Ford Motor Company announced the appointment of PK “Uma” Umashankar as the Managing Director of Ford Philippines effective July 1, 2019. He will replace Bertrand “Bert” Lessard, who will repatriate to his home country of Canada.
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). For nearly 19 years, he worked at Ford India in roles of increasing responsibility, including leadership positions across Customer Service, Marketing, and Operations. From 2000-2002, he was Ford India’s Six Sigma Master Black Belt, where he helped promote and support improvement activities for parts distribution. From 2002-2005, he served in various roles that included North and East Divisional Operations Manager where he handled more than 40 percent 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 2005-2008, Umashankar was the General Manager for Customer Service Operations, where he led process improvements in customer service across the organization. From 2008-2011, he served as the General Manager for Product Marketing, where he helped to launch the all-new Figo, Ford’s first vehicle designed and built for the India market. From 2011-2015, he was appointed as the Vice President for 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. From 2015-2017, he was based in Shanghai, China as the Brand Manager for Ford Asia Pacific, where he oversaw the region-wide launch of the new Ford EcoSport compact SUV, as well as the new Ford Figo compact car in India and the Middle East and Africa.
Currently, Umashankar is based in Bangkok, Thailand serving as the Director of Ford ASEAN Customer Service Division, where he 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.
Umashankar will relocate to Manila, and will continue to report directly to Yukontorn “Vickie” Wisadkosin, President of Ford ASEAN. In his new role, he 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 aftersales 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.
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