John Deere’s Manny Gan goes global

By |  March 12, 2019 0 Comments
Manny Gan (Photo: Seth Jones)

Manny Gan (Photo: Seth Jones)

In December of last year, John Deere named Manny Gan as its director of global golf. Golfdom caught up with Gan at the 2019 GIS to learn more about his vision for the company.

Golfdom: Tell me about yourself?

Gan: 21 years with Deere, 17 of that 21 on the turf side. I spent a lot of time on sales and marketing. For the last 8 years, I was director of marketing for our turf and utility vehicle business, which included all the golf products, so we went around the globe and asked customers what do they need from a solutions perspective. My team and I brought our products to market … I did that for golf and commercial mowing, utility vehicles and also our consumer business. I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I’m just thrilled to be in the golf business. And excited to have the opportunity to have all the sales and marketing around the globe.

Golfdom: What direction to you bring to Deere with your new position?

Gan: For us, it’s all about the customer. We start with the customer, and we end with the customer. Around the globe, they have very similar customer needs in the golf business from our perspective. We can literally go anywhere in China, southeast Asia, Europe or here in North America and sit down with superintendents, with GMs, understand their needs and then come back and create the right solutions and business model to help them.

I think about the golf business … we are all about investing in the women and the men who take care of every hole every day, so all of us get to enjoy this game of golf. Investing in the people in the business is very important to us, the people who take care of the courses. Certainly, we want to be stewards of the environment. We believe in sustainability of the environment, that’s where we’ll focus in the future.

Golfdom: What kind of exposure will we see from you; will we see you at the US Open?

Gan: That’s a great question. We have to be where our customers are. We certainly believe that being in the industry is very important to us at John Deere. I’ll certainly be at all the major events that I can get to, relative to our schedules, I do look forward to being a part of the industry.

Golfdom: What at the show that you’re particularly excited about?

Gan: We’re very excited about our new ride-on greens mower. We spent the last five years developing it and visiting with customers all over the globe from an efficiency perspective. Our new ride-on greens mowers really help us with customers who are looking for a high quality of cut and for some labor savings. Many customers are considering triplex mowing for their greens instead of walking it. We feel like we’re going to deliver a great solution to them.

We also have a light fairway mower, it’s a hybrid version of our hydraulic version. We’re taking the hydraulics off the machine, which is very big for our customers. We’re bringing that to the marketplace and excited about that. Also, we just announced the partnership with Precision Makers, so from an autonomous solutions perspective, we’re really excited about where that takes us in the future. Many customers want to maximize their labor. If they have a crew of 15, maybe a couple of those crew members can now start doing some jobs they couldn’t previously couldn’t get to. It raises the level of the course because now, they can use an autonomous solution to mow much of the grass. We’re going to maximize (their) labor and then in some cases, there are availability labor issues, and autonomous solutions can also help there. We’re focused on precision turf in the future, and we feel like this consistency of autonomous solution from a cut quality perspective and where this precision goes in the future is really important to us from John Deere’s perspective.

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