Jan 4, 2008

7 Yamaha India MD, Mr. T. Ishikawa is moving back to Japan

Mt. T.Ishikawa, Yamaha India MD of two years is moving back to Japan just before the Auto Expo 2008..

I would have preferred the first post in the new season for "The Bike Chronicles of India" to start with a positive note.. but there is news that..

Yamaha India’s MD is leaving India after two years

This is what LiveMint.Com has recently reported:

"Yamaha Motor India Ltd announced on Thursday that its Managing Director Tomotaka Ishikawa is moving back to Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd in Japan to take up a new assignment effective 1 January.

The company did not give any details on his future responsibilities."

- LiveMint, 28 Dec 2007

Tomotaka Ishikawa

Mr. Tomotaka Ishikawa

So Yamaha India will get a new MD now.. what’s the big deal..??

Let me tell you that it “IS” a Big Deal..!! A Yamaha veteran of 30 years, Mr. Ishikawa wasn’t just another guy from Yamaha. Ishikawa is well known as a "Turn around Specialist" for Yamaha.

"I will turn it around,” he says “Watch me.” The determination shows.

Ishikawa stays by himself and says he has asked his wife and children to avoid visiting him."

- Mr. T Ishikawa for LiveMint, July 28 2007

Ishikawa had earned that reputation after he had successfully turned around Yamaha’s fortunes in South East Asian countries of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Similar to the current situation in India, Yamaha was languishing in these South East Asian Countries as well. It was Ishikawa who was instrumental in Yamaha’s resurgence in these countries. Under his leadership, Yamaha launched a slew of new products in these markets and implemented aggressive marketing strategies which finally manage to turn around Yamaha’s fortunes in these countries.

The same was expected from Ishikawa when he was appointed the MD of Yamaha India two years ago.

In fact LiveMint had carried an article on Mr. Ishikawa few months back which showed how determined, keen and serious Mr. Ishikawa was on turning around Yamaha India’s operations in India.

Just take at look at a few lines from that previous LiveMint article:

"I will turn it around,” he says “Watch me.” The determination shows.

Ishikawa stays by himself and says he has asked his wife and children to avoid visiting him.

He has told them he wants no distractions now and the only trip they should make to India is at the end of his tenure here."

What it means for Yamaha India..??

Honestly I don’t know what to make of this sudden end of tenure of Mr. Ishikawa. There has been no reason given for the abrupt end of his stint in India. What is more puzzling is that the announcement comes just a few weeks before the all important Auto Expo 2008.

It was Mr. Ishikawa who was instrumental in bringing down the big bikes/imports viz. the Yamaha R1 and Mt-01 in India. Even though Yamaha India sales have consistently been at the bottom for sometime now (See the Domestic sales figures of Motorcycles in 125 cc and above segment), there was hope that Mr. Ishikawa would do a turn around similar to what he did in the South East Asian countries for Yamaha.

Above 125 cc: Domestic Motorcycle Sales

Domestic Motorcycle Sales: 125 cc and above

Above 125 cc: Domestic Motorcycle Sales Graph


# Apart from Yamaha and Suzuki, the other bike makers also have models above 125 cc
# Suzuki India has only 125 cc models in it's motorcycle lineup
# Yamaha India has the "Gladiator" in its 125 cc product lineup. Doesn't have any model above 125 cc segment.

Source of Sales Figures: SIAM

What’s the Big deal if Mr. Ishikawa is gone..?? Somebody else will carry on with the job now

You cannot just throw in a few motorcycle models and hope that everything will fall into place magically.


Steve Jobs (for Apple), Sir Richard Branson (for Virgin), Dhirubhai Ambani (for Reliance), Mr. Narayan Murthy (for Infosys), Ratan Tata (for Tata Motors), Mr. Rahul Bajaj (for Bajaj Auto)

As for any nation/country, the fortune of any company depends heavily on its leadership. It is the leader who is responsible for envisioning the future and chalking out a strategy for the country/nation. A leader must be able to inject enthusiasm in his country men/company employees and make them believe and work towards the direction/dream shown by him.

It goes without saying that not every one can do what the following personalities have managed to achieve: Steve Jobs (for Apple), Sir Richard Branson (for Virgin), Dhirubhai Ambani (for Reliance), Mr. Narayan Murthy (for Infosys), Ratan Tata (for Tata Motors) and Mr. Rahul Bajaj (for Bajaj Auto).

But at least I personally hoped that with Mr. Tomotaka Ishikawa would be able to do something similar for Yamaha India to what he did in South East Asian countries.

But since he has gone back...

So what can we expect from Yamaha India now..??

If a person like Ishikawa couldn't do it for Yamaha India, then honestly I do not have the slightest idea what to expect.

Related Posts:

  • Yamaha launches the R1 and MT-01 in India [R1 & MT-01 Wallpaper]

  • Yamaha plans to launch its 150 C.C by 2008

  • Yamaha "V-ixion".. is this the 150 C.C from Yamaha for India..??

  • Indians have Unadventurous taste.. Yamaha plans an "Automatic" Motorcycle

  • John Abraham and Yamaha part ways

  • What's ailing the Japanese in India..?? [Part I: Yamaha India]

  • Will the "Yamaha Fazer 250" and "Honda CBX 250 Twister" be ever launched in India..??

  • Yamaha India hangs on to Indian market despite losses

    • Disclaimer:

      This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.


      Sajal Chakraborty said...


      Well I would say before leaving India he have two amazing gifts to India!!! The R1 and MT01

      first_synn said...

      hmmm.. i was under the impression that he didn't "quit"; rather was moved ti Yamaha North America as part of a management reshuffle. You may wanna do some research on this because the current heading is accusatory.

      Anonymous said...

      This guy has failed spectacularly. He had a relatively simple job to do, given the technology with parent Yamaha, and he made mess of it.

      Yamaha barely exist in India, whereas domestics like Bajaj are prospering.

      I wonder what this "turnaround hero"'s future holds? From now on he'll be consigned to some back burner job like managing suppliers for Yamaha.

      Payeng said...

      Thanks Synn..

      You practically are my Guardian Angel..

      I have replaced the word "Quit" from the above post..

      I should have realized that I ought be more careful with the words I use.

      Thanks again bro..

      But considering Mr. Ishikawa's credentials, he was the perfect man for Yamaha in India.. after all he had already spent 2 years in this country..

      anyone filling his shoes will have to start the process of understanding the Indian market all over again.

      Satyen Poojary said...

      Perspective.. would you still say he failed ;)

      Payeng said...

      With the YZF R15 and the FZ16 making a strong statement for Yamaha India, I would say that Mr. Ishikawa has done what should have been done 5-6 years back..

      I now say this for Mr. Ishikawa since I am sure the plans for the R15 and FZ16 must have been approved by Mr. Ishikawa during his tenure as the Yamaha India MD (a completely new platform takes around 2-3 years of development process).

      Welcome back (in the minds of desi bikers) Yamaha in India.

      Anonymous said...

      walcom 2 malaysia...
      wating yamaha type R (yamaha r15/yamaha r125)

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