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Our rise to lead series brings to light great leaders within our organisation who have excelled over the years and have continued to rise. Nasir Deshmukh, Plant Head, of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, is a prime example.
“I still vividly remember my 1st day at M&M. I joined in June 1993, straight after Engineering College. For the first six months, I worked eight-hour shifts on the assembly line. It taught me almost everything about production, and how you need to earn your place on the shop floor.
When you work with your own hands, amidst associates, you develop empathy and humility. During the Scorpio launch, I gained expertise across various roles such as ‘Projects, Quality & Manufacturing Head’. I was exposed to the concept of automotive design, and I represented several global companies, which helped me hone my technical capabilities.
My leadership journey began at Igatpuri. As a plant head, I learned to deploy true manufacturing sustainability. We were the #1 plant in India to run a ‘Water Positive & Carbon Neutral Factory’. We were certified as a 'Zero Waste to Landfill' site, and we started biodiversity in a manufacturing plant as well. This helped us unleash our potential.
During the pandemic, Mahindra Group made significant contributions to our society. I was fortunate to lead the team involved in the development of low-cost ventilators. Currently, I lead the Chakan plant – which employs over 12,000+ people and can manufacture over 5 lakh vehicles per annum. I’ve imbibed the virtues of collaboration, and the agility to deal with the complexities of huge-scale operations.
When I joined M&M, we were making just 40 vehicles per day at the Nasik plant. Now we’ve risen to a plant that manufactures close to 1000 vehicles per day. My journey from a ‘Shop Floor Engineer’ to ‘Manager’ to ‘Department Head’ and now ‘Plant Head’ has allowed me to challenge myself at every point in my life. I’ve never let myself fall into a Comfort Zone.”
I believe learning is a continual process – and more so because we live in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) environment, where change is the only constant.”