Ford Motor Company announced the appointment of PK Umashankar as Ford Philippines’ new managing director. Umashankar “Uma” will replace Bertrand Lessard effective on July 1, 2019, and will continue to report directly to Ford ASEAN president Yukontorn ‘Vickie’ Wisadkosin.
Umashankar is currently serving as the director of Ford ASEAN’s Customer Service Division, based in Bangkok, Thailand. His new role is to keep Ford Philippines’ momentum in the Philippine market, as well as sustain the success of the blue oval brand’s refreshed lineup. He will be responsible for keeping the pace of the American brand’s expansion of dealership network, enhancing the aftersales performance that will eventually improve Ford vehicle’s cost of ownership.
Umashankar has accomplished a couple of achievements in his current position. The Indian executive aims to implement a number of initiatives to improve overall Ford’s customer experience. Among his deeds include leading efforts to streamline parts sourcing and delivery across the Ford network, as well as launching the Ford Authorized Parts Distributor Network and Ford-owned Quick Lane brand in Thailand.
Apart from being the Ford ASEAN’s director of Customer Service Division, Umashankar also served as the brand manager of Ford Asia Pacific from 2015 to 2017 and was based in Shanghai. He was the one who oversaw the region-wide launch of the all-new EcoSport, as well as an international market model called the Figo in India, Middle East, and Africa.
However, before all his regional postings, he served nearly 19 years under Ford India, where he took on roles of increasing responsibility, including leadership positions across Customer Service, Marketing, and Operations. These include being the vice president of Customer Service Operations for almost four years, where he was able to lead the set up a new modification center connected to Ford’s Chennai manufacturing facility.
There are other efforts by Umashankar, including his contribution to 40% of Ford India’s sales in his 2002-2005 position as divisional operations manager, North and East. Prior to everything else, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, as well as an MBA in Finance from the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA). Umashankar’s rich experience in parts distribution may mean that Ford Philippines may improve further on this area.