A. O. Smith names new Managing Director for Indian operation


Parag Kulkarni Bangalore, India—Global water technology company A. O. Smith Corporation has named Parag Kulkarni as Managing Director of its A. O. Smith Water Products Pvt. Ltd. operations in Bangalore.

As managing director, Kulkarni will have full profit and loss responsibility for the operation, which manufactures residential water heaters and recently launched a line of residential water treatment products for the Indian market.  In 2008, A. O. Smith became the first U.S. water heater company to enter the Indian market and, two years later, opened a world class 297,000 square foot manufacturing operation in Bangalore.

“Parag has proven he has a great understanding of the India market,” David Warren, vice president-international for A. O. Smith, commented in making the announcement. “I am confident his experience in developing teams and his knowledge of the markets we serve will be of great value as we grow to be a leader in the product categories in which we participate.”

Kulkarni joins A. O. Smith from Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting where he spent 21 years in increasingly responsible assignments. His last position was as senior vice president and business head of Commercial Lighting. He also directed the “Clean Ray” business unit for the last six years. He successfully steered the lighting business to move into the LED lighting space.

During his time at Wipro, he created the Wipro Furniture Business while helping the organization to become among the Top Office Furniture companies in the country.

Kulkarni is a mechanical engineer from the Government Engineering College in Jabalpur and an MDBA from the Institute of Management Development and Research in Pune. In 2009, he completed the Global Advanced Leader Program through McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 

He has received numerous professional awards including the “Among 50 Most Talented CMOs of India” and the “Top 100 Marketing Leaders in India.”

Since entering the Indian water heater market, A. O. Smith has earned a reputation for manufacturing and marketing high-quality, premium products. The company has achieved 5-Star ratings for its high-efficiency products and earned the prestigious Product of the Year designation for its high-efficiency HSE line of water heaters.

The company recently completed an expansion project at its Bangalore facility to accommodate the February launch of the residential water treatment line of products.