Mahindra & Mahindra: Decoding The Role Of IT In A Global Federation

V. S. Parthasarathy, Group CIO and CFO

M&M occupies an exemplary position in broadening the role of IT as a major proponent of change that nurtures international growth. The present industrial diversity of M&M and its net worth of $17 billion is a depiction of M&M’s transition from ‘500 to 50,000’ and my journey from CIO to CFO.

After decades of success in the Indian market M&M established leadership at the global level by branching into utility vehicles, IT, defence systems, automotive and hospitality sectors. Its core value ‘Rise’ signifies its philosophy—accept no limits, promote alternative thinking, drive positive change.

With nearly $28 billion as market capital, M&M is more a federation than a conglomerate, where management and execution of technology decisions is not an easy task. We tackle it with a three-tier approach comprising the Strategic Leadership Council (SLC), the Technology Leadership Council (TLC) and the Cross-Functional Team (CFT). The insights of TLC are tested by the technology leaders at the functional group and when approved, they get reviewed and funded by the SLC. This unique division of thought leadership, technology skills and business competencies—the new way to guide without giving guidance—has led to the rapid diversified growth of M&M businesses.

M&M’s US operation is a Business-and-IT Hub that grew astoundingly through strategic partnerships, and testifies the group’s core capability to comprehend customer needs and deliver solutions. This was instrumental in M&M’s large scale implementation of ERP and SAP-based supply chain solutions and the founding of Bristlecone.

A wholly-owned subsidiary headquartered in Silicion Valley, California, Bristlecone is a platform-agnostic global consulting organization that advises clients on how to maximize the strategic value of their supply chains and helps them unleash that value through enabling-technologies. Its current portfolio runs across more than 300 clients in High Tech and Semiconductor, Consumer Goods, Chemical and Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Logistics, and Transformation Discrete Manufacturing. Bristlecone supported the M&M group to an integrated single-instance ERP system across 40,000 users, 400 locations and 40 harmonized processes.

Just as Bristlecone, M&M takes delight in the $4 billion worth IT substratum Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Comviva.

M&M entered into a joint venture with China-based Jiangling Motor Company Group. Our R&D centres in Michigan, Chennai, Ssangyong and Mahindra Research Design in Italy champions the mission to align leading-edge IT support with M&M’s businesses across 18 industries and 10 sectors.

M&M’s plant at Chakan in India, automated with IoT (Internet of Things) and Cloud technologies can seamlessly manufacture 40 models and variants of SUVs.

M&M-Mitsubishi partnership gratified the functional and emotional needs of their US customers. By offering after-sales service and convenience to buy components online much before the concept of online shopping gained traction, Mahindra USA laid the groundwork for new age IT across the M&M fraternity.

This article is an abstract of the original article published in CIO Review magazine.

To know more about Partha’s take on the 3Es (Enable, Enhance, Engender),

ICE (Innovation, Climate Change and E-Commerce) and M&M’s endless quest

to transform, read the complete original article here.