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A Mahindraite for life, the hockey legend shares his memories in a heart-warming video.
The year was 1992, and 25-year-old Dhanraj Pillay was selected to represent India at the Olympic Games Barcelona. On his way to the training camp, he spotted Keshub Mahindra, then Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra, in the airport bus. Pillay, who had joined the Mahindra Group in 1988, walked up to the Chairman, introduced himself and offered to carry his bag. Mahindra gently declined. “You are carrying the responsibility of playing for the country; you do your best for the country,” he said, smiling at the young hockey player who had yet to become a legend.
The very next day Pillay received a call from M&M Managing Director and champion golfer Raj Kumar Pitamber at the India hockey camp in Delhi, asking him to come down to the Mahindra HQ. What awaited Pillay at the office so overwhelmed him that it remains one of his dearest memories till date. Pillay was accorded a warm felicitation by the top brass of the organisation for representing the country as a Mahindra player and was handed a cheque for INR 25,000, a big sum those days. “For a small-town boy from Khadki to be given such honour was beyond my imagination; it was the ultimate appreciation for a sportsperson,” says Pillay, reminiscing with a deep sense of pride and attachment about his 14-year innings with the Mahindra Group.
Watch Dhanraj Pillay talking about his training with some of India's biggest hockey players on the Mahindra Ground and living the spirit of always being a Mahindraite. Play now
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