Auburn Hills, Michigan – The opening of a new North American headquarter with a manufacturing operation by Mahindra Automotive North America, (MANA), was a nostalgic moment for the soft-spoken Anand Mahindra, Mahindra Group Chairman.
Inaugurating the new facility, the first to be established in the Detroit area in at least 25 years, Mahindra went down memory lane, saying, “I came here to America as a freshman in college back in (19)73. I was a wide-eyed18 year old, and I came with $100 in my pocket. That was all the foreign exchange that the Indian government allowed that time.” Adding a point on dignity of labor, Mahindra said, “And I received a full scholarship and a campus job.”
Reminiscing with a twinkle in his eyes, Mahindra, now in his early 60s told a select audience of elected officials, business leaders and Mahindra employees, “And I was introduced to the wonderful kaleidoscope the world of the liberal arts degree and I learnt many lessons here.” Summarizing the American dream, Mahindra said, “Amongst them was that whoever you are, how small, if you work hard and if you are entrepreneurial, you will succeed.”
Armed with those lessons, Mahindra returned to India and applied them to his life and his business, saying, “So in a sense, I can say, America did a lot to shape me.”
Mahindra said he felt “very proud to be here today,” to give back in “some small way to America for this wonderful education it gave me.” Feeling “life has come full circle for me,” Mahindra considered, “it’s an amazing privilege for us to be standing here today inaugurating … the first automotive plant in 25 years, the birthplace of the automotive world.”
Exuding gratitude, Mahindra told the audience, “I recognize that it is a privilege but it comes with a responsibility. And its a responsibility to contribute to the resurgence of Detroit. What does that mean, that means jobs, that means investment.”
Mahindra noted that the company had already invested $230 million and promised, “We are going to do lot more.” On the hiring front also the company was looking at 275 people by end of January 2018 and then “many more coming here by 2020,” he added.
Anand Mahindra praised his executive team and all the employees, giving credit to their visionary plan of action and hard-working efforts of all the employees.
For the statistical minded, Anand Mahindra grew his group exponentially with major acquisitions like South Korea’s Ssangyong Motors, Reva Electric Car Company, Satyam Computer Services, Peugeot Motorcycles, to name a few.