Anand Mahindra (born 1 May 1955) is the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group. His grandfather JC Mahindra co-founded the company in Mumbai, India. Founded as a steel trading company, the Group today has a presence in multiple sectors from agribusiness to aerospace. It is considered to be one of the most reputed Indian industrial houses with market leadership in many business verticals including utility vehicles, tractors (world’s largest tractor company by volume), after market (India’s largest multi-brand pre-owned car company), finance (largest rural NBFC in India), Holidays (India’s largest vacation ownership company) and IT (top 5 IT service provider).
Hailed as ‘The Federator’ by Forbes (India) Magazine, Anand Mahindra started his career at Mahindra Group with Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Ltd. as Executive Assistant to the Finance Director and in 1989, was appointed President and Deputy managing director of that company. During his stint at MUSCO, he initiated the Mahindra Group’s diversification into the new business areas of real estate development and hospitality management and in August 2012, took over as chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group from his uncle Keshub Mahindra
He is included by Fortune Magazine among the ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ and featured in the magazine’s 2011 listing of Asia’s 25 most powerful business people. Anand has also been noted by Forbes (India) as their ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for 2013.
After graduating from Harvard Business School, Anand Mahindra joined Mahindra Ugine Steel Company Ltd (MUSCO), as Executive Assistant to the Finance Director. In 1989 he was appointed President and Deputy managing director of the company. In the summer of 1991, he was appointed Deputy managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a producer of off-road vehicles and agricultural tractors in India.
During his time at M&M Ltd., Anand initiated a comprehensive change program to make the company an efficient and aggressive competitor in the newly liberalised economic environment in India. In April 1997, he was appointed managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, and in January 2003 given the additional responsibility of vice-chairman. On 9 August 2012, he was appointed chairman and managing director. Anand is also a co-promoter of Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd, which was converted into a bank in 2003.
Under Anand Mahindra’s leadership, the Mahindra group has grown beyond making steel and tractors. Today the Group makes SUVs—in India and South Korea (Ssangyong) with exports to Latin America, Africa, Europe and South East Asia. Mahindra Tractors is the world’s largest tractor company by volume, selling tractors in India, China and the US. The group also makes electric cars, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, yachts, and aircraft. Mahindra Systech, makes auto components across five continents. Tech Mahindra is the fifth largest IT services and IT consulting company in India. Mahindra Retail (Mom & Me) sells products for expecting mothers and babies. Almost 200,000 people choose Club Mahindra Holidays as their preferred holiday package provider. Mahindra ShubhLabh Services is India’s largest exporter of grapes and pomegranate. Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limitedis the largest non-banking finance company in rural India. Mahindra Solar is making inroads in solar farms and Mahindra Lifespaces is a leader in sustainable urban development.
Today, the Mahindra Group is a US$16.5 billion organisation, and one of India’s top 10 industrial houses.
Anand Mahindra has been tagged as the face of Indian capitalism by The Economist. Forbes India Magazine has recognised him as their ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for the year 2013.
Anand Mahindra was recently appointed to the board of U.S.–India Business Council (USIBC). As a member of the board, Anand helps promote the policy advocacy priorities of USIBC and advice members and senior USIBC staff on a wide range of topics. Anand also serves as the Honorary Ambassador of Foreign Investment Promotion for the Republic of Korea, and is a member of the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, which is the lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business center.
He is the co-founder of the Harvard Business School Association of India, an association dedicated to the promotion of professional management in India. An avid advocate of using ‘design for human happiness’, Anand is the chairman, Governing Council National Institute of Design and President, India Design Council.
He is the Founder Chairman of the Mumbai Festival, which was launched in January 2005. The event is the first comprehensive festival to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the city. He is also the Chairperson of Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
He has also served as President of the Confederation of Indian Industry in 2003–04 and has been President of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). He also served on the Boards of the National Stock Exchange of India and the National Council of Applied Economic Research, and as a member of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research.
Other boards and committees
Anand also serves on:
Harvard Business School – Asia–Pacific Advisory Board
Harvard University Asia Centre – Advisory Committee
Harvard Global Advisory Council
Asia Business Council
Global Board of Advisers of the Council on Foreign Relations
World Bank Group’s Advisory Board for Doing Business
He is also a member of:
Council and Executive Committee – National Sports Development Fund (NSDF)
Government of India; Executive Committee – The Nehru Centre, Mumbai
Empowered Committee on Mumbai Transformation; India Council for Sustainable Development
Board of Trade, Government of India; National Council for Electric Mobility
Committee for Reforming the Regulatory Environment for Doing Business in India
Anand Mahindra is included in Fortune Magazine’s list of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders in 2014. Fortune magazine also named him as one of the top 25 most powerful business people in Asia for the year 2011. A regular at World Economic Forum’s annual meetings, Anand Mahindra was the WEF co-chair in 2009. He has represented Indian industry at several global meets, including the APEC CEO Summit in 2009. He frequently shares his views and ideas on Indian economy and business through his writings in some of leading national and international business magazines. He has also contributed to books ‘Reimagining India’ published by Mckinsey and Company. A social media enthusiast, Anand has regularly been noted as one of the most influential business leaders on Twitter. His Twitter handle – @anandmahindra, has over a million followers.
Anand is a firm believer in power of education and has called it the “most privatisable of all social institutions”. His father, Harish Mahindra, played a significant role in establishing the Mahindra United World College in Pune, Maharashtra, in 1997. MUWC is one of the 14 United World Colleges in the world. Anand is on the Board of Governors of the Mahindra United World College of India.
Anand is a staunch advocate of promoting girl child education and in 1996, founded Project Nanhi Kali, which provides sponsorship to underprivileged girls across India including, material support (e.g. school uniforms, school bag, shoes, socks, stationery etc.). He is also Trustee of the K.C. Mahindra Education Trust, which provides scholarships to students and supports the work of Project Nanhi Kali.
A student of the arts and culture, Anand believes that the study of humanities is essential in shaping leaders of the future. In November 2010, he donated $10million to support the Harvard Humanities Center in honour of his mother, Indira Mahindra. It is the largest gift for the study of humanities in Harvard’s history. In recognition of this donation, the center was renamed the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.
Anand is co-founder of Naandi Danone, which is the largest safe drinking water provider to rural areas of India, catering to nearly 3 million customers. Anand is also Chairman of the Board of Naandi Foundation. Founded in 1998, the Naandi Foundation works in 4 broad sectors: safe drinking water, support for urban school children, work training for unemployed youth and agricultural marketing.
Anand has a keen interest in filmmaking, a subject he pursued as an undergraduate at Harvard. Today, he remains a keen photographer with a strong interest in film. He also enjoys listening to the blues and helped set up an annual Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in 2011.
His enthusiasm about the arts has led the Mahindra Group to invest in promotion of arts and culture in India through the Mahindra Excellence in Theater Awards and the Mahindra Sanatkada Lucknow Festival, a crafts mela (exhibition) and performing arts extravaganza at the historic and beautiful Kaiserbagh Baradari Palace in Lucknow. The Group also organises the Sundance Institute–Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award in Park City, Utah, USA through its media and entertainment company, Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd., Mumbai. This partnership also included the establishment of the Mumbai Mantra–Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab in India, which brought together eight Indian screenwriters from across the world to develop their work under the guidance of accomplished international screenwriters.
Honors and awards
Over the years, Anand has received several recognitions including:
Rajiv Gandhi Award for outstanding contribution in the business field – 2004
Knight of the Order of Merit’ by the President of the French Republic – 2004
Leadership Award – American India Foundation – 2005
Business Leader Award for the year award – CNBC Asia – 2006
Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award – 2008
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year India award – 2009
Business Leader of the Year – The Asian Awards – 2011
JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award – All India Management Association – 2011
Global Leadership Award – US-India Business Council – 2012
Business Courage Award – Asia Business Leadership Forum – 2012
Best Transformational Leader Award – Asian Centre For Corporate Governance & Sustainability – 2012
Entrepreneur for the Year – Forbes India Leadership Awards – 2013
Sustainable Development Leadership Award – The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) – 2014
Anand is married to Anuradha Mahindra, who is the Editor and Publisher of the magazine – ‘Verve’ and Publisher of ‘The Indian Quarterly’.