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BW Businessworld

The Big Boy Of Microfinance

Iyer has spent over three decades at MMFSL and under his leadership, the company has extended credit to millions of customers

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Ramesh Iyer, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services

Ramesh Iyer, Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL) is counted among the visionary leaders representing the aggressively expanding BFSI sector in India.

With almost 2000 branches spread across the length and breadth of the country, MMFSL extensively works in rural India extending credit for Farm Equipments, Commercial Vehicles, other automobiles including Small Business Loans for the past two decades.  

Iyer has spent over three decades at MMFSL. MMFSL has subsidiaries for Rural Housing, Insurance, Asset Management & International Operations.

Iyer is also a Director of nine companies in the Mahindra Group including two international companies. He serves as a member in various committees in the industry like CII (Confederation of Indian Industry), FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), BCCI (Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and FIDC (Finance Industry Development Council) & Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

When asked about the factors that have propelled MMFSL on the aggressive path of growth, Iyer informs BW Businessworld, “Mahindra Finance fosters a contagious synergy which makes everyone feel a part of this big family. There is a lot that drives us at Mahindra Finance that is beyond our business. As a part of our mission, we aim to touch more lives and drive positive change.”

Iyer is not your typical corner office leader. He is someone who loves to get involved at the grassroots. It is well known that when he went ahead and launched wholesale lending products for dealers of M&M’s jeeps and tractors, Iyer actually called up dealers to convince them to take finance from Mahindra Finance for buying vehicles. Such a level of high commitment and involvement has reflected in the company’s constantly growing market share.

Today, under Iyer’s inclusive leadership, Mahindra Finance has transformed from being a captive finance company to becoming India’s largest non-banking finance company in the rural and semi-rural areas.

Iyer’s began his career as a management trainee with a Mahindra Group company in 1979 after completing his MBA from Mumbai University. He worked in the commercial department (tendering of projects and invoicing and collection and later rose to the middle management level in six years. In 1985, he shifted to Golden Tobacco Company (GTC). He was responsible for raising finances for GTC’s projects.

Speaking about the importance of organisational culture, he said, “The organisation has ventured into newer markets from historically being a tractor financing company to being a diversified financial services provider. In 2015-16, the core business vertical underwent a major restructuring from a geography-based to a product based structure. In alignment with the business restructuring, the ecosystem has also adapted to various iterations such as the people management has evolved from being operational to being a more strategic contributor. We have a heterogeneous mix of employees, and the scope of our policies and practices are in such a way that we have been able to cater to maximum beneficiaries.”

According to Iyer, it is equally important for our employees to be inspired by this Mission. “Our people philosophy resonates very well with our Employee Value proposition — passion meets growth,” he adds.

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