Dr Pawan Goenka, executive director, Mahindra & Mahindra, has been elevated to the position of managing director. Meanwhile, Anand Mahindra, who currently holds the position of managing director and chairman, is being designated as executive chairman of the company. He will continue to oversee and be responsible for shaping the growth strategies of the company and its portfolio of investments.
Announcing Dr Goenka’s appointment, Anand Mahindra said: "Pawan has played a major role in M&M’s meteoric growth in the post-liberalisation era. His elevation as MD is a fitting recognition not only of his vast experience and domain knowledge in the mobility space and his many past achievements, but also of the eminent role that he currently plays in the company.”
Commenting on his new appointment, Dr Goenka said: “I am humbled by my appointment as the managing director of M&M. When I joined the Group 23 years ago, I could never have imagined that one day I would be entrusted with the responsibility by the Board of the company. I am sure that with the guidance of the executive chairman and the Board and the support of my colleagues, the company will continue on the growth path that we have witnessed over the past decade and a half.”
Dr Goenka has been at the helm of the Mahindra Group's automotive business since September 2005 and has helped translate the automaker's global vision into reality.
The soft-spoken, true-blue engineer, a pure R&D person in his own words, Dr Goenka, who was with General Motors in the US for 14 years, returned to India and joined M&M in 1993, leading the team that built the Scorpio, one of India’s best-known SUV marques.
Since taking over as head of the automotive division, he has closely supervised every Mahindra product launched ever since. In 2010, he engineered the buyout of Reva, a niche Indian electric vehicle maker, with an aim to carve a niche in this technology of the future. And in March 2012, he completed the acquisition of Korean manufacturer SsangYong.
He ardently believes in electric vehicles and in an interview told Autocar Professional: “We believe that electric vehicles or clean-energy vehicles are the future – not just for India, but for the global automobile industry. And we need to promote that at both the OEM level, and the government level.” Which is why he welcomed the government’s recent FAME India initiative on EVs and hybrids.
His stamp is across the Mahindra Group, whether it is Mahindra Two Wheelers picking up the majority stake in Peugeot Motocycles or 33% in Mitsubishi Agricultural Machinery. He has an abiding passion for the BAJA SAE India competition and this year, Mahindra & Mahindra completed its ninth year as title sponsor of the country’s premier ATV competition for engineering students. Dr Goenka says, “Every year, three to four thousand students participate in BAJA, and get closer to the automotive industry. They get to experience concepts and go beyond classroom learning. Be it designing, fabricating, running, or even teamwork the management ability. All of this helps train engineering students and results in graduates ready for the industry. And, that’s our primary objective.”
He was appointed president of the automotive sector in 2006, of AFS (Automotive and Farm Equipment Sectors) in 2010 and executive director on the Board of M&M in 2013. Dr Goenka has been actively involved with many professional bodies including CII, SIAM, SAE and ARAI and has been widely acclaimed for his technical work and business leadership. Currently, he also serves as the chairman of the Board of governors of IIT Madras.
Earlier this year, Dr Goenka was awarded the 2016 FISITA Medal of Honour. He is the first Indian to receive this prestigious recognition.
Dr Goenka, who is also passionate about building Brand India in the global automotive scheme of things, has been Autocar Professional’s ‘Man of the Year’ twice, in 2011 and in 2006, when we described him as the architect of M&M’s global vision. That vision has unfolded in the years since in several ways.
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