Vinod Dasari leaves Ashok Leyland after 14 years at the wheel

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on November 13, 2018 Published on November 13, 2018

In a sudden development, Vinod Dasari (52), Managing Director & CEO of leading truck and bus maker Ashok Leyland, has resigned from his position, ending his stint of almost 14 years with the Hinduja company.

Dasari said that going forward, he would pursue his personal interests, but he did not clarify what they were. He will, however, continue in his current position until March 31.

Dheeraj Hinduja, Chairman, Ashok Leyland, said Dasari announced the decision in a discussion with the board on Tuesday. “Respecting his decision, the board has accepted his resignation,” he said.

“Under his leadership, the company has seen tremendous all-round growth in the past five years. Most importantly, he has built very strong teams, foundations of the company. I am confident the growth momentum of AL will continue,” he added.

In a sign that the company’s succession plan is not in place, the board has requested Dheeraj Hinduja to take on the position of Executive Chairman till a new Managing Director & CEO is identified.

“It is a very amicable separation. I have thoroughly enjoyed working here. There is a time in life when you want to pursue other interests. I thought about it some time ago. So, it is not a knee-jerk reaction,” said Dasari. He emphasised that there is nothing wrong with the company.

With Dasari at the helm, the Chennai-based company stormed market leader Tata’s bastion with a new, brand-focussed approach. It roped in Indian cricket star MS Dhoni as its first-ever brand ambassador to create visibility for the brand in regions other than the South. At the ground level, it ramped up its dealer and service networks. The strategy worked and Ashok Leyland became a strong pan-India truck company with a growing market share across regions.

Dasari also built technological capabilities to take on global giants such as Daimler. All these measures helped Ashok Leyland improve its market share in the Indian medium and heavy commercial vehicle market to one-third from one-fourth .

“We have laid the platform for future growth,” said Dasari. Even as Dasari announced his resignation, the company posted a strong Q2 performance. Its net profit grew 37 per cent to ₹459.58 crore for the quarter ended September 30, against ₹334.26 crore in the prior-year quarter. Its revenue increased by 25 per cent at ₹7,607.98 crore (₹6,076.38). The company has achieved double-digit EBITDA margins in 14 of the past 15 quarters.

Published on November 13, 2018
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