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BW Businessworld

Mahindra’s Pivot On Slippery Patch

The $15.6 billion Mahindra Group has embarked on a strategy under newly appointed MD & CEO Anish Shah’S leadership that while ruthless in demand and discipline is focused on bringing the 75-year-old tractor-to-tech corporate back on its growth track

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Anish Shah

Back in 2019 and before the lockdown gripped us, I had the pleasure of interacting with Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra and discussing the muted growth of the Indian economy and the challenges of the uncertain world as evident then. Every bit the charismatic personality he is known to be, Mahindra has the rare calibre of being able to not only make a conversation most engaging but also draw attention to issues that may appear large and distant but impact us as a country in the most granular way. His philosophy of People + Planet = Profits, articulated aptly in the single word ‘Rise’, inspire many.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was then witnessing an uncharacteristic phase of low-performance. Its stock, traditionally known to deliver generous returns to investors, was going through rough weather. To my mind even then, there was no doubt that the company would bounce back. I, like my peers and the rest of industry, were keen to observe how M&M would achieve that turnaround. More than anything else, this exercise was guaranteed to have a lesson in it worth learning.

Since then the Mahindra Group has reorganized, re-energized and reimagined several aspects of its operations, topped by a leadership transition by appointing Anish Shah as its MD and CEO. Obviously its turnaround journey has begun. If its earnings numbers are anything to go by, the group’s new strategies are already paying dividend. The year 2021 hence, will become another milestone for this corporate house. This transition heralds a new chapter in the Mahindra Group’s seven-anda-half-decade-long journey – which incidentally, is the same as that of independent India. This journey sounds exciting in every way.

Our cover feature deep dives into the Mahindra Group’s operations and involves detailed conversations with its key leaders, led by Dr Shah himself. We were able to break down the back-to-growth strategy, divulging why the reorganised Mahindra Group is different from its earlier avatar and what its stakeholders can now expect from it. In my conversation with Anish Shah, he says it would have been good to be in the VUCA world as we once knew it. I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with this dynamic new corporate leader and now look forward to witnessing how Mahindra’s preparations for its next big leap shape up.

In this issue, we also have a comprehensive study executed by the BW Education team on the engineering colleges and universities in India. This is among our special endeavours, reflecting the importance we place on India’s education sector, which nurtures future growth drivers of the country. We have attempted to be transparent about the rankings of the leaders among engineering institutes, highlighting those who are really pushing the envelope. We hope you enjoy the insights this edition offers.