Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s biggest utility vehicle and tractor-makers have decided to set up a specialized unit that is expected to focus fully on the business opportunities in the automobile sector in Africa. Africa has progressed across a variety of sectors in recent years that have led to Mahindra to predict its potential to rise ten times over to an amount of $150 million on an annual basis. The new unit is now expected to service the continent with Mahindra’s products and services in an “integrated manner”.
Ashok Sharma, President of agriculture business at M&M, who is also on the executive board of Mahindra & Mahindra will take on the responsibility of the new unit. This new arm will act as the company’s internal distributor and will be in-charge of the distribution of all vehicles from two wheelers to trucks.
Kenya will be home to one of Mahindra’s biggest hubs with other hubs to be put in place in Egypt and Nigeria. An office has already been set-up in South Africa. The intention of the ground presence in Africa is to give the company stronger hold onto the market, instead of having the office in Indian handle those affairs from afar.
“The channel partners, government and the other stakeholders may not be able to understand the impact brand Mahindra can have. When we go as ‘One Mahindra’, then they will be able to see the impact we can have on the local econ economy,” Sharma said.
Pawan Goenka, executive director of M&M said that his move will now see local companies and offices and the local work-force work to develop a product that is specific to the local market.
“We have multiple businesses in Africa. Instead of each business going independently, we are treating the African business unit as our virtual distributor.” Through the new business model, the company will have synergies in distribution, supply chain, spare parts, service, advertising and branding, helping dealers become more viable”, he said.