Launching Scorpio To Building A INR1 Trillion Brand: Mapping The Journey Of Anand Mahindra
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Mahindra Group’s flagship company Mahindra and Mahindra reached new heights when the third-generation scion, Anand Mahindra was appointed as the managing director of the automotive company in 1997. The year 2002 was a turning point for the company when it launched its sports utility vehicle Scorpio. Following this, he took up the responsibilities of Chairman in 2012. He played a vital role in boosting the popularity of the brand and driving its growth.
After about 40 years of hard work and efforts behind the family business, Anand announced his plans to step down step down as chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M). According to the official statement, Anand will be transitioning to the role of Non-Executive Chairman of the board of M&M.
“As Non-Executive Chairman, Mahindra will serve as a mentor and sounding board for the Managing Director on issues to be presented to the Board, especially in the areas of strategic planning, risk mitigation and external interface. In addition, he will be available to provide feedback and counsel to the Managing Director on key issues facing the enterprise,” the statement said.
After the announcement of imminent retirement, Anand said, “This plan reflects M&M’s depth of management talent and will ensure continuity in terms of culture, values, governance and operational effectiveness. In my new role, I see myself as the conscience keeper of the Mahindra Group, as the custodian of its values and the watchdog of the interests of its shareholders. Internal audit will continue to report to me. I will continue to exercise oversight through the Board.”
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Early Life And Career
Born in 1955, Anand Mahindra was born to late industrialist Harish Mahindra and Indra Mahindra. He completed his early schooling from Lawrence School, Lovedale. Following this, he went on to study film making and architecture from Harvard University. In 1981, Anand returned to India after completing his MBA from Harvard and began his entrepreneurial journey.
Timeline At Mahindra
1981 - Returned to India after completing his MBA from Harvard. He joined Mahindra Ugine Steel as an executive assistant to the executive director
1989 - Became the President of Mahindra Ugine Steel. Mahindra diversified the business by entering into real estate and hospitality sector
1991 - Became the deputy managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra
1997 - Became the managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra
2003 - Became the Vice Chairman of the Mahindra group
2004 - Awarded the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Award for outstanding contribution in the business field
2012 - Became the chairman of the board and managing director of the Mahindra Group
2016 - Redesignated as the executive chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd
April 2020 - Will step down as the chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M) to take up a non-executive role as part of a leadership transition plan.
“When I look back at my career, I recognise that almost all the critical management lessons I have learned were from the many storms I have endured. I don’t look forward to them & yet I welcome them when they arrive” - Anand Mahindra
Launched Scorpio And Did Not Turn Back
In 1994, the group underwent its first major restructuring exercise following which its diverse business was divided into six distinctive sectors. In 2011, M&M began using “Rise” as its new brand position.
The company’s turning point came in 2012 when Scorpio was launched. The in-house designed and developed vehicle spiked the brand popularity and took it to international markets for the first time.
Mahindra Group which began as a steel trading company in 1945, has now grown into multi-billion rupee conglomerate housing diverse companies such as Mahindra Susten, Mahindra Ugine Steel, Mahindra Gujarat, Mahindra Tractors, Mahindra Truck and Bus, and Mahindra Electric among others.
The Other Side Of The Business Tycoon
Contribution To Alma Mater
Harvard Humanities Center is named as Mahindra Humanities Center after Mahindra made a staggering $10 million donation at the centre. He is also the co-founder of the Harvard Business School Association of India.
The Musical Blues
Anand, a big fan of Blues music, started the annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in 2011. It is Asia’s largest Blues music festival which is held for two days in Mumbai. The 2020 festival is going to be on February 8th and 9th. “The year 2020 is special for the Mahindra Blues Festival as it is the 10th year since its launch in 2011 at the Mehboob Studios. Since then, we have successfully woven the Mahindra Blues Festival into the cultural fabric of the city of Mumbai. Today it gives me immense satisfaction to know that as a diversified global business group, we have been able to speak to multi-cultural audiences across continents using the soulful power of the Blues. I have no doubt that the tenth edition will be a milestone that Blues fans will not want to miss. It is no longer just an event - it has become a movement,” said Mahindra in a statement.
Anand believes strongly about causes like women's education and safety, climate change and sustainability among others. He started a program called Nanhi Kali which provides education to underprivileged girls in India. The project is still on and has provided education to many young girls. He also co-founded Naandi Danone, a safe drinking water project which caters to around 3 million people in the rural areas of the country.
Anand was also one of the first Indian automobile giants to place his bet on electric vehicles and is known for introducing environmentally-conscious policies in his organisation
The Reachable Business Magnate
Anand is one of the most social media active industrialists in India. He actively tweets on various topics ranging from business wisdom, politics, funny videos, inspiring stories, old throwbacks etc. There have also been many instances when the business baron has replied to the tweets and comments of ordinary people.