Anish Shah, MD & CEO of Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), on Monday said that the company’s focus is on growth and scaling up existing businesses. Shah also said that farm business, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services have very high return on equity.
51-year-old Anish Shah has taken over as the first Group MD & CEO of the Mahindra Group as Anand Mahindra assumes the role of a non-executive chairman. He has been tasked with carrying out a thorough review of all Mahindra group companies with a clear focus on strong cash flows. Going forward the Mahindra group will focus on 10 of its growth gems and will also launch IPOs for the same in the next three to four years. The company has decided to exit loss making subsidiaries like Genze, SsangYong and has reduced workforce across the global. M&M also has a challenging task of regaining lost market share in the utility vehicle segment – one of its key growth engines.
Speaking about lockdown & business growth in an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18, Shah said, “The Maharashtra government has a taken a balanced approach to contain the spread of coronavirus. The number of cases rising are exponential and that pace is accelerating. So, an action was required. Therefore, we felt it’s balanced because it does not impact the economy.”
“I think vaccination is a positive step. We feel that everyone working in the manufacturing should be vaccinated and we are working with different hospitals that have the vaccines available. However, today we have a number of protocols in place. We have quarantine facilities for workers at the plant and that has helped us manage the situation so far,” said Shah.
He further said, “The plan that they (govt of Maharashtra) have come up with, does not impact factories and therefore it is a very prudent approach and this will address the exponential rise in cases. We have gone through a time which was much tougher than this and the economy has come out it. So, at this stage I feel that if it’s a balanced approach where the factories are allowed to run and we take all the actions required to keep our workers safe, it will put the economy back on track. Yes, we will see a blip over this month because number of cases are rising across India and we need to address that with a high degree of urgency.”
Talking about business, Shah said, “All the cleanup has happened right now. We have taken large number of action last year. It was a concerted action on capital allocation while the focus on capital allocation will continue in terms of returns. We do not need to make any further exits and where we are pivoting now is to grow our businesses.”
“All our large businesses are profitable; farm business has very high RoEs, the auto business is well within our strides for RoE and so is financial services and Tech Mahindra. These are our 4 core businesses and we had to cleanup a number of things on the periphery. SsangYong was one that had a much bigger impact overall because of its size, but there were other international subsidiaries that we have cleaned up right now,” he said.
Speaking about electric vehicles, he said, “The capabilities that we have will come together to develop a much better offering for electric cars in India; for that what we also need is cost of ownership to be equivalent with conventional cars. So over the next 3-5 years all of that is going to come into place and that’s when we will come up with a much stronger electric offering.”
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(Edited by : Aditi Gautam)