Our history

Seven decades in the making, our history is definitive of the growth of modern India. It is a story with an upward curve, of how an Indian company — and all the associations that arise with that phrase — rose to become a global powerhouse. We’ve come a long way since the Willys, and as we accelerate into the 21st century, our journey as a global brand is well under way.

Fun facts

When Ghulam Mohammed, one of the founders of the company emigrated to Pakistan in 1947, Mahindra & Mohammed became Mahindra & Mahindra

Our founders

Early pioneers of globalization, the Mahindra brothers collaborated with a wide range of international companies and before long, Mahindra's reach extended beyond steel to transportation, tractors, telecom, and more.

J C Mahindra
J C Mahindra left his position as the Head of the entire commercial division of Tata Iron & Steel Co to serve as Iron and Steel Controller of India during WWII - on a salary of Rs. 1.

J C Mahindra

Founder, 1892 - 1951

Jagdish Chandra Mahindra, better known by his moniker JC, was born in 1892 in Ludhiana, Punjab. The loss of his father at an early age thrust the responsibility of his family’s welfare on his young shoulders. The eldest of nine, JC strongly believed in the power of education and ensured all his brothers and sisters studied hard.

After receiving an engineering degree from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), Mumbai - one of India’s premier Engineering and Technical Institute - he began his career at Tata Steel, serving as the Senior Sales Manager from 1929 to 1940. Recognition of his excellence arrived when the Government of India appointed him as India’s first Steel Controller during the Second World War.

As India’s inevitable independence loomed large, JC was prescient about the opportunities that Indian entrepreneurs would have to contribute to the growth of a new nation. It led him to found Mahindra & Mohammad, in partnership with his brother K C Mahindra and Ghulam Mohammed.

His vision of India’s post-independence economic development enabled Mahindra & Mahindra to grow to the size it is today, and the rest, as they say, is one for the history books.

JC died tragically of a heart attack in 1951.

K C Mahindra
K C Mahindra was a rowing blue at Cambridge University - a member of their top team

K C Mahindra

Founder, 1894 - 1963

Kailash Chandra Mahindra, known to all as KC, was born in 1894 in Ludhiana, Punjab, the second of nine children. When their father died at an early age, his older brother JC became head of the family, and KC his best friend and future business partner.

KC attended Government College, Lahore, where his scholastic aptitude shone through. At Cambridge, he earned Honours, played hockey, and took a keen interest in rowing. After graduating, he joined Messrs. Martin & Company, where he edited the monthly magazine INDIA and, briefly, the Hindustan Review.

In 1942, KC was appointed Head of the Indian Purchasing Mission in the United States. Returning to India in 1945, he was appointed the Chairman of the Indian Coal Fields Committee of the Government of India and also of the Automobile and Tractor panel. His contribution to developing strategic coal policies and applying the latest methods of coal mining in India helped shape the industry, and his Coal Commission Report became a seminal document in the industry. During these years, he also wrote Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee’s definitive biography.

In 1946, KC moved to Bombay to found Mahindra & Mohammed. Under his 13-year stewardship as Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra established itself as a major Indian industrial house in several sectors. A glittering career also saw KC serve as a Director of the Reserve Bank of India, Air India, and Hindustan Steel.

Our past leaders

If we have gotten this far, it's on the back of many outstanding leaders. Here are a few of them.

Harish Mahindra

Harish Mahindra

Harish Mahindra was born in 1923, and joined Mahindra & Mahindra in 1945. Along with his cousin, Keshub Mahindra, he laid the bedrock for the company’s evolution and progress. In his time at Mahindra, Harish helped establish it’s much vaunted dealer network, championed its sales and marketing efforts, was Founding Chairman of Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Limited (MUSCO), and served as a Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited.

BR Sule

BR Sule

BR Sule joined Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in 1949 at the Mazgaon Docks Assembly Plant. Barring two years in which he was seconded as an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Planning, BR’s long tenure as a Mahindra man remained uninterrupted, after which he returned in 1975 as the company’s Executive Director. BR was educated at Pune and Mumbai universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Purdue University.

I Chatterjee

I Chatterjee

Educated at Faraday House Engineering College as an electrical engineer, Chatterjee joined Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in 1946, and was a true Mahindra man, serving in various capacities in Kolkata, Chennai, and Mumbai. He ran no less than ten companies and their divisions, before retiring as an Executive Director.

R K Pitamber

R K Pitamber

A precocious and keen golfer, RK Pitamber attended Oxford University, after which he joined the group in 1959. As Mahindra’s Managing Director from 1994-97, he oversaw the group’s growth and its successful expansion in India’s newly open economy thereby laying the foundations for the 21st century.

K V Sardesai

K V Sardesai

KV Sardesai joined Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in 1955, and rose to become a Director of the company. With a focus on Mahindra’s automotive division, KV’s legacy was the shift from petrol to diesel engines at the height of the oil crisis in 1977, thereby allowing the company to remain in business.

P K Palit

P K Palit

A Northwestern University alumnus, PK Palit’s tryst with Mahindra began at Venn Severin in Chicago, a company owned by Mahindra & Mahindra Limited. He rose to head the company’s Purchase function, including procuring a mammoth 16,000 components for Mahindra’s auto and tractor divisions in India.

Somnath Roy

Somnath Roy

After studying engineering in the UK, Somnath joined Mahindra at the turn of the New Year in 1947. He climbed the ranks to manage the business’s steel imports from Japan, travelling far in a yet to be globalized world, focusing on markets like Turkey, Japan, and Iran.

Aloke Mitra

Aloke Mitra

Educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he was awarded a Blue in hockey, Aloke joined Mahindra as its Founder Director in 1945/46. He worked closely with JC, not only in Mahindra’s office on Park Street in Kolkata, but also in the Steel Controller’s office.

Kaku Bose

Kaku Bose

With a PhD from Oxford University, Kaku worked for the Press Syndicate, the first Indian advertising agency to successfully compete against the likes of J. Walter Thompson and LA Stronock. Mahindra later bought the Press Syndicate, and Kaku was appointed its Chairman.

K Ramachandran

K Ramachandran

K Ramachandran headed Mahindra’s rapidly growing steel business in its early days. He was responsible for importing steel for the Indian railways on behalf of Mahindra, and after a hugely successful career, retired as an Executive Director at Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Limited.

K J Davasia

K J Davasia

K J Davasia joined Mahindra in 1964, and retired as an Executive Director in 2005. KJ was responsible for technical tie-ups with some of the world’s leading companies, and set the foundation for Mahindra to become the world’s largest-selling tractor brand by volume. His drive for quality led to the Farm Equipment Sector winning the Deming Application Prize (2003) for its quality, making Mahindra the only tractor maker to win the prestigious award.

Alan Durante

Alan Durante

An alumnus of St. Xavier’s, Mumbai, and the Birla Institute of Technology, Alan’s spell at Mahindra began in 1962 until he retired as an Executive Director in 2005. An incisive marketing man, Alan was at the helm of affairs when Mahindra launched the Bolero and the Scorpio, revamping the company’s image and disrupting India’s automobile market. Mahindra is today India's largest manufacturer of utility vehicles.

Bharat Doshi

Bharat Doshi

Bharat retired as Executive Director and Group CFO , Mahindra and Mahindra Limited after an exemplary career spanning over four decades in the Mahindra Group. He played a key role in the transformation of the Mahindra Group and in expanding its global footprint. He also led the initiative of conceptualizing , establishing and nurturing Mahindra Finance . He has served as a member on several working groups and high powered committees set up by Reserve Bank of India and the Government of India . He was President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2009 -10 . He is a recipient of several top honours including being selected as India’s Best CFO . He continues to be the Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. and Mahindra Intertrade Limited.

 

Arun Nanda

Arun Nanda

Arun is the man who built Mahindra’s Real Estate and Hospitality businesses. A pioneer in urban living, Arun chairs a number of our businesses. As Chairman Emeritus of the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Governing Board of the Council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India, his many honours include the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.

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