Take Your First Step Towards All-New Thar

Have you always dreamt of owning one an iconic vehicle? Look no further – here’s a chance to fulfil your dream and become the proud owner of the ‘All-New Thar’, Mahindra’s ‘go-anywhere’ SUV.

Mahindra’s authentic SUV legacy has guarded the nation’s freedom by serving the armed forces since 1950. Thar has always evoked a spirit of adventure and has in a short span became a lifestyle icon. The iconic SUV has shaped the success of M&M Ltd. and is now on the forefront of the brand’s transformation as well.

The all-new Thar, a long-awaited SUV among Indian car enthusiasts, is a dynamic expression of fun, freedom and independence. Rooted in Mahindra’s rich automotive legacy, the all-new Thar upholds the Mahindra DNA in its purest form.

Play to Win

The very first all-new Mahindra Thar will find its new owner through a one-of-a-kind auction. The bidding will be held from September 24 to 27, 2020 to raise funds to support charities engaged in Covid-19 related relief work.

“The first all-new Thar will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and Mahindra will donate an equal amount to the charity of the winner’s choice from three options,” stated Mr. Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto & Farm Sectors, M&M Ltd.

The proceeds will benefit one of three charities:

  • Naandi Foundation, working to create sustainable livelihoods in food and agriculture sectors through upskilling
  • Swades Foundation, that is building rural life and livelihoods as part of its COVID-19 relief and recovery programme
  • PM Cares Fund

The winner will be the proud owner of a custom Thar that will not only be emblazoned with the number ‘1’ on a decorative plate on the dashboard and on the leatherette seats, it will also flaunt the winner’s initials. The winning bidder will also have five variants and six colour options to choose from.

How to Register

The online auction is being conducted by Mahindra First Choice Wheels and hosted on the carandbike.com auction engine. Bidding will be conducted by Ernst & Young. “As we approach the start of booking for the second-generation Thar on October 2, 2020, we expect a lot of interest and excitement,” said Mr Jejurikar. “The All-New Thar is a coveted piece.”

So it is. Go online and register for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take home the all-new Thar – a modern take on a glorious automotive icon.

Making Insurance Accessible To All

Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd. (MIBL), one of India’s leading composite insurance broking companies, has just launched a new digital platform, Paybima.com. Paybima.com is backed by MIBL’s extensive insurance broking experience that has serviced over 1.5 crore policies from over 400 locations across the country for over 16 years.

No-stress Purchasing

Paybima.com aims to increase insurance penetration in India by redefining the online insurance buying experience. From providing unbiased guidance on choosing the right policy to assistance in claim management, the most vital element of insurance, Paybima.com is committed to supporting customers on their insurance journeys.

Powered by advanced analytics, the online platform will provide end-to end insurance solutions and will empower customers to make informed decisions on a wide-range of insurance products such as car, two-wheeler, health and life.

According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, insurance penetration in India was only 3.7% in 2018 – one of the lowest in the world. Lack of awareness, access and affordability have been the major hindrances to insurance penetration.

The government’s Digital India and Insurance for All initiatives were rolled out to address these challenges. While improved technology adoption like increased internet penetration and smartphone usage will play an important role in making insurance more accessible, buying insurance online and servicing claims still remain a concern.

“The financial services industry is witnessing the rise of a new tech-savvy, millennial customer segment,” said Dr Jaideep Devare, Managing Director, MIBL. “However, the confidence of buying financial products through digital platforms is still evolving.”

A Matter of Trust

This is where Paybima stands out from competition. Trust in the Mahindra brand, a simplified insurance selection and buying processes, and the assurance of MIBL’s physical network for servicing are Paybima’s biggest advantages. MIBL’s vast experience in the sector has given the company a unique understanding of Indian customers which has helped MIBL offer them relevant insurance products, depending on need and affordability.

With the launch of this much needed digital platform, MIBL is writing the next chapter of its ‘Customer First’ story. Built on MIBL’s guiding principles – Innovation, Inclusion and Impact – Paybima is committed to provide every Indian access to protection and risk management, most suited to their unique requirements, aspirations and preferences, while supporting the government’s mission of Insurance for all.

Mahindra e-Verito Makes Epic World EV Day Journey

On this World EV Day, September 9, organized by Mahindra Electric along with other global companies, Mahindra had a special reason to cheer. The Mahindra Electric e-Verito sedan successfully completed India’s first all-electric commercial vehicle journey from Delhi to Mumbai. BluSmart Mobility, an electric ride hailing platform, had flagged off a Mahindra e-Verito from Delhi on September 4, on a journey covering 1,564 kms.

The fully electric car is noiseless and entails zero emissions. Since fast-charging stations are not available at all locations along the way, the car mostly made use of slow charging from shops, restaurants and motels along the highway. In total, the car made five fast charges and six slow charges before reaching its destination. BluSmart had undertaken a similar, albeit smaller trip back in January 2019, when its EV cab had travelled 260 kms from Delhi to Jaipur. This time, the journey was five times longer.

This recent trip was to demonstrate that an electric car can do long-distance trips in India. “Our mission is to showcase that despite ground challenges, India is ready for EVs, even on highways” said Anmol Jaggi, Founder, BluSmart Mobility.

At a time when range anxiety that stems from a nascent EV charging infrastructure remains a challenge, the e-Verito cab bolted across Neemrana, Kothputli, Jaipur, Pali, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Vapi before reaching Mumbai.

Along with this accomplishment, one of the biggest successes of this trip was that the e-Verito saved 105kgs of CO2 emissions as compared to a traditional internal combustion engined car! This remarkable way to celebrate the #WorldEVDay has reinforced the fact that EVs are here to stay and are ready to lead the way towards cleaner modes of transportation.

Sowing Now to Reap Soon

The Government of India (GoI) got the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020, and the Farmers' Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, approved in Lok Sabha, despite opposition even from some allies. These structural reforms are essential to preserve the long-run growth potential of the agricultural sector.

Earlier, the GoI had passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, to deregulate cereals, pulses, oilseeds, potatoes and onions, and to do away with stock limits. It also put into motion an amendment of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act. Bringing in a contract-farming Act will address structural weaknesses in the sector.

The agriculture sector has held up quite well in the Covid-induced GDP crash, even as the virus is spreading to smaller towns and the hinterland. Q1 GDP data bears testament to this. While India's GDP contracted by 23.9% YoY in April-June 2020, agricultural output grew 3.4% YoY. So, are there some important lessons that the GoI can learn from its own economic management and conduct for reviving the economy at large?

Timely interventions and thinking about the supply chain holistically are key. This is best illustrated by GoI's decision to rapidly scale up rabi procurement operations early on during the lockdown. The Centre, along with state governments, issued guidelines on facilitation, movement of man and machine, etc., in a timely fashion. The Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state procurement agencies together bought a record 39 million tonnes of wheat, about 14 % higher than levels a year ago, and even more than the earlier record procurement of 38.2 million tonnes in 2012-13 — this under the shadow of Covid.

Active cooperation between the central and state governments saw a sharp increase in procurement centres (from about 15,000 to about 22,000) to ensure farmers a market and prevent distress sales and wastage. As much as INR 750 billion was paid out to some 4.2 million farmers by way of minimum support price (MSP) for wheat during the current rabi marketing season.

GoI also attested that front-loading and targeting government spending are important to support economic activity. It front-loaded rural spending, pumping in INR 1.9 trillion during the first four months of FY2021. This was a sharp increase by 63.4% YoY against VA, YoY growth in other expenditure during the same period. This is likely to have played an important role in preventing distress, and even supporting the rural economy.

The GoI transferred the first instalment of 22,000 of its Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sanunan Nidhi (PM-KISAN) transfers to each farmer at the start of the fiscal, benefiting about 90 million farmers. It also hiked the budgeted amount for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for FY21 by INR2,400 billion to a record INR 1 trillion.

Higher funding enabled an in-crease of jobs provided under MGNREGA by 50% during April-August 2020 compared to a year ago.

The GoI also initiated an INR2,500 billion temporary rural works programme, Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana (GKRY), in 116 districts across six states for out-of-work migrant workers returning to their hometowns in June. It ensured its rapid implementation by targeting the labour towards existing projects such as railway works, rural housing, etc. As much as INR2167.8 billion was spent during the first seven weeks of GKRY generating 210 million man-days of employment.

Ensuring ample availability of credit is critical. The GoI instituted an INR 2,300 billion emergency working capital fund to support small and marginal farmers for post-harvest rabi-related work, and preparatory work for the kharif season. Besides, it also extended additional concessional credit of INR 2 trillion via Kisan Credit Cards. The GoI has also offered to provide interest subsidy up to 3%, along with partial credit guarantees, on loans to be given to farmers, farmer organisations, self-help groups and government agencies.

Supporting the case of agriculture and rural India — as the latest Bills passed in Parliament, policy pushes, targeted benefits and systemic reforms attest — is critical to avoiding a surge in unemployment, debt overhangs and the destruction of productive capacity in sectors beyond agriculture.

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