As the president of the PV division. Pareek was the chief operating officer of marketing and sales at Maruti Suzuki for over 20 years and was behind the company’s drive into the rural markets, launching mobile vehicle servicing units in remote regions.
Pareek’s primary focus is on boosting the dealer network of Tata Motors: “India is spread over 650 districts and 5,500 tehsils. But our footprint is limited.” The company has just 460 dealerships in the country even though it is one of the oldest auto companies in India. In comparison, Maruti has the largest pan-Indian service network with 3,060 outlets. Even a relatively new entrant like Nissan has 160 dealerships in the country. Pareek plans to triple the dealer network to
1,500 in the next four to five years. “We are coming out with the concept of mobile services, which is piloting in Delhi and Mumbai. We will scale it up across India once it’s ready. Effective and cost-effective service is important for creating loyal customers,” he says.
Rural India is another big and, as yet, untapped opportunity for Tata Motors. At least 30 to 40 per cent sales should come from the rural market, believes Pareek. Rising prosperity and infrastructure creation in India’s towns and villages have created a big market for car companies, he adds.
But the going won’t be easy as Maruti and Hyundai have stolen a march over others in the rural markets. Indian carmakers will need to raise their after sales service standards to differentiate themselves from the competition, according to Rakesh Batra, Partner and National Leader. Automotive Sector. Ernst & Young (EY “It’s time to bring fast- track service facilities, which is prevalent in the western world. Here, operations of dealer networks are be- low par, compared with the global standards,” he says, adding that parts inventory