Tesla has officially received a business license in India that will allow the automaker to function as a full-fledged car manufacturer in one of the world’s most populous countries. Without a team of highly-experienced executives who are versed in international business, financials, and manufacturing, Tesla wouldn’t have a chance at being successful anywhere, let alone in India. Therefore, the company has called upon three executives to start the operation as they have been listed on India’s Ministry of Corporate Affairs website as the three Directors who will lead Tesla into India, an unfamiliar territory.
Tesla has had India in its plans for corporate expansion for several years. Musk met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015, where the politician expressed his support for Tesla’s mission and it’s all-electric products. But since then, Tesla has been met with nothing but roadblocks and delays. It has finally made some headway in its effort to establish a production facility or Research and Development center in the country.
Because of import taxes, Tesla’s vehicles are a rarity in India. Nearly doubling the cost of the vehicle due to getting it into the country from Fremont, California, Teslas are only driven around by the extremely wealthy. With limited charging options available in the country, it makes them even less appealing. However, the coming expansion incites consumer excitement among Indian fans of the electric carmaker, who have pushed for Elon Musk to attempt to drive his company into their country. Now it’s finally happening.
David Feinstein has been with Tesla for 8 years and 9 months, according to his LinkedIn page. His job title has always been related to Global and International business. When he started with Tesla in 2012, he was the Manager of Global Trade Compliance for its supply chain. After that, Feinstein became the Senior Manager of Global Trade, then the Director of Global Trade & New Markets. He was appointed to the Senior Director of Global Trade & New Markets in February 2020, and now his biggest project yet has been passed onto him: getting Tesla up and running in India.
Feinstein’s global trade experience will be beneficial for Tesla’s entrance into the market. Since India is one of the few countries with such a heavy import tax, which has really neutralized Tesla’s presence in the country until now, it will be interesting to see what he can do moving forward.
Vaibhav Taneja is the Chief Accounting Officer for Tesla, and he has held that position for 1 year and 11 months. He started with Tesla four years ago in February 2017 as the Assistant Corporate Controller and then moved to the Corporate Controller position. Controllers are responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of a company’s accounting department. They control the company’s cash flow and oversee the production of financial reports.
Prior to Tesla, Taneja acted as the VP and Corporate Controller of Solar City until Tesla absorbed the company, his LinkedIn states. He also has close ties with India, as he is a graduate of Delhi University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. He also attended the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Taneja will likely work to solve financial challenges as Tesla moves forward with its Indian inclusion. His proven track record with Tesla makes him a great fit for the job, and his roots in India certainly don’t hurt, either.
Venkatrangam Sreeram is the co-founder of ClearQuote, an app that uses computer vision to assess car damage. Before that, he was Managing Director of Xenon Automotive and spent nearly two years as a Project manager for Tesla’s China operation from July 2012 to May 2014. As a Project Manager, he states that he was involved in the set up of wholesales in retail operations in the country. He had automotive experience before his post at Tesla. He worked as a Project Manager and a VP of Sales Operations for Jaguar Land Rover, and an Assistant General Manager for Tata Motors in Mumbai and London.
Venkat, as he is referred to, is based in Karnataka as well, the southwest state in India that will be home to Tesla’s Indian initiative.