UN Chief Lauds Mahindra’s Clean Energy Work

Speaking at an online event organized by TERI -The Energy and Resources Institute, UN chief Antonio Guterres referenced the innovative steps taken by Mahindra in embracing clean technology and contributing to a sustainable energy future as exemplary work that is being carried out in the country.

In his address, he also called on India to be at the helm of an ambitious global leadership agenda on clean energy and climate action, saying the country can become a true global superpower in the fight against climate change if it speeds up its shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Mr. Guterres was speaking on the future of renewables and focused on a ‘green’ economic recovery in a post Covid world, wherein countries would drastically reduce their dependence on fossil fuels like coal. He further added that investments in Renewable Energy, clean transport and energy efficiency could create 9 million jobs annually for the next three years.

August Tractor Numbers Set Another Record

Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector, the world’s largest tractor company by volume, continued to post strong tractor sales for the third successive month in August, registering 23,503 units — a 69 % growth compared to the same month last year — despite the tough operating conditions caused by the pandemic.

Commenting on the performance, Hemant Sikka, President - Farm Equipment Sector, said, “On the back of highest ever sales in July, we have clocked yet another highest ever sales in August.

This is primarily on account of continued positive sentiment, due to increase in Kharif sowing area, thereby indicating a bumper harvest, bountiful monsoon, good rural cash flows and base effect. We expect rural sentiments to remain positive and translate into robust tractor demand as we move into the festive period. In the exports market, we have sold 955 tractors, a growth of 1% over last year.”

Total tractor sales (Domestic + Exports) during August 2020 were at 24,458 units, as against 14,817 units for the same period last year.

Survive, Revive, Repurpose

As we stand together fighting the unforeseen and unexpected global pandemic, mankind seems to have unearthed and adopted new means of survival, revival and possibly even rebirth.

Among the dozens of emerging statistics on the global spread of Covid-19, we have also realised escaping social and economic ordeals is not easy. Both developed and developing global economies have been hit hard. Governments and strategists are acting on swift response to avoid a deep recession by mobilising stimulus packages.

In the last 70 odd days of lockdown, life has made us realise its many amazing aspects, biggest being the need to continually build muscle, in order to continually grow. Adding muscles provides strength and builds immunity to face such crises.

The question is how do we build this muscle? By pushing or pulling against an obstacle. Building the muscle of resilience and opportunity is no different.

The challenge we face now is one of the biggest life lessons of our times. The choice is truly upon us to either get bogged down by the crises or take this as a steppingstone to a collective, secure and prosperous future.

Here are my views on how we can best leverage the pandemic.

Learning To Ensure Survival

The only way to take this life challenge is to 'never stop learning'. Knowledge aids survival. The fact that the human race survived wars, disasters and calamities is a testimony to our hunger for life, growth, success that has made us beings that can beat the odds.

One look at this contemporary world, and we will realise how people across age groups are fast unlearning traditional lessons to adapt to the new normal. The disturbing scenes of deepening economic challenges are somewhat balanced by the heartening visuals of people across all walks of life acquainting themselves with new concepts like social distancing, self-quarantine, digital and self-reliance or better still 'atmanirbharta'. This confidence suggests we are treading cautiously towards a better future.

Developing An Aspirational Mindset

New and old businesses have made their choice to build muscle against these diverse odds, and ensure that not just us, but our customers also stay a step ahead of the crisis. A crucial trait that defines our fate is our mindset. Yes, the desire for change and growth can move mountains.

The belief that our best is 'yet to come', is our biggest driving force. I recommend developing an aspirational 5X mindset. It is a simple-yet-effective response to the current world order that helps us be ready for the new one.

Taking Care of Body, Mind and Soul

A lesson learnt ever since the pandemic is that our lives matter the most. A healthy mind and soul can never be bereft of possibilities. Wellness first and we must take time out to build resilience and positivity.

In our organisation, with the support of our learning teams, internal leaders and a team of doctors and psychology experts, we have worked towards building a culture of holistic well-being and mindfulness to facilitate good thinking by our minds.

Skilling To Enable Transformation

I have been a vehement supporter of new-age technologies and immense possibilities of the digital world. With a majority of the urban population working from home, including even the primary schools' kids and teachers, the scope of digital gets only clearer. Digital is here to stay, and it calls for each one of us to reskill for the next level.

Whether it is about catching up on things that you had been wanting to do for a long time, or learning skills that will eventually become indispensable, now is the time to add some more weight to your armour.

Massive reskilling measures will be our biggest strength for transitioning ourselves and our customers into the new After-Covid (AC) age.

Inspiring, Assisting & Equipping Leaders

Building muscle is as important for the captains as it is for the navigators and the crew. The pandemic is a crucial time for the leaders to closely evaluate the situation and resources, identity opportunities, people potential and swiftly execute a neat contingency plan. We must therefore have development programmes in place for the leaders to enhance their capabilities and make them more nimble and agile. Leadership assessment skills and focused self-development journeys are effective means to sharpen the competencies of our future leaders and delivery engines.

Clear & Consistent Communication

Regular exchange of ideas is a great step towards collective awakening. We must connect to collaborate, as these conversations will aid in exchanging observations and discovering best practices to shape an After Covid World (ACW).

In the words of Winston Churchill, "Never let a good crisis go to waste." As we prepare to enter the various 'unlock' stages, we should take note of these crucial learnings to foster a conducive growth environment.

Article published in Business World.

Mahindra and REE Partner to Develop EVs

In a significant move to develop electric commercial vehicles for global markets, the Mahindra Group and REE Automotive of Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding to combine REE’s corner module and platform technology with Mahindra’s design, engineering, sourcing and manufacturing expertise in a win-win strategic partnership.

REE’s technology integrates the powertrain, suspension and steering components in the arch of a vehicle wheel, allowing multiple body configurations on a single platform, increasing volumes and efficiency while reducing size and weight. It can be used to create a broad range of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles, light to heavy duty EV logistics and robo taxis.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, said, “The competitive advantages of REE’s corner modular architecture with our experience in conventional vehicle system design, engineering, sourcing ecosystem and significant production capacity, provides a perfect match to deliver exciting zero emission vehicles, including autonomous vehicles, that can meet customer needs as never before.”

The MOU is primarily aimed at global markets with a global volume estimated to grow over time to 200,000- 250,000 units. While REE’s architecture will enhance Mahindra’s capabilities in the electric vehicle segment, REE will leverage Mahindra’s global presence and its unique volume flexibility, as well as its engineering and product development expertise. The partnership will help support Mahindra’s domestic and international volumes.

According to Daniel Barel, Co-Founder and CEO, REE Automotive, “The fundamental structure of the automotive industry is evolving into a mission specific vehicle with modularity being key structured in three layers: the platform providers, the service providers and the data providers. All working together to create new vehicles and new services tailored to customers’ needs in a fast-changing world. REE is here to lead the industry and set the path for future platforms.”

REE’s transformational technology is designed for current and future e-mobility applications, including autonomous vehicles, and offers significant benefits in terms of weight, space and total body design flexibility. The scalability of the platform makes it ideal for any form of electric vehicle such as commercial vehicles, mid-duty delivery trucks, last mile delivery vehicles, passenger cars, taxis and shuttles.

And The META Goes To...

With the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, as India went into lockdown, the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards 2020 Festival, earlier scheduled to be held in New Delhi in March 2020, was postponed, but not for long. The Mahindra Group reiterated its commitment to the theatre fraternity in India by taking the glitz and glamour of typical META celebrations online – a first in its 15-year-long journey!

Signalling new possibilities for theatre in an increasingly digital-only world, for the first time in META’s history, the jury for this year’s METAs viewed the plays online to pick the winners. The jury included renowned playwright, stage director and filmmaker Mahesh Dattani, acclaimed playwright and novelist Makarand Sathe, versatile and veteran actress and a teacher of speech and drama Sushma Seth, actor-writer Vinay Pathak who’s been actively involved in Indian cinema and theatre for over two decades, and well-known film, television and theatre actor and director Lillete Dubey.

Speaking during the virtual awards ceremony, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group said, “My congratulations to all the winners and to Barry John who we honoured with the META Lifetime Achievement Award a few days ago. I am proud that in spite of, or perhaps because of, all our current difficulties, tonight’s glittering Awards ceremony transcends the boundaries of an auditorium and becomes accessible to an audience of thousands, right in their homes. My thanks to everyone who made this happen – the participating theatre groups, the jury members, and the organisers, Teamwork Arts.”

Warm congratulations to all the winners of the META 2020 awards!

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