Exclusive: Nalinikanth Gollagunta to take charge as the CEO of Mahindra & Mahindra’s Automotive Division

A former CEO of GE Healthcare - Digital Enterprise, Nalinikanth Gollagunta will steer the overall automotive operation leading manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer care.

Ketan Thakkar By Ketan Thakkar calendar 26 Mar 2023 Views icon62316 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Nalinikanth Gollagunta is set to take charge as the CEO of Mahindra & Mahindra’s automotive division from 4 April 2023.

This is the new position that has been created by the company in order to ensure a sharper focus on the automotive business, given an ambitious push towards electric vehicle space, which will call for strong management bandwidth across both the organisations.

Autocar Professional had exclusively reported on 22 March that Mahindra & Mahindra has appointed Kausalya Nandakumar as the COO of its EV business Mahindra Electric Automobiles, and the maker of Scorpio was in the process of appointing a COO for the auto business who will come from outside of the Mahindra Group.

Prior to joining Mahindra, Gollagunta was the Global CEO of enterprise digital at GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, USA, where he was responsible for global P&L ownership across the Americas, APAC, Middle East, and Europe, said people in the know.

He is amongst the very few CEOs who have been hired from outside - a slight departure from the past, wherein the company relied on grooming CXOs within the Group before taking charge of the operation. Gollagunta is expected to bring a fresh outside-in approach to the already galloping automotive business.

Gollagunta will report to Veejay Nakra, the automotive division president, overseeing manufacturing, sales, customer care, and marketing functions for the auto division. He will be based out of Kandivali, Mumbai. 

An email sent to Mahindra & Mahindra did not elicit any response till the time of publishing.

An electrical engineer from IIT Madras, Gollagunta comes with an experience of over a couple of decades working across geographies like India, the US, South East Asia, and in varied organisations such as GE, Cisco, McKinsey, and Texas Instruments. The auto division has strengthened its market position, and shown quantum growth through its innovative product offerings, differentiated customer experience and robust financial discipline, culminating into a healthy business result, stated an internal circular.

“He brings astute commercial acumen and significant scale-up experience across emerging and mature markets,” added Rajesh Jejurikar,ED, Mahindra & Mahindra in his internal note to employees.

Gollagunta takes charge of operations at a time when Mahindra is sitting on its strongest order book amid intense competition. The company is set to end FY23 with the highest-ever sales, revenues, and profitability with new capacities coming on stream to cater to over 2 lakh waiting for customers.

His other roles with GE Healthcare included COO, healthcare digital, and CEO South Asia. At Cisco, he was the MD - Enterprise sales for South Asia, where Gollagunta was responsible for new market creation and delivering the Go to Market Strategy.

Prior to that at McKinsey, Gollagunta developed and executed strategic plans for new business ventures, operation transformation, M&A, and digital consumer initiatives. Gollagunta has a master's in engineering science from the Pennsylvania State University.

Post his master's degree, Gollagunta started his career with Texas Instruments,  where he led several semiconductor design projects for silicon valley majors and start-ups. He has completed his MBA From Cornell University with the prestigious Ezra Cornell fellowship.

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