As someone who has lived in 15 different cities, Ashmita Randhawa is no stranger to change. From an early age Ashmita and her family moved often. She grew up in the Himalayan Mountains in India before moving to the Andaman Nicobar Islands, then to Devlali, before eventually settling in Brampton, Ontario. Ashmita explains that each experience shaped her in a different way, making her highly adaptable to new environments and situations, while also enabling her to develop a unique perspective on the world.
Currently working at Ford of Canada as a retail marketing strategy analyst, her role informs decision-making by key business units from coast-to-coast, helping them achieve their monthly sales objectives. With ever-changing priorities and a constantly shifting competitive landscape, the role requires the ability to be nimble, fast-thinking and highly adaptive. Ashmita’s team provides Canadian market intelligence, deep-dive analysis, forecasting models, and payment approaches to help guide Ford of Canada’s strategic decisions.
“My team is highly autonomous, and everyone has a clear role. This enables us to move effectively and efficiently, ultimately helping Ford of Canada operate more competitively,” says Ashmita. “Above and beyond the satisfaction I get from knowing my team helps to strengthen Ford’s bottom line, our structure, flexibility and competency makes my role incredibly rewarding”.
Reflecting on her path to Ford and what got her to where she is today, Ashmita says that early in life she gained a solid understanding of the sacrifices her parents made to put her and her siblings through school. Witnessing their efforts, she was determined not only to make her parents proud, but also to diminish any financial burdens they carried. After receiving a diploma in mechanical engineering in India, she earned an MBA from McMaster University, taking on three co-op positions to independently fund the advanced degree.
With a background in mechanical engineering, the automotive sector was always on Ashmita’s radar, but it wasn’t until her third Ford of Canada co-op placement that she realized the industry was a perfect fit. Ashmita ultimately decided to extend the four-month co-op to eight months before landing a full-time position in Parts Marketing as an assistant product plans manager.
When asked what she loves most about her current role, Ashmita says it is the fast-paced, tactical nature of the job. She shares that while strategies created by her team are typically set months or years in advance, when products land in the market, they are often adjusted at rapid speed to achieve optimal results.
“The Built to Lend a Hand program - a response to the COVID-19 pandemic - was built in 36-hours to address a need from Canadian consumers during an unprecedented and challenging time,” says Ashmita. “In just a day-and-a-half, we conducted costing, testing and coding, while also working with the communications team to push out messaging about the program. This was incredibly rewarding and exciting work on the type of project I dreamed of doing after completing my MBA.”
Ashmita’s tenacity, willingness to step outside of her comfort zone, and pleasure for her work have enabled her to achieve success at Ford of Canada. She was included in Ford’s 2019 30 Under 30 as a fellow for the program and was the recipient of the 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Award based on her work with Women of Ford – a group that she holds near and dear to her heart.
When she’s not working, Ashmita loves spending as much time as possible outdoors. She discovered a passion for nature and wildlife growing up in the small, idyllic Himalayan town of Narendra-nagar. Ashmita prides herself for being a lifelong learner, most recently taking up coding and skiing.
Reflecting on her personal accomplishments, Ashmita says her family persevered through a challenging transition immigrating to a new country. She recalls initial struggles to make ends meet and feeling unsettled and is honoured to see how far her family has come.
After facing financial hardships at the beginning of her MBA degree, Ashmita was ultimately able to complete it with minimal debt. With smart management of her money, she has also funded her own wedding and purchased her first home before the age of 30. Ashmita says through discipline, spirited enterprise and a strong support system including her friends and family, her husband, and a fantastic team at Ford of Canada, she’s been able to achieve a lot of her goals and knows much more is on the horizon.