the country.
His job will start once (and only if) the Compass is priced well. Without products to ensure sales, they can't rope in more dealers and without dealers they can't get more sales as well.

The trickiest part (If the price is right) will be to expand the network as soon as possible. If the price is too good, and people want it badly - then again the lack of dealer and service network will again be questioned very badly in the social media. Further ruining the reputation and sales and existing dealers. Tricky.

If the price is wrong, can as well start sending resumes. They are not going anywhere with the other vehicles in the current range, till may be the Renegade gets here by end 2018.
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Old 29th July 2017, 12:58   #3
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Default Re: Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

I would say he has relevant experience. LinkedIn shows he was part of establishing VW's & Mahindra-Swaraj's service network (Jeep needs to install the same too) and has handled a small service network for Bentley (Jeep's will be small to start with as well).

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His job will start once (and only if) the Compass is priced well. Without products to ensure sales, they can't rope in more dealers and without dealers they can't get more sales as well.
I hear that the Compass has generated a fair amount of interest from dealers, just as it has with customers. There are too many dealerships stuck with loser brands (Chevrolet, Nissan, Skoda etc.); if I were one of them, I'd gladly switch over to Jeep. Would be worth the risk. If it clicks - which I think it will - that's a high margin product.
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Old 30th July 2017, 22:15   #4
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Default Re: Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

Mr. Kulkarni has a very critical role to play in the future of Jeep in India. And to be honest it is not going to be a walk in the park for him. However if he can pull off Jeep as a successful brand in India and gather more interest among the masses then it could very well shape a good future for not just Jeep, but eventually FIAT as whole too.
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Old 31st July 2017, 14:05   #5
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Default Re: Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

The going ain't going to be easy for Mr. Kulkarni. There is no point in FCA hiring such a guy if they are not going to be supportive of his decisions. Forget Jeep, I believe Fiat as a brand is more recognized than any other brand in FCA's India portfolio. What does Fiat sell in India? Nothing worth looking at anymore and there isn't any sign of FCA renewing the product line up. It also looks like FCA are betting big on the Jeep brand and that too with one model, the Compass. As a customer, I am not going to happy leaving my Jeep with the current network of FCA service centers. Off course, this is the reason why Mr. Kulkarni is here. All I can say is, he sure has his work cut out and I wish him the best.
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Old 3rd August 2017, 21:18   #6
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Default Re: Raghavendra Kulkarni appointed as Fiat India's Head of After Sales Operations

I would wish Mr. Raghavendra Kulkarni all the best for many reasons, they may not be much technical though, (bear with me).

1. I own a Fiat Linea Tjet and can vouch for all its worthiness :-). In fact I never knew about Fiat and had a negative image of it even before I took a test ride. (Lesson learnt)
2. They have amazing products like Tjet, Abarth, Punto in terms of performance, build quality, ride and handling, safety etc. Apart from performance these are top things one should look for considering our roads and driving manners.
3. They are courageous enough to launch abarth even though they are barely able to sell their line-up.
4. I like the classic looks and finish of most of their products - Linea, punto and just love the looks of Jeep. I wish that FIAT gets lucky with this one. They deserve it.

Just to quote on the build quality, my friend bought a Ciaz and came over to show it. While we were looking at the long list of features present in it; I was taken aback to see the entire inside panel move whenever I clicked the button for the window glass to roll up or down. Such tinny build. I did not speak much. When he sat in the linea and did the same, neither of us spoke anything. The silence was defeaning!
(No offence to Ciaz owners, its a great VFM product and the sales numbers prove it).

With all such wonderful products and their strengths, I wish Mr. Kulkarni to raise FIAT to its deserving glory. Last but not the least, I sometimes like to favor the underdog because if it wins, the happiness of that feat is incomparable.
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