FORD MOTOR COMPANY last Monday announced the appointment of PK Umashankar (‘Uma’) as managing director, Ford Philippines, effective July 1. Umashankar is currently serving as director, Customer Service Division, Ford ASEAN, based in Bangkok.
Umashankar will relocate to Manila, and will continue to report directly to Yukontorn ‘Vickie’ Wisadkosin, president, Ford ASEAN. He will replace Bert Lessard, who will repatriate to his home country of Canada.
In his new role, Umashankar will be responsible for continuing to drive Ford’s momentum in the Philippines, including sustaining the success of Ford’s nearly fully refreshed vehicle lineup in the market, continuing the ongoing expansion of the Ford dealership network, and further enhancing the after-sales experience including driving a more competitive cost of ownership structure for Ford customers.
“Uma’s leadership and real hands-on approach, coupled with his extensive experience across the business, will help us continue to grow our business and further strengthen our brand in the Philippines,” said Wisadkosin.
In his current regional customer service role, Umashankar has been working with both the Ford dealer networks and Ford customer service teams across the ASEAN markets to implement a number of successful initiatives aimed at improving and enhancing the overall Ford customer experience.
This includes leading efforts to streamline parts sourcing and delivery across the Ford network, the appointments and launch of the Ford Authorized Parts Distributor Network in Thailand, as well as the launch of the Ford-owned Quick Lane brand in Thailand.
From 2015-2017, Umashankar served as brand manager, Ford Asia Pacific, based in Shanghai, where he oversaw the region-wide launch of the new EcoSport compact SUV, as well as the new Ford Figo compact car in India and the Middle East and Africa.
Prior to his regional postings, Umashankar served for nearly 19 years at Ford India in roles of increasing responsibility, including leadership positions across Customer Service, Marketing, and Operations.
This includes nearly four years as vice-president, Customer Service Operations, where he led efforts to implement a new nationwide parts distribution center and set up a new modification center connected to Ford’s Chennai manufacturing facility.
Prior to this, Umashankar served for almost four years as general manager, Product Marketing, during which time he helped to launch the all-new Figo, Ford’s first vehicle designed and built for the India market.
As general manager, Customer Service Operations from 2005-2008, Umashankar led process improvements in customer service across the organization, which helped drive observed customer satisfaction improvements.
From 2002-2005, Umashankar served in various roles that included divisional operations manager, North and East, which represented more than 40% of Ford India’s sales; national parts operations and service marketing manager, where he led the company’s spare parts operations and business development of service operations; and national service planning and marketing manager, where he helped deliver service marketing initiatives to improve customer service.
From 2000-2002, Umashankar served Ford India as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, during which time he helped promote and support improvement activities for the business, most notably in the area of parts distribution.
Umashankar earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, and an MBA in Finance from the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA).