PUNE: Santosh Iyer, 46, is currently associated with Mercedes-Benz India as the Vice-President, Sales & Marketing. He has been promoted as the Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, with effect from January 01, 2023.
He has been associated with Mercedes-Benz since 2009 in various leadership roles across functions. Santosh has more than two decades of diverse experience in the Indian automobile industry, spreading across sales, marketing, retail, customer service and corporate affairs.
Santosh was appointed Vice President, Sales & Marketing in July 2019. He successfully led Mercedes-Benz’s digital transformation of the business, retaining the market leadership and establishing online sales. He demonstrated remarkable leadership in managing the business and steering it to a profitable growth during the pandemic. Subsequently, he also played a vital role in conceptualizing and implementing the now industry benchmark ‘Retail of the Future’ business model.
During his current tenure, Santosh laid a strong foundation for Data analytics and pioneered online sales with its share now exceeding 15% of total sales.
Prior to his current role, Santosh headed the Customer Services, Corporate Affairs & CSR functions (Jan-2016 to June 2019) at Mercedes-Benz India. He played an important role in the turnaround of the Customer Services business with the successful set up of new initiatives like MB Tyres, Parts Trading and the Mercedes-Benz Academy. He also drove ‘service differentiation’ as the key parameter towards achieving service excellence and customer loyalty. Under Santosh’s leadership, Mercedes-Benz India significantly increased its Customer satisfaction scores and topped the J.D. Power CSI rankings for two years in a row.
During his initial stint as the Head of Marketing Communications, CRM & PR; he led some of the most exciting brand campaigns and digital outreach programmes. His major contribution was transitioning Mercedes-Benz’s imagery into a hip, cool, young and winning brand, strongly considered by the young Indian customers in their shopping list.
About Mercedes-Benz India
Mercedes-Benz India pioneered the luxury car market in India. Set up in 2009, Mercedes-Benz India’s world-class production facility is spread over 100 acres in Chakan near Pune. Since June 2015, Mercedes-Benz India also commenced production from its new expanded production facility located in the same premises. Mercedes-Benz India is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Global Production Network and plays an important role in the CKD/MVP production network in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
At these locations, Mercedes-Benz produces vehicles in various extension levels for domestic markets. The production facility carries an investment of more than INR 2600 crores and has the largest installed production capacity for any luxury carmaker in India. Mercedes- Benz India also has the largest network spread among any luxury carmaker, with presence in 47 Indian cities with over 125 touch points.