Ramesh Divyanathan: BMW’s Passion Management

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THE excellence of BMW is known throughout the automotive world. One of the keys to the car company’s success is the strength of its employees, not only those at the BMW headquarters in Germany but also those at its representative offices around the world, including Indonesia.

PT BMW Indonesia is under the leadership of Ramesh Divyanathan, who was appointed the company’s president director in August 2009. He said there were not many problems in managing the Indonesian branch. “BMW has strong professionalism roots in every company line. This provides me with ease in leading the company,” he said.

Divyanathan, who was born in Singapore, said all BMW employees, both in Indonesia and in other parts of the world, are passionate and proud about working for the company. “We have a top product, top service and highly talented employees to face the competition,” said Divyanathan, who worked as a journalist in Singapore before joining BMW.

Pride in BMW products seems to motivate all employees to work hard, including Divyanathan. He said he became “possessed by the BMW spirit” when he worked as the corporate communication manager for BMW Asia Pte Ltd, in Singapore from 1995 to 2001. He never felt burdened by the workload. When he was offered the position he took up the challenge, even though he felt it was not in his field of expertise. Pride in the product and the company has always motivated Divyanathan in every position he has held in the company.

His performance as corporate communication manager led him to the higher position of corporate affairs regional manager in Singapore. Thanks to his expertise in handling communication and the media, BMW entrusted him with the company’s global communication affairs. In August 2005, he was named global media manager of BMW AG in Munich, Germany. However, he held the post only for a brief time as he was soon appointed to a better position.

For Divyanathan, challenges mean a road to pass, whether he likes it or not, which requires all of his best efforts with the German car itself as the source of his inspiration. “Once when I worked in Munich I felt very tired and bored with the job while handling an important project for BMW. To recharge my brain, I asked to leave for a while, not long, only 15-20 minutes, to drive a BMW around the factory. Afterwards, I returned in better shape than when I started my day,” he said.

His current main job is to continuously motivate his employees to work harder and achieve more, which in turn will bring BMW to the top. “I am really thankful for BMW’s strong tradition that has been maintained until today, because with such a strong tradition it is easier for me to manage BMW Indonesia.

“Now I need to motivate all of my staff to do their best for their sake and for the sake of BMW Indonesia,” said Divyanathan, who did two years of military service in Singapore before heading off to New Zealand in 1988 to attend university.

“With reliable human resources, coupled with a No. 1 product and No. 1 service in the automotive industry, I am sure BMW Indonesia can reach the top, beating its competitors in Indonesia’s premium automotive market,” said Divyanathan, pointing at the newest BMW car, the BMW X6 M, which complements the X5 M in the sports car segment in Indonesia.

He shared a little secret about the strength of the company’s human resources, saying that BMW was strict in the recruitment of new employees. “Only those with a deep passion for BMW can become our employees. Therefore, it is no surprise that there are employees from the same family but from a different generation at BMW,” he added.

It has not all been smooth sailing here for Divyanathan. When he first arrived in Indonesia, Divyanathan faced hurdles as the industry was facing unfavorable market conditions ahead of the 2009 general election. “At that time I was a bit worried about the business climate in Indonesia because of the elections. But after it was over, the automotive business climate was quite good. This was proven with our success in selling 50 units of BMW series 7 last year,” Divyanathan said.

Facing the competition in 2010, Divyanathan and BMW Indonesia are ready to launch 10 new models. Two of them have already been launched, the X6 M and X5 M. “We have prepared 10 variants of BMW for 2010. The last one we launched was the BMW X6 M, which we categorize as a sports activities vehicle,” said Divyanathan.

The BMW X6 M and the BMW X5 M are the first BMW cars with all-wheel-drive with M performance, which are designed for those who love speed and stability in driving. Both of them have M Twin Power Turbo V8 with a capacity of 4,395 cc and 555 horse power at a rotation of 6000 rpm. With such power, the BMW X6 M and the X5 M can acceleration from 0 to 100 km/hour in 4.7 seconds. “Unlike the previous 7 series, the X6 M is created more for those who love speed in driving,” said Divyanathan, commenting on the coupe.

It seems that BMW, Ramesh Divyanathan and all PT BMW Indonesia employees have become one, and have the same middle name: BMW. The years-long tradition and culture makes Divyanathan and all of his staff members share the same vision for the advancement of BMW. His belief in the success of PT BMW Indonesia begins with the strength of the product, service and human resources, who are passionate about BMW. (Burhan Abe)

The Jakarta Post, March 24, 2010

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