We Must Aim for Complete Swaraj: Anand Mahindra

Anand Mahindra

When the future is right around the corner, warming up to it is the best thing to do.

In a recent 70th Annual General Meeting, Mr. Anand Mahindra, the Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Group, lent us an earful of encouraging and inspiring speech. He was keen on impressing the seriousness of the changing world and the changes in the mobility sector of the country. He expressed his realization of the future that is just around the corner and what can be done to survive it. With facts and a tad of humor, Mr. Mahindra took us all through a smooth ride of a glimpse of future that depends on today!

In spite of it being a year of great global distress, Mahindra has been able to tightly pull the ropes around its position of India’s largest Tractor and Utility Vehicle manufacturer. The company has delivered half a million vehicles worldwide and has increased its sales revenues. There is a significant 14 per cent growth in gross revenues and other income of the company. The Net Profit for the quarter of 2016 has a 16 per cent growth than the last year’s corresponding quarter. All in all, Mahindra has successfully kept its head above the water while laying foundation for measures for future.

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Global conflicts, the migrant crisis, new twists and turns to the terrorism tale, the unexpected Brexit result, concerns about Eurozone economies, currency devaluation by China, tension in the South China Sea – the list of unforeseen and unbelievable happenings goes on and on. However, India stands out by surviving global economic depletion.

The agricultural sector of India has saved the country from economic depression that could have hit India like the rest of the world. As the mood of monsoon is of major importance in India’s economy, the good amount of rainfall was a boon for consumer sales and retail loans. There has been a sharp rise in the consumer expenditure and demand in infrastructure. The sale of trucks shows that owners are buying trucks for fleet expansion and not just replacement.

Things look relatively good for India. Despite Brexit and other disruptions, the Indian rupee is relatively stable. Against the background of growing global uncertainty, the growth forecasts for India are being revised upwards by analysts everywhere. This shows that the government is doing the right thing. Many important initiatives like financial inclusion and large scale irrigation plans are quietly but successfully being implemented and their effects are beginning to kick in. However, as Mr. Mahindra implied, it is too early to revel in these times.

“The one fear that keeps me up at night is that once things look up, we will become complacent. And, as a result, we will always be hostage to the next round of failed monsoons.” said Mr. Anand Mahindra. Indeed things look uptick for the country and Mahindra itself; however, letting down the guards and loosening the measures will only leave us vulnerable for the unpredictable storms. Anand Mahindra thinks we should belt up for the future for the best.

Talking about future, Mr. Mahindra also addressed the subject of ‘Future Mobility’. Mentioning shared mobility, the role of renewable energy-powered vehicles and autonomous vehicles that centre the subject, he strongly talked about Mahindra’s perceptions and aspirations in this sphere.

“Almost a year ago, during the launch of the TUV3OO, I had commented on how the focus of younger consumers would be on ACCESS as opposed to the ACQUISITION of cars, and that shared mobility was a development that manufacturers would have to contend with.” he further added.

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As the concept of shared economy is gradually becoming a reality, Mahindra is rolling along with the punches and putting up better facilities for consumers. Mahindra is bringing mechanization within reach of the ones who need it.

Moreover, the acquisition of Reva, creating products and participating in Formula E series clearly states the take of Mahindra on renewable energy resources. The company fully intends to be profitable participants in this new world. As for the autonomous vehicles, the company will use its strength of telematics on developing autonomous, driverless commercial vehicles.

Mr. Mahindra points out that the most fertile grounds for autonomous is agricultural tractors. He feels that this is not something which has been pondered upon though it is the need of the hour. The agricultural area needs all the autonomous help it can get. Tractors that operate autonomously could change the future of food production. This is an area where Mahindra, as the largest tractor producer in the world, intends to play a pioneering role.

Everyone in the world is speculating whether conventional mobility companies will survive in a transformed environment. However, if anyone is preparing feverishly for a disruptive future of mobility, it is Mahindra.

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