Vimal Sumbly rumoured to take over Harley-Davidson
Major movements in the Indian automotive industry kicked off earlier this month when Vikram Pawah moved from BMW India to take over at CEO of BMW Group Australia. It was followed by Rakesh Srivastava, formerly director of sales and marketing at Hyundai India, putting in his papers to, as the industry grapevine puts it, take over the reigns at BMW India. Now there’s big movement in the Indian motorcycling space with Triumph India managing director and CEO, Vimal Sumbly, resigning to, as the grape vine again speculates, take over the reigns at Harley-Davidson India. Meanwhile, veteran of Triumph’s India operations and formerly national head of sales and dealer development, Shoeb Farooq, has been promoted to general manager of sales and marketing at Triumph India with immediate effect. Farooq has been Sumbly’s right hand man for the past five years and has had a ring side view to the growth of the British brand in the country.
Brand Harley-Davidson has been in desperate need of leadership in India since the departure of former MD Anoop Prakash and the brief reign of Vikram Pawah who is now Chairman of the BMW Group in India in addition to heading BMW in Australia. Harley-Davidson’s India operations is currently helmed by Peter MacKenzie who took on additional responsibility for India in addition to continuing his role as MD for China. If Sumbly does move to Harley as is being speculated at the moment, with his enormous experience of the Indian motorcycle industry, he will be all set to provide that leadership and help the American brand steer a course that will see it retain the leadership status in the luxury motorcycle segment.
Vimal’s stint at Triumph
Following Triumph’s entry into India, Vimal has led the company from the front with a well thought-out strategy that saw the growth of the adventure biking segment and the launch of several products, starting with the Bonneville. He has successfully created a Triumph community in India where there was none and built an excellent reputation for the brand. He’s also master minded some brilliant strategic moves, including playing a vital role in the partnership that Triumph inked with Bajaj Auto to produce a small capacity (relatively) machine leveraging each others’ core strengths. Triumph’s loss of course will now be Harley’s gain for Vimal will surely be looking to first replicate, and then exceed the successes he had in his stint at Triumph.
Vimal Sumbly offered no comment on where he is moving to except for saying, “I have not finalised anything at the moment. After very long I want to take a holiday and spend time with my family and friends. As an Indian CEO I am very proud that we made a successful brand from scratch in five years. Now I want to enjoy my holiday and then take up a new challenge.”
Expect announcements from Harley-Davidson India and of course BMW India very soon on new appointments.
We wish both Vimal and Shoeb the very best as the Indian luxury motorcycle segment starts off on a new chapter.