Ford India has promoted Raj Sarkar as vice-president, marketing. He will be based in Gurgaon and will report to Vinay Piparsania, executive director, marketing, sales and service, Ford India.
He replaces Sriram Padmanabhan, who stepped down as VP, marketing in April after the Ford-JWT fiasco. The controversy broke after a series of offensive ads for Ford's hatchback Figo were leaked online on Ads of the World, a website where agencies have been known to upload unpublished work. Given the provocative nature of the creatives, within hours, criticism flowed in from every side and questions were raised. Both Ford and JWT were forced to issue an apology for it.
Sarkar has more than 17 years of experience and joined Ford in 1996. He has handled several responsibilities for product, consumer marketing, sales and strategy.
Piparsania says, "Sarkar's extensive marketing experience along with the rich global perspective that he has gained over the years with Ford will surely help us go further with our brand and business in India."
Before joining Ford, Sarkar was manager at Lincoln Global Business Strategy, where his responsibilities ranged from leading strategic projects and initiatives to managing governance and operations for the Global Lincoln team.
Ford India has also promoted Rahul Gautam (erstwhile marketing manager for B-car products across Ford Asia Pacific) to general manager, consumer marketing; and Vinay Raina (general manager, sales planning) to general manager, product marketing.
The entire marketing team will continue to work in tandem with the sales team headed by Anurag Mehrotra, vice-president, sales, who was appointed in his new role effective February, 2013.
Ford India was set up in 1995 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, a global player in the automotive industry. Ford India manufactures and distributes automobiles and engines made at its manufacturing facilities at Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai. The company's models include the Endeavour, Fiesta and the Figo.
The company also has interests in IT services, accounting and finance, financial services and automotive operations support, global analytics and engineering services. It employs more than 10,000 people across India.