Indian companies operating in the United States, need to commit, persevere, invest, and add value says Mahindra USA Inc’s President Mani Iyer. A graduate in engineering from University of Mumbai, Iyer rose up from the ranks through quality/service manager and director roles to Vice President of Sales and current position as president.
He has been a key player in building brand awareness in this country, successfully embedding an Indian name like Mahindra in the American consciousness despite competitive giants like John Deere. He steered the company turnaround from the 2008 global crash and significant losses in 2009, through continued economic deterioration to a record retail growth and record 2012/2013 profits and market share, to become the powerhouse company it is today. Iyer spoke to Ela Dutt in a phone interview from his office in Houston, Texas.
Q: How did Mahindra achieve the success it has with its phenomenal market penetration?
Any business should plan to have a long-term relationship with the country, a passion to persevere, and a commitment to invest in business and be part of the community. Mahindra has a long term commitment to business, job growth, and to localize (its presence).
I like to describe the company as “Mahindra in America, with headquarters in India.” Because a business has to be seen like that. You have to be local, employ locals, entrench the brand throughout the country. And adding value to the country you are in.
Q. What are your future plans for Mahindra?
There are seven businesses of Mahindra and over 9,000 employed, direct and indirect put together, in the United States. We partner with many others including dealerships … (etc.) We have made millions of dollars in investments, and given significant millions to (other initiatives). We have a terrific plan to double our growth. So all seven businesses will be firing on all cylinders.
Q: How do you see President Trump’s ‘Make in America’ campaign going?
We are already built in America. All our products, scooters, utility vehicles, tractors, are made in America. So any company should invest nationally.