“The opportunity to work for two global and prestigious brands was something I could not pass up,” comments Biven about his move to Jaguar Land Rover. He believes that the company is “really going places and is on an upward trajectory”. Biven adds that the positive cultural ‘buzz’ reinforced his decision to move to Jaguar Land Rover.Biven specialised in fast-moving consumable goods (FMCG) companies, with Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Diageo and local FMCG companies such as Lucky Star as some of his clients, to name but a few. “I have actually worked across all sorts of industries, but FMCG seemed to be the industry I specialised in. Moving to JLR will be an interesting change in dynamic, but one that I look forward to,” he says.
“Coming across to corporate is a fantastic step. Yes, the leap across is huge in certain respects, but, fundamentally, once you really understand brand management and how to drive the equity of a brand, the step doesn’t seem so big.” He believes that developing a deeper understanding of the brands and what makes them tick is the same in consultancy as it is in corporate environments. When dealing with any brand, it is of course important to understand the marketplace and consumer landscape, and, in Biven’s words, “what levers to pull”. FMCG is incredibly strategic, in that there is a short- and long-term view, especially with global brands with a proclaimed history. He believes that his skills in this regard can be transferrable to JLR. Managing change and being able to think on your feet are viable skills, especially in a distinguished company such as JLR.
Biven clearly has a passion for the Jaguar and Land Rover brands and the opportunities that they have in sub-Saharan Africa. “Africa is a particular interest of mine. There is so much opportunity across the region right now, and this makes it very exciting to conduct business there.”JLRSA & SSA is looking forward to the launch of the Jaguar F-Type, the latest addition to the Jaguar line-up and the first to attract a new set of customers to the brand. The F-Type is described as ‘the next in a distinguished bloodline that delivers the look, the feel, the performance and handling of a Jaguar’. Biven explains that the roll-out of the F-Type in South Africa will be a huge event on the calendar this year. The car has already received huge accolades internationally “The F-Type is a phenomenal vehicle and we are looking forward to bringing this car to our customers.”
Biven is also excited by the social responsibility programmes that the company supports, as he was involved with a few in a personal capacity in Cape Town. “It’s great being part of an organisation and company where you can give back.” Biven boasts that JLRSA/SSA is affiliated to, and supports, a number of initiatives and programmes across the region. For someone who has travelled all over the world, he seems a good fit for the JLRSA/SSA brand with his charismatic personality, clear vision and worldly experience.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Jaguar name, and 75 years of looking forward, designing and building cars that represent the very best of technical innovation, design leadership and sporting success.
Peter Biven is the newly appointed Marketing and Communications Director for Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa (JLRSA & SSA). Formerly from an advertising background, he packs a whole world of experience as to how brands tick.
“I have worked for the WPP Group for most of my working life. I spent some time at J Walter Thompson (JWT), Grey and, most recently, Jupiter in Cape Town,” says Biven. He worked across the United Kingdom for 10 years, spent 2 years in China, and was then finally back in Cape Town for the past 2 years. Jaguar Land Rover was the appealing choice to convince him to settle in Johannesburg.
CASE IN POINT | Jaguar Land Rover SA
by Shalane van Rensburg