B I O G R A P H Y
[Executive Vice President, Child Safety Restraint Division]
Dorel Juvenile Group, 2009 to Present
Dorel Juvenile Group is the world leader in juvenile products for safety and convenience, a $460MM division of the Dorel Corporation. As the world’s largest producer of innovative child safety products, Mr. Mahal developed them into a design and innovation leader in the industry. Mr. Mahal was recruited to further develop and create the Child Safety Restraint Division into an industry leading organization producing highly acclaimed and award winning products. Reporting to the President and CEO of Dorel Juvenile Group (DJG), Mr. Mahal is responsible for General Management and oversight of this $175MM division of DJG and has built an organization of more than 75 highly skilled workers and experts. His experience and insights created an industry-leading international capability in the US/Canada and China with matrix leadership of Sales and Operations in delivering on his full P&L responsibilities. Since taking the reigns in 2009, his strategic planning changes resulted in significant new product development with over thirty one new and derivative products placed into the market. His organizational leadership resulted in maintaining and growing DJG significantly in sales and market awareness through media recognition of the innovations created by his team. This recognition has resulted in DJG being recognized as not only the industry’s largest player but most innovative in problem solving design.
[Vice President, Research/Design/Development and Quality]
Britax Child Safety Inc., 2006 to 2009
Britax is the leader in innovative child safety restraint systems with global influence in the development of internationally acclaimed products. As the market leader in Australia, Germany and a significant player in the balance of Europe, the United States based Britax Child Safety branch of the corporation is supporting the rapid growth of the company for North America. Mr. Mahal has led the division in the effort to create and expand the research and development capabilities for meeting the aggressive growth needs of the organization. Joining the $70 million Corporation and reporting to the President, Mr. Mahal has developed and directed a staff of over 35 consumer researchers, product engineering, industrial design, program management and quality engineering professionals. Joining the firm, Mr. Mahal leveraged the strong brand recognition the Britax had developed over the years in building a key capability to address the specific needs of the North American market. Again experiencing no clear strategy for product management or new product development, he quickly recruited the key talent necessary to drive the company’s market expansion plans and was a key leader in the company realizing an increase in growth in excess of $30 million in the first year.
[Executive Director, Portfolio Management]
Sea Ray Division of Brunswick Corporation, 2004 to 2006
Sea Ray is the world's largest manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats, producing more than 40 models ranging from 18 to 68 feet. As the cornerstone unit of The Brunswick Boat Group, Sea Ray Division generates $1.1 billion revenue for Brunswick Corporation, a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Mahal joined Sea Ray as Executive Director-Portfolio Management to develop and manage the strategic direction of the product portfolio. Reporting to the President, Mr. Mahal led a staff of 20 and a budget of $6 million. He was responsible for strategic planning, consumer research, competitive research, new product engineering, current product program management, systems engineering and portfolio management. When he joined the firm, Mr. Mahal found that while the Sea Ray brand had enjoyed a leadership position in the boating industry for years, there was no clear strategy for product management or new product development. Commissioned by the President, he determined that product and program development were sales driven and lacked a vision for future offerings. There was no formal product lifecycle management plan. Competitive product evaluations were reactionary and consumer research was rarely commissioned, as the firm had relied on input from sales and dealer management. One of his first initiatives was to create and implement a Systems Engineering Capability that established a consistent, repeatable and measurable process approach to translate customer needs into measurable requirements and product specifications. With the consumer driven strategy in place, Mr. Mahal integrated it into a High Performance Product Development process that increased product development consistency and reduced the time required to launch product improvements and enhancements by 40%. The High Performance Product Development system enabled collaboration of all functional disciplines throughout the organization from concept development to execution. It identified market gaps and opportunities where Sea Ray could capture additional market share. Within two years Mr. Mahal led the development of three products and improved revenue contributions from the portfolio over 35% from the previous year. Mr. Mahal further enhanced Sea Ray’s product development capabilities by leveraging outside resources including a number of key suppliers of parts and components. Sea Ray had not sought input from suppliers in the up front, or advanced, design process. He initiated regular meetings with key contributors that expanded Sea Ray’s R&D and market research capabilities dramatically. Additionally, he designed and implemented an advanced sourcing and technology integration process, which improved the involvement and collaboration of suppliers with the Sea Ray product development capability. As a result, Sea Ray is able to more rapidly introduce product enhancements and new technologies such as biometrics into its products and gain competitive advantages. Within the important Sports Cruiser team, he commissioned a comprehensive consumer and competitive analysis of a key market segment. Research findings identified a number of consumer and competitive enhancements. He led the development and implementation of the Sports Cruiser strategy that differentiated pricing, product features and service to create competitive advantage. His team’s efforts were recognized in the marketplace by a 35% increase in sales and by J.D. Powers and Associates awarding Sea Ray the Highest Customer Satisfaction Award in the Sports Cruiser category three years in a row.
[Strategic Program Director, Advanced Product Development]
Division of HNI Inc., 2002 to 2004
HON Industries is a $2.1 million leader in the contract office furniture segment, sold through big box office supply outlets such as Office Depot and Staples. The HON Company had dominated the price/quality segment of office furniture based upon their operational efficiency and ability to produce products of exceptional quality at a low cost point. Aggressively recruited by HON as the Strategic Program Director, Advanced Product Development, Mr. Mahal was charged to develop and execute a strategic shift that would enable HON to move from being a "fast low cost follower" in the market to a company recognized for innovation and product design leadership in the $10 billion/year contract office furniture industry. Reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, he managed a team of twenty and a budget of $6 million. Mr. Mahal directed lean product development teams across three business units. He led industrial design and engineering in the development of over sixty-five new and innovative product concepts. He immediately developed and implemented an advanced research and development process. Mr. Mahal directed market research and ethnographic research teams in the identification and understanding of emerging trends and unmet consumer needs for product and service solutions. Mr. Mahal directed the development of sixty-five new product concepts in six categories. Following the design and testing of concepts, four product lines were chosen for national product introductions. Mr. Mahal created business plans, and worked closely with the manufacturing and marketing commercialization teams. The new products are on-plan and on-target to deliver in excess of $30 million in gross profit in the first two years.
[Vice President, Product Development & Engineering]
Herman Miller Inc., Meridian Division, 1999 to 2002
The Meridian Division is a $700 million unit of the $2.2 billion Herman Miller firm. Mr. Mahal held full P&L responsibility for all operations and reported directly to the Division President. He managed a $6 million operating budget and his staff of as many as 125. He served as a member of the Product/Marketing Steering Team, the Product Development Leadership Team and the Executive Management Team of the Meridian Products Division. Mr. Mahal was instrumental in re-establishing Herman Miller as the industry leader in design innovations. The firm had multiple divisions, primarily from acquisitions, and lacked a company-wide collaborative R&D program. Mr. Mahal’s charge was to develop a more cohesive and innovation-driven organization, emulating the parent company’s approach to engineering and development. The first task was to design and implement an organizational structure that eliminated the old “departmentalized” approach and replaced it with a team-based structure. His new operational practices emphasized concurrent research, design and engineering methods. Both product development and tooling activities were accelerated, reducing product development cycle times and manufacturing integration issues. Direct material savings of $4.3million were achieved, with a cost of goods savings of $12 million in the second year of implementation.
[Director, Custom Product Development & Engineering]
Herman Miller Inc., Tailored Product Solutions, 1996 to 1999
Mr. Mahal was promoted to this position, where he held general management responsibility for Herman Miller’s customer centric operations and the strategic direction of research, design and development. He led the efforts to design sophisticated products and services and built relationships with clients to serve their work environment needs. This represented a shift for the firm, focusing on new issues arising in high growth industries and growth environments and creating solutions before major work environment issues arose. Mr. Mahal moved Herman Miller from being solely a mass producer to one where individual platforms were created or tailored to meet the specific needs of key clients – and then transformed for mass production. He created the business model and infrastructure to operationalize the new direction. The new approach resulted in over 350 global client engagements and more than 45 new product concepts created for clients like Disney and Wells Fargo. By being closely involved in clients’ long-term business strategies and aspirations, Herman Miller developed strong, lasting business partnerships, repeat business and a reputation unmatched in the industry.
[Director, Research & Design/Development]
Herman Miller Inc., Europe, 1995 to 1996
Mr. Mahal’s success in the firm led to his selection to reorganize all of the research and development resources located throughout Europe into one cohesive and collaborative group, and direct all international development needs for the firm. When he arrived, Mr. Mahal discovered an R&D process that was fragmented and focused on individual countries, resulting in products that were not compatible with each other and did not always represent the best of Herman Miller’s style and approach. Mr. Mahal developed a new organizational structure and implemented practices and methodologies to create new products and update current ones to support broader application across Europe. He consolidated the firm’s resources throughout the continent and focused them on the broader market. The Herman Miller product line saw a 10% increase in sales in the first year of the new design program.
[Program Manager, New Product Design and Development]
Herman Miller Inc., 1989 to 1995
Mr. Mahal was recruited to Herman Miller as Program Manager for the seating division. In this position, he led product research, design and development for the upgrade and replacement of current products as well as the introduction of new solutions to the market. A major accomplishment during this period was the introduction of the now-famous Aeron Chair, an ergonomic seating product that revolutionized the office seating industry and re-established Herman Miller as the market leader in this category. The product has contributed over $750 million in incremental sales to date and garnered the Design of the Decade Award from Business Week magazine.
[Project Manager, Manufacturing/Industrial Engineering]
Shaw-Walker Company, 1983 to 1989
Mr. Mahal was recruited to Shaw-Walker to manage capital infrastructure projects. The work involved a high degree of interface with local government officials and commissions, a logical role based on his prior experience as Systems Engineer with defense contractor Teledyne. Shaw-Walker was in a high growth mode and needed his expertise to address its manufacturing facility expansion. To support the rapid growth environment, Mr. Mahal built a staff of twelve engineers and technicians. He provided leadership and direction for the manufacturing, industrial and facilities engineering staff as well. The systems and capabilities he developed supported the firm’s growth from $90 million to $150 million in five years.
[Systems Engineer, Teledyne Brown Engineering]
Teledyne Inc., 1982 to 1983
Mr. Mahal joined the Refurbishment Engineering Operation at Teledyne as the firm sought to become a leader in developing military countermeasure enhancements and updating US and allied land attack equipment. He provided engineering evaluation and analysis expertise and managed technical resources in support of this new direction. The work required extensive travel to the Middle East and Secret Clearance.