Keshub Mahindra: The man who saw evolution of Indian auto industry

Chennai: He was one of the oldest Indian industrialists who headed one of the oldest automobile groups in the country – Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M).

But, the 99-year-old doyen Keshub Mahindra (born on October 9, 1923), Chairman Emeritus of the $19 billion revenue M&M group attained the lotus feat of the God. In another six months, he would have become a centenarian.

It was during his nearly 50-year reign, that the M&M group forayed into other business ventures like information technology, financial services, hospitality and others.

Interestingly, along with M&M, Mahindra saw the evolution of the India automobile industry.

“The industrial world has lost one of the tallest personalities today. Shri Keshub Mahindra had no match; the nicest person I had the privilege of knowing. I always looked forward to mtgs with him and was inspired by how he connected business, economics and social matters. Om Shanti,” Pawan Kumar Goenka, Chairman, INSPACe and who had spent a long time in the M & M group tweeted.

A graduate from Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, USA, Mahindra joined the company in 1947, the year when India became independent. Nearly two decades later, he took over as the Chairman in 1963.

Under him, the group entered into partnerships with several foreign companies like International Harvester Company, Peugeot, British Telecom, Mitsubishi Corporation, Nissho Iwai Corporation.

He also served on the Boards and Councils of several companies like SAIL, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, IFC and ICICI.

Mahindra was also the Founder Chairman of HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited); Vice-Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd; Chairman Mahindra Ugine Steel Co. Ltd; Director of Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited.

Mahindra was the non-executive Chairman of the Bhopal gas leak fame Union Carbide India Ltd. The gas leak that happened in 1984 killed nearly 4,000 people and injured several thousands.

A philanthropist, Mahindra was appointed by the Indian government to serve on many Committees, including the Sachar Commission on Company Law & MRTP and the Central Advisory Council of Industries.

Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman met IMF Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath in Washington D.C., during which she noted the monetary body’s concerns on key downside risks to the economy including financial sector stress and inflation.


Images courtesy of File photo and Twitter

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