Monday, September 15, 2008

We took time to understand the Indian market: Toyota honcho

The Financial Express carried an interview with Dy. M.D. of Toyota in India. See how Toyota mentions planning as the most important approach. Typical Japanese thinking ensuring a long term strategy for success. Editor.

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Toyota, with a conservative outlook, has been shying away from the Indian market. But is now gearing up for a ‘jumpstart decade’ in India, beginning with its mass-market compact car, to be rolled out by 2011. “We are looking at a presence in all segments in the country,” says Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd. He spoke to FE’s Shweta Bhanot during the Corolla Altis launch in Mumbai recently. Excerpts:

What will be Toyota ‘s strategy as it prepares to enter the mass-market segment in India?

Toyota is a very conservative organisation. Before it comes in a big way, the company tries to understand the market, reads the customer mind, buying behaviour and then looks at maintaining a balance between cost & quality since there can be no compromise on the quality front. India is a diverse country and we entered the market with our multipurpose vehicle, the Qualis. Later the Qualis was replaced by the Innova. During this process, the vendor base and dealership development was also undertaken. Now, Toyota is geared up for what we call a ‘jumpstart decade’ in India.

Toyota has completed ten years in India. However, when it comes to market share, there is still long way to go…

We took time to understand the Indian market. We needed model line-up and capacity to achieve a sizable market share. Now we feel that we will be able to achieve at least 10% market share by 2015, which may go further up looking at the market scenario and growth prospects in India. India is the fastest growing automobile market despite the sluggish growth witnessed at the moment. We expect the Indian market to double in the next seven to ten years.

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