Santosh Iyer has been appointed as the Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India from 1-Jan, 2023. Currently associated with Mercedes-Benz India as the Vice-President, Sales & Marketing. 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 differentiator’ 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. He is instrumental in the brand building of both the AMG performance brand in India and recently that of the EQS.
Santosh started his career with Avery India Ltd, and further his entrepreneurial ambitions took him to Nepal for distribution& servicing of capital equipment while also supporting the automotive business. Setting up a successful business there, he decided to move back to India, staying with the automotive segment, as he joined Yamaha Motors India. He subsequently had various management stints across Indian subsidiaries of automotive MNCs like Toyota and Ford, before joining Mercedes-Benz India. A Graduate in Commerce from Mumbai University, Santosh holds a MBA from University of Indianapolis and a Masters in Corporate Governance and Compliance from the University of Lake Konstanz, Germany. A thorough people’s person, Santosh is highly inspired by the dynamic leadership style of Mercedes-AMG F1 boss, Toto Wolf. Originally from Thrissur, Kerala but grew up in Mumbai, Santosh is a hardcore Mumbai person at heart. He thoroughly enjoys F1, plays golf, loves long road trips with his family, relishes on simple & authentic Aglio Olio, and equally enjoys Indian street food.
We at Motor World India send out our heartfelt Congratulations to Santosh and his team at Mercedes-Benz India.