Global Leaders Endorse Roadmap for Sustainable Economic Recovery

Working for the greater good is deeply embedded into the Mahindra Group’s DNA. While the Group proved an exemplar by leveraging its manufacturing competencies to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and lend a helping hand to the underprivileged during the lockdown, it is now making efforts to create an inclusive and sustainable post-Covid economy that benefits the planet, society, and shareholders in equal measure.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra along with 13 other global CEOs, part of the ‘Leaders on Purpose’ coalition, has rolled out a roadmap to ‘build the economic system better’ rather than simply ‘building it back’. In the lead up to the UN General Assembly week in New York in September 2020, the Leaders on Purpose, through an open letter, have called on governments to accelerate the transition and urged businesses and governments to join them in building a new economic narrative for the world. The group of 14 CEOS have a combined global workforce of over 500,000 employees and a cumulative annual revenue of over $100 billion dollars.

Underscoring the need and imperative for the ‘Purpose-first’ economy, Mr. Mahindra said, “Today, more than ever, the world needs to be able to reimagine a new future. A future in which people can feel safe and protected.”

The initiative by the Leaders on Purpose is an effort towards defining the new environment. “This provides a much-needed aspirational framework that has the power to change the language of business discourse and the way in which we regard the future,” he added.

Beside Mr. Mahindra, the global CEO coalition includes Ajay Banga (Master Card), Alan Murray (Fortune Media), Anand Mahindra (Mahindra Group), Dan Hendrix (Interface), Dylan Taylor (Voyager Space Holdings), Emmanuel Faver (Danone), Fejke Sijbesma (DSM), Frans van Houten (Philips), Dr James Mwangi (Equity Bank), Jean-Paul Agon (L’Oréal), Jon Denton (ICC), Mike Doyle (Omnicom-Ketchum), Roberto Marques (Natura & Co), and Stefan De Loecker (Beiersdorf).

While governments across the globe debate economic and social policies to jumpstart the economy in a post-COVID world, the roadmap by the Leaders on Purpose provides a practical course to proactively redesign corporate structures and government policies to develop a more supportive ecosystem for organisations under a new business logic.

The letters also committed to advance the purpose-first economy by leveraging their procurement, innovation, research and development, and investment to accelerate the growth of the sector.

The ‘Build it Better’ framework includes six key imperatives for leaders in both public and private sectors to guide innovation of public policy as well as corporate and financial structures to accelerate the progress of a purpose-first economy. These include: recognising the purpose-first sector; crafting incentives and policies; incentivising innovations of financial products, risk assessment, valuation models and ratings; a design for a safe, educated, and healthy society; enabling a supporting ecosystem, and leaving no one behind.

The group’s actions were further supported by the launch of the Fourth Sector Policy Hackathon which saw the convergence of industry, academic and institutional partners to resolve public policy challenges and to identify solutions requiring collective actions across global public, private, non-profit and fourth sectors.

“The philosophy of the Leaders on Purpose resonates deeply with Mahindra’s vision, and has the potential to become a movement which will define the future for generations to come,” said Mr Mahindra.

Explore The Impossible

The wait is over. For over seven decades, the Mahindra Classics have been an integral part of India’s story. Ever since India became a free nation, the Mahindra Classics have enabled Indians to explore new worlds and conquer the most challenging terrain. On 15 August 2020, India’s 74th Independence Day, Mahindra marked another milestone in this remarkable journey by unveiling the all-new version of its Thar SUV to hugely positive reviews by the automotive media in India.

“We’re proud of our authentic SUV legacy that has been guarding the freedom of this nation by serving the armed forces since the 1950s while simultaneously becoming the spirt of adventure and a lifestyle icon, said Dr Pawan Goenka, CEO and Managing Director, M&M. “The all-new Thar is firmly rooted in our rich automotive history, and it upholds the Mahindra DNA in its purest form,” he added. “It is a dynamic expression of fun, freedom and independence, and is geared up for its next adventure.”

Also speaking on this momentous occasion was Rajesh Jejurkar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M, who remarked that the all-new Thar would enhance the appeal of a brand that’s already a cult, to a wider set of consumers.

In terms of performance, everyday comfort and convenience, technology, and safety. In its present avatar, the Thar will attract not only die-hard fans, but will also appeal to anyone who has dreamt of owning an iconic vehicle, with all the latest bells and whistles.

“The Thar has represented the spirit of freedom, thrills and fun-to-drive character that few other vehicles can match,” said Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, M&M. “We aim to protect this legacy with superior performance both on and off the tarmac, advanced technology features, excellent safety and everyday ride comfort, all adding to the unadulterated driving pleasure of a true-blue modern SUV.”

The iconic two-door silhouette remains but incorporates purposefully added contemporary touches and design elements, including dual tone bumpers, LED daytime running lamps and tail lamps, R18 deep silver alloy wheels and front fog lamps. The newly redesigned interior, with its all-black theme with silver accents and faux-carbon fibre detailing around AC vents and centre bezel, mirrors the robust retro-styled cues of the Thar’s exteriors.

The all-new Thar also has:

  • All-new BS-6 compliant engines in both petrol (2.0L mStallion TGDi engine) and diesel (2.2L mHawk diesel engine) options
  • New gearbox options with 6-speed torque convertor automatic transmission and 6-speed manual transmission mated to an authentic manual shift-on-the-fly 4X4 transfer case
  • Roof options that include hard top, first-in-class manual convertible top, and optional soft top
  • Seating options that include 4 front-facing and 2+$ side facing seats
  • Dazzling technology including first-in-class drizzle resistant 17.8cm touchscreen infotainment system, adventure statistics and Mahindra adventure calendar display, smart watch and smart phone connectivity with Blue Sense app, tyre direction monitoring and tyre pressure monitoring systems, electronic HVAC controls, cruise control, steering mounted audio and phone controls, etc.
  • World-class comfort and convenience features including sporty front seats, roof mounted speakers
  • Fantastic safety features including crash-safety compliant body shell, dual airbags and ABS, rear parking sensors, first-in-class ESP with rollover mitigation, built-in roll-cage with 3-point seat belts for all passengers, Hill-Hold and Hill-Descent controls, ISOFIX child seat mounts, EBD, etc.

The Thar is built on a rugged 3rd generation chassis and has been tested extensively in some of the harshest terrain in India and across the world. The all-new suspension set up delivers better off-road capabilities as well as superior on-road handling and drive quality.

A true SUV, the Thar also has a mechanical locking differential in the rear axle, ground clearance of 226mm (unloaded), water wading depth of 650mm, all-terrain tyres (the largest in its class), first-in-class brake locking differential and electromechanical driveline disconnect, electrically adjustable ORVMs, central locking with remote flip key, tilt adjustable steering wheel, power windows, and one-touch tip and slide mechanism on the co-driver seat.

Designed and engineered in India and manufactured out of M&M’s Nashik plant, the all-new Thar will be available in six exciting colours – Red Rage, Mystic Copper, Napoli Black, Aquamarine, Galaxy Grey and Rocky Beige. To be launched on 2nd Octorber 2020, the Mahindra Group’s Founder’s Day, the launch will target consumers “who seek extraordinary journeys and wish to explore the impossible”, said Mr. Jejurikar.

“We Will Recover Fast”

Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director – Auto and Farm Sector, is a leader with a vision, one who doesn’t shy away from rolling-up his sleeves to get the job done right. A professed introvert, Mr Jejurikar strongly believes in maintaining a work-life balance. The Mahindra leader talked about a host of topics – from the unveil of the new Thar, to his career at Mahindra, taking over at AFS, his hobbies and advice to young leaders – in the recent GCO Townhall held on August 18.

Outlook for Auto and Farm business

We have done superbly at FES which has had a strong first quarter (April to June). Tractor demand, influenced by several factors, was way beyond what we had seen in a long time. The rural demand also positively impacted the auto side as well – Scorpio and Bolero pickups have seen very good demand.

On the urban side, there has been a significant interest in Thar and it’s a reflection of how people are thinking and feeling. The lockdown imposed in the wake of the Corona pandemic has been tough for people which has triggered an overwhelming desire among people to use their vehicles to experience freedom. And that’s the reason I believe Club Mahindra will see higher occupancies as more people will prefer to drive out for their holidays. We are going to see a huge change in attitudes to driving as a part of holidays.

Career at Mahindra

I joined M&M in June 2000 and it has been 20 years now. It has been a huge learning curve as I did not have any experience of the auto industry with most of my career in the FMCG business.

Looking back, I believe the sentiment we are facing now and then are quite similar. We were facing huge challenges then just as we are now and that gives me confidence that we will come out triumphant.

Settling into my new role as Executive Director – Auto and Farm Sector, has not been difficult. However, from a business point of view, it has been overwhelming as we shifted into crisis mode just as I took over in April due to the corona pandemic. I am now well settled into my new role and have a fair sense of where we are headed in each of our key businesses – auto and farm.

Advice for Future Leaders

I believe everybody should have their own unique leadership style and pick what works for them and not simply emulate others.
  • Only get into areas where you can add value
  • Give a premium to staying connected as I believe it is critical to focus on gaining diverse insights
  • Stay grounded
  • Know how to priortise
  • Do not mix accountability with teamwork

Revolutionising Electric Mobility in India

The Indian economy is becoming rapidly urban. According to the World Bank, over 400 million Indians will relocate to urban areas by 2050. In fact, by 2030, India will have 7 mega cities with a population of over 7 million.

Over the last five years, shared mobility has grown exponentially in the country. Increased urbanisation has seen an increase in corporate commute, and for a majority of Indians, public transport is the preferred option for first and last mile commutes. Seizing the opportunity, Mahindra Electric Mobility Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., pioneered electric mobility in India by designing India’s first electric three-wheeler platform with the Mahindra Treo. The Treo addresses the issue of short-distance commutes – a few kilometres or less – to get from a place of origin to the nearest public transportation hub.

Building an EV ecosystem

Mahindra Electric is also the first company in the automobiles and components sector in India, and the second worldwide to get approval from Science Based Targets (SBT) for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is not just an electric vehicle manufacturer but a complete EV technology solutions provider. Proof of its expertise in the EV space is the MESMA 48 V platform for electric three-wheelers and small cars, as well as the indigenously built MESMA 350 V powertrain that is set to electrify global SUVs in Korea and Europe. Mahindra Electric’s Next Generation Mobility (NEMO) platform for connected mobility supports an entire EV ecosystem and helps fleet operations to plan their EV rides more efficiently, and individuals to remotely monitor their cars’ parameters. The company’s range of ME chargers are also proof of its developing EV charging ecosystem.

Future solutions

Later this year, Mahindra Electric will be launching the three-seater ‘Atom’, an electric quadricycle which is spacious, practical, and futuristic. The first and last mile commute will be further enhanced by the electric quadricycle that offers clean and connected mobility solutions.

Also on the anvil is a portfolio of new products specific to each segment they cater to – the existing Treo range will soon have a cargo variant. Mahindra’s eKUV, with a good price positioning, is geared to appeal to the value- and cost-conscious personal and fleet segments. The electric XUV300, which will offer a range of 375km on a full charge, will cater to the personal mobility space.

Creating a sustainable mobility sector

Today, India is leading the world in electric three-wheeler vehicles’ sales. With over a decade of experience clocking over 230 million kilometres on Indian roads, and a good understanding of the economics of EVs, Mahindra Electric believes that the shift towards electric mobility in India is inevitable.

While it’s taken a decade for EVs to prove themselves to be stable and reliable, and they still have a long way to go, automakers are making significant progress in addressing key pain points for consumers who are considering a switch from their conventional vehicles – the cost of acquisition. This coming decade will see EVs becoming more popular and driving profits both to OEMs and the environment. Significant progress has been made on battery technology and in addressing customers’ range anxiety issues.

India’s commitment to sustainable development and green mobility options will mean that the country must consider shared and multi-modal electric mobility solutions for its citizens. A combination of measures needs to be implemented to achieve a cleaner transport sector – planned and better-designed cities, non-motorised transport facilities, more public transport and on-road fleets that are, or are converted to, all-electric vehicles.

EVs will meet the surging demand for mobility by providing clean mobility solutions and will play a key role in decarbonising Indian cities. In fact, with petrol and diesel becoming more and more expensive, it is expected that EVs will account for over half of the total car sales by 2035.

And we are ready to play our part in driving sustainable mobility in the country for a greener planet.

  Tweet of the Week

Anand Mahindra

Congratulations @ramesh_md & the whole @MahindraFin team. The investors’ vote of condidence is like a booster engine that will propel you into the next orbit of growth...

Ramesh Iyer

Our Rights Issue closed successfully Generating Total Demand exceeding 4000 crores against issue size of 3000 crores. Want to Thank All our Investors for their full support & Confidence. All set to Embark on the emerging Rural Opportunity. @anandmahindra

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