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The EV Trailblazer: Suman Mishra, CEO, Mahindra Last Mile Mobility As part of leadership, she has scaled the business significantly over the last few years in the electric three-wheeler market by selling more than 1.4 lakh three-wheeler EVs

By Shrabona Ghosh

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From the humble beginnings of Rourkela to becoming the CEO of one of the biggest auto giants in India, Suman Mishra's journey is a story of passion and resilience. "My own struggle has really been internal - managing the competing demands of career and family. The real challenge has been mastering the art of balanced prioritisation between being a CEO and my personal life. This hasn't been about superhuman multitasking, but about strategic choices and ruthless prioritisation. It's a continuous dance, where you have to let your passion and instinct lead you forward. My family has always been my unwavering support system. Their understanding and shared responsibilities empower me to not just survive but bring my best self to work," said Mishra, CEO, Mahindra Last Mile Mobility.

As a MD & CEO, she is writing a new chapter in the automobile industry. When asked about the problem she is trying to address, she explained, "We are seeking to make the last mile of India, three-wheelers and small commercial vehicles, electric."

The entire electric three-wheeler industry now stands at more than six lakh vehicles in a year. In FY22 the company sold 16,945 three-wheeler EVs whereas in FY23, it sold 43,693, "We are well on our way to surpass these numbers in this FY."

As part of leadership, she has scaled the business significantly over the last few years in the electric three-wheeler market by selling more than 1.4 lakh three-wheeler EVs. This has increased direct employment by two times whereas more than 40,000 customers have been given a micro entrepreneurial opportunity.

So, was there any glass ceiling that had to be broken? "While there have been plenty of microaggressions, my focus on delivering results, impact and having a thick skin have made this a non-issue. My greatest satisfaction has been building a sustainable career as a CEO and mother, maintaining the energy and passion to contribute meaningfully. It's a path paved with balanced choices, driven by ambition, passion, self-care, and the love of my family."

One of her biggest achievements was to secure investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This catalysed growth and the company became the first to secure the automotive PLI certificate, solidifying the commitment to domestic manufacturing and attracting further investment.

As a woman leader she makes sure to empower other women, "We employ women in various pivotal roles at our offices in Mumbai, Zaheerabad, Haridwar and Bengaluru. I am proud to say that today all functions have women representation whether it be product development, manufacturing, quality, sales, strategy, marketing, HR,finance etc. We make every effort to actively hire women (on merit) and provide them with opportunities to fulfil their potential and we are always looking out for the best talent to join us in this journey of electrification," the CEO added.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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