Giti international director ‘looking for progress, not perfection’
Following his appointment as Giti international director – marketing and sales, Tyres & Accessories recently caught up with Richard Lyons at the company’s UK headquarters in Cheshire and asked what’s behind the promotion. Answering, Lyons explained by putting the announcement in the context of “continual development” at Giti. In this respect Lyons’ words fit into what the company’s top management are saying on the subject.
Commenting on Lyons’ appointment Enki Tan, executive chairman of Giti Tire, said: “2014 marked a watershed year in the history of the company, not only with the decision to build our first manufacturing plant outside of Asia in the United States, but in terms of growth and profitability around the globe. Our worldwide plans going forward are just as exciting, and for these to be realised and executed we need to ensure our organisational structure is best equipped to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead.”
In practice Lyons’ new role sees him act as the interface between Giti’s global and local strategies. Asked what the first thing he will be doing as an international director, Lyons said “nothing”, explaining that he will be spending the first couple of months listening to the experienced people Giti has placed in each international market update him on the particular circumstances of each field.
Lyons points out that it is not about the top-down appointment of people from the global headquarters that don’t necessarily understand the intricacies of each local market, but rather it is about maximising the effectiveness of the talent in each market. Indeed this sums up Lyons’ view of his new role – to support local market managers in what they are doing.
Coordination of brand and strategy is another facet. This means communicating that the essence of the Giti brand needs to be maintained and that product planning needs to be maximised too. The latter point includes ensuring the efficient utilisation of design testing and product development facilities around the world.
Despite taking on an increasingly international role, and despite the fact that he will often be on a plane to either Giti’s global headquarters in Singapore or the US HQ in California, Lyons will remain based at the European head office in Germany, with visits to the UK for two to three days a month. This is based on the understandable logic that the European office (where Lyons remains managing director) is actually roughly in the middle of the two extremes and at the same time accessible to both.