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BW Businessworld

Tractors And Philanthropy

Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman & CEO, TAFE combines hard-nosed corporate strategy with good deeds.

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Mallika Srinivasan stepped into her father’s shoes to become the Chairman and CEO of TAFE and its subsidiary TAFE Motors and Tractors (TMTL) after her father A Sivasailam’s demise. Today, she is known as a thought leader and a strategist and widely recognised for her contribution to Indian agriculture machinery business and academia.

As the chairman and CEO of TAFE, Mallika has the responsibility of running a Rs 93-billion tractor major incorporated in 1960 at Chennai, India. TAFE is today the third largest tractor manufacturer in the world and the second largest in India by volumes, with an annual sale of over 150,000 tractors and presence in over 100 countries, including developed countries in Europe and the Americas.

She is additionally, on the Board of AGCO Corporation - USA, TATA Steel Limited and TATA Global Beverages Limited. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, the Governing Board of the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and the Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Trichy.

In a span of 25 years, Mallika has established TAFE as a quality mass manufacturer of tractors, a lean and resilient organisation that can effectively weather the cyclicality of the tractor business. With her special emphasis on product and process development, she has ensured significant expansion of TAFE's product range. She enhanced and leveraged the engineering strengths at TAFE to design, develop and manufacture a range of products for international markets, while simultaneously strengthening TAFE's partnership with AGCO for mutual growth, in both, the components and complete tractors businesses.

TAFE is also a significant shareholder in AGCO Corporation, USA – a $7-billion tractor and agricultural equipment manufacturer. She spearheaded the acquisition of Eicher's tractors, engines and transmissions business through wholly owned subsidiary TMTL and nurtured its growth in terms of operations and profits. She has been instrumental in ensuring clear and careful positioning of the TAFE, Massey Ferguson and Eicher tractor brands in the marketplace and encouraged the expansion of the Eicher product range into a wider spectrum of horse-powers to meet the emerging needs of the market.

She led the company’s growth to its present status with diverse interests in tractors, farm machinery, diesel engines and gensets, engineering plastics, gears and transmission components, hydraulic pumps and cylinders, batteries, automobile franchises and plantations. Under her leadership, TAFE has not only been a consistently profit generating company but also one of the most profitable tractor companies in the world.

She has led a variety of industry bodies such as the Tractor Manufacturers' Association of India, The Madras Chamber of Commerce, and has held various positions in industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, etc.

Mallika is a well known philanthropist with an abiding interest in ensuring development of agriculture, education and healthcare in India. She has been instrumental in supporting organisations such as the Sankara Nethralaya and the Cancer Hospital in Chennai, besides supporting a number of educational and healthcare facilities in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. In addition, she has been a generous patron of arts through her involvement in the promotion and support of one of India's leading musical traditions of Carnatic music through The Indira Sivasailam Foundation.

A university gold-medalist in Econometrics from the University of Madras, she graduated as a member of the Dean's Honor List, and the Alpha Beta Gamma Society, from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, USA, and was ranked among its top 125 most successful alumni. In January 2014, the Government of India conferred her with the prestigious Padma Shri award for her contribution to trade and industry.