“We decided that we weren’t going to be in any business that wasn’t global. You’re not safe if you’re only at home. You can’t compete in a small pool anymore”
Born on 1st May 1955, in Mumbai, Anand Mahindra is the son of the second daughter of K.C. Mahindra, the founder of Mahindra Ltd. His educational qualifications include a graduate degree from the Harvard College, Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Boston. After graduating from Harvard Business School he joined Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Ltd, as an Executive Assistant to the Finance Director in 1981. He gradually rose up to the post of President and Deputy ManagingDirector of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. Under his leadership, the company expanded into the sectors of real estate development and hospitality. He took the responsibility as Managing Director of business in 1997 and became the Vice Chairman in 2003. He was also the promoter of Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. which he transformed into a bank in the same year. His vision and relentless efforts are the pillars on which the company set it global objectives and standards.
A man of great skills, Anand Mahindra is today one of the most admired entrepreneurs. He was honored as the Knight of the Order of Merit by the President of French Republic in 2004. He received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for his contributions to the business field in the same year. Among his accolades are a Person of the Year Award (2005) from Auto Monitor, the Leadership Award from America India Foundation, CNBC Asia Business Leader Award and Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2007). HE has also been entitled as the Business Leader of the Year (2008-2009) by Economic Times. “My penchant is for building brands that find a place in the customer’s mind and for developing businesses that live or die by how well they connect with the consumer,” he has said.
An overachiever that he is never was he egoistic. He describes Himself as an “accidental entrepreneur”. He once said, “I am third Generation in Mahindra family. That is the generation meant to destroy everything. So frankly, I’m delighted to still be around and having my job is in itself a compliment to the third generation entrepreneurs”. Humility, after all, is truly the key to success.
Although his auto company faced a rough patch in the years 2001-2003, Anand Mahindra had full belief in the project of SUV Scorpio. Mahindra-led the company launches an indigenously developed SUV, the Scorpio, in 2002, which received rave reviews and created a positive identity in the automotive world He drove everyone together with him in this belief, playing the cards well and coming out a winner in the gambit.
Under the liberalized economy era, the Mahindra group grew substantially. The group went on to an acquisition spree of several high profile brands, including Satyam Computer Services (2009); Reva Electric Motors (2010); and SsangYong Motor Company (2010). “We decided that we weren’t going to be in any business that wasn’t global. You’re not safe if you’re only at home. You can’t compete in a small pool anymore,” he has said.
It was also his ability to take well-judged risks that contributed to company’s substantive growth. At the moment, M&M’s automotive unit makes vehicles including MUVs, LCVs, and three wheelers. M&M is the largest manufacturer of MUVs, offering over 20 models. The company is presently a market leader in the SUV segment and its share is a darling of long-term investors.
Over the years, M&M group has taken a well-acclaimed position in various key industries such as utility vehicles, information technology, tractors, and vacation ownership. Its growing presence is also felt in real estate development, aerospace, retail, defense, energy, financial services, logistics and much more.
Beyond business, Anand has a keen interest in film making, a subject he pursued as an under graduate at Harvard. He enjoys listening to Blues and thus helped setup an annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, 2011. He continues to support these fields by actively investing in the form of awards, scholarships, and cultural festivals.
Her life book is a lesson for all budding entrepreneurs.