Effective April 4, Nalinikanth Gollagunta has taken charge of the automotive business as CEO, a position newly created. He will report to Veejay Nakra, president, automotive business. Prior to joining Mahindra, he was the global CEO of enterprise digital at GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, USA, where he was responsible for global profit and loss ownership across the Americas, APAC, Middle East, and Europe.
For the newly formed Mahindra Electric Automobile (MEAL), Mahindra has appointed Kausalya Nandakumar as the chief operating officer from 1 April. She has been with the Mahindra Group for over a decade and a half and was the head of women empowerment at the group. Nandakumar will report into a newly constituted management council to be led by Rajesh Jejurikar, executive director, farm and automotive sectors. The council will offer direction for performance of delivery metrics, ensure smooth coordination with M&M teams, and provide domain support.
Other members of the council will comprise of Nakra, R Velusamy (president, auto tech and product development) Vinod Sahay (president and chief procurement officer) and Rajeev Goel (chief financial officer, automotive and farm equipment sector). “As a business, we must prepare for growth and prepare for capacity,” said Jejurikar.
The changes come at a time when Mahindra is bracing to pursue an aggressive EV strategy on the one hand – Mahindra expects electric models to make up between 20% and 30% of its total SUV sales by March 2027 and is struggling to meet demand for the newly launched SUVs amid supply chain challenges. At the end of the third quarter, M&M had an open order book of 266,000 units with wait time for some of its models stretching to up to a year. The company is in the process of ramping up capacity to 49,000 units per month from 29,000 units at the end of FY24.
“Our learning over the last 2.5 to 3 years is that the cost of creating incremental capacity is nothing compared to the cost of lost sales or customers waiting. So, it’s good to have headroom in any plan going into the future,” he said.