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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

An MBA and Engineering graduated, Dharmesh Arora possesses exceptional expertise in the operations of the automotive industry. Dharmesh carries with him an extensive experience with start-ups which are into restructuring in complex and cross-cultural environments. His global experience in highly challenging working environment has enabled Dharmesh to acquire advanced interpersonal, leadership and general management skills. Personality of Dharmesh can be defined as a demonstrated achiever who helps in building and expanding business successfully by his diverse experiences, entrepreneurship and business acumen. To talk about his passionate side, Dharmesh Arora is a keen sketcher, a fitness enthusiast and a positive thinker. Dharmesh is known as a visionary leader as he has his own unique style of keeping intact of the stakeholders and periodically motivates his employees.

Early career ...

Dharmesh started his career at his early age in 1986 and he started his career with Maruti Suzuki India Limited as Supervisor Product Engineer till 1992. It was in December 1992, that he moved to General Motors as Manager Product Engineer. In 1997, he was promoted as General Manager – Supply Chain. From the period of 2000 – 2005, he was promoted and was responsible as Supply Chain Director and was working in Thailand. After which, for about 1 year he was associated as Global Commodity Manager for Michigan USA and promoted as Global Purchasing Director for Mexico city and he was on this position for about 2 years. From 2009 to 2012 he was taking charge as Global Purchasing Director Powertrain, Michigan USA. He has been associated with General Motors for almost two decades of his career. Dharmesh has working experience in different markets of India, USA, Thailand, Japan, Mexico and Germany.

Since August 2012, Dharmesh is associated with Schaeffler India as President and CEO. The headquarters of Schaeffler is located in Germany and the company is into manufacturing and developing of the precision products for the moving parts in different parts of machines, equipments, vehicles and also in aviation. By continuing the position as President and CEO of Schaeffler India (parent company of FAG Bearing India), Dharmesh is appointed as the Managing Director for FAG Bearings India. He will also continue as the Managing Director of INA Bearings India, which is also a group company of Schaeffler India. Having worked with different companies, Dharmesh is known as a veteran of the automotive industry.

Leadership style ...

He always takes pride in his openness and he being accessible to each and everyone and this nature helps in bringing transparency in the organization and leads to building trust and enhance the team work. In view of the new standards of emission and changes in the consumer behavior patterns, Dharmesh expects for fast business expansion when compared to the industrial segment.

Dharmesh always worked closely with the customers such that the challenges with regard to efficiency, sustainability and affordability are addressed, leaving the customers happy. Dharmesh Arora opines that having been in the place of customer makes him get into the psyche of his customers and better knows about the customers.

Carrying 25 years of long journey, Dharmesh has been mould strongly and breaking off from the mould and at the same time, keeping the lessons learned intact is very difficult for any person. But this could be successfully managed by Dharmesh, having long experience in the automotive industry; he could easily shift his focus on product and technology, by applying the lessons learnt out of his experience. But to some extent as far as industrial sector is concerned, it was a learning experience. The role of heading the Indian office was really a challenging one, but Dharmesh has take it up and proved successful.

Success ...

Even in the inactive and unfavorable economic Indian climate, the leadership of Dharmesh still continues to make investments. For the current year the investments made has reached to more than 150 crore. A great motivator, a team man, focused and he is a man with a purpose. Dharmesh carries with him 27 years of experience in the automotive industry.

In order to seize the emerging business opportunities, Dharmesh have the plans for merging two different entities INA Bearings and LUK India, which would be a major expansion plan. Over the next couple of years, under the leadership of Dharmesh, Schaeffler India is planning for an investment of about 250 – 300 crore rupees per annum. The investments are planned in the areas of product development, expansion of R & D and these expansions in the words of Dharmesh are only brownfield expansions.

Challenges...

The export-oriented companies are not left without challenges, especially when the global trade follows a down trend in the country. But it is a known fact that amidst the challenges, lie many opportunities which can be turned into advantages by adopting to latest technological advancements. In a similar fashion, for the challenges discussed, there lies that opportunities as there is a huge local market which provides tremendous opportunities. Either operational, supply chain strategy or complex global purchasing issues, for that matter any of the complex global issues are appropriately managed by Dharmesh by creating a win-win solutions and his vast experience helps him to come out with the solution.

Strategies...

In order to deliver the true Schaeffler experience to the customers, Dharmesh has planned for improving ‘One face to the customer’ approach by inviting much more investments in the coming years and would prefer to stay bullish in the Indian market with regard to opportunities.

Dharmesh has positioned Schaeffler to cater to the future Indian growth opportunities by focusing more on the aerospace industry and automotive industry which includes both manufacturing and infrastructure by focusing on the product engineering capabilities and establishment of the new capabilities and improvising on the existing capabilities and thus try to win the customers.

Being the president and CEO, Dharmesh proved to be the main person behind driving the change within the company. The main focus of Dharmesh was on leveraging the global capabilities in India so that it can be offered to the customers seamlessly. All these steps constitute and become a part of customer-centric approach which constitute a part of ‘Mobility for Tomorrow’.

New strategies initiated...

Under the leadership of Dharmesh, the company has adopted the strategy of ‘Mobility for Tomorrow’ which is mainly meant for addressing some of the issues and trends related to climate change, urbanization, globalization and digitalization. The strategy is meant for focusing on four different areas such as urban mobility, inter-urban mobility, eco-friendly drives and energy chain. These focus areas enable Dharmesh to address the current and the future needs of the automation and industrial sectors. Under the concept of Industry 4.0, Dharmesh is working with some of the companies in order to demonstrate smart machining centres.

Two major initiatives that have been introduced by Dharmesh are ‘Vision 2020’ and ‘One Schaeffler India’. One of the major changes that Dharmesh is trying hard to bring is customer centricity.

A sort of hands – on approach through which the top management takes out some time and visits the floor and interactions with the employees is given importance by Dharmesh. By doing this the employees are encouraged to think and explore new ideas and the company as a whole turns innovative. According to him, knowledge and experience sharing is very much essential and the leader should always ensure that the requirements of the customer are completely understood by the team. This interaction also helps the leader to understand the expectations of the employees from the leadership and thus helps in greater employee-satisfaction.

Future plans...

Dharmesh views the future of Schaeffler India as growth in terms of acquisitions and inter development of new technologies. Some of the brands which Dharmesh desire to be under the portfolio of Schaeffler are made through acquisitions and organic growth for the company can be attained by new product development, providing new solutions and by investing more in plant and capabilities. Dharmesh concentrates more on automatic transmissions and by 2025, Dharmesh expects that at least 15 percent of the cars in India to have automatic transmissions.

Constant changes in technology and market requirements have led Schaeffler India to plan for the process of change management and modify the product development strategies. In this regard, Dharmesh has planned for a lot of learning, and has equipped with strong engineering development centres along with the engineered products which serves the customer competitive requirements. In this regard, Dharmesh has set up an engineering and development hub for products serving both the Indian and global market.

Personal life...

Dharmesh has been graduated his Mechanical Engineering from University of Mumbai and holds a TRIUM Global Executive MBA degree. He enjoys travelling, photography and tennis.

Hope readers caught up the spark...

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