Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra
After tycoon Mukesh Ambani saying new American President Donald Trump was good news for India, it was the turn of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) chairman Anand Mahindra — he’s said America is a good place to invest with this presidency.
“President Trump may have become an object of derision for a lot of people in the media because of his whimsicality and he can keep the world on edge by talking on issues like H1-B visas, border tax, one-state policy and China. The reality, however is his ‘Make America great again’ (campaign) is going to make America a wonderful place to invest in. The stock market is already cheering; our group is going to double our bet in the US. We think America is going to be robust,” said Mahindra at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum.
"President Trump may have become an object of derision. The reality, however, is his ‘Make America great again’ is going to make America a wonderful place to invest in,"
"America is still powerful. He (Trump) can wake up and keep us on edge"
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, M&M
Mahindra, like Ambani, believes that because of the narrow vision of Trump, to only focus on his country, India has an opportunity to take its place in the global map. “The problem is that ‘Make America great again’ is about reimagining America, not the world. The opportunity here is that there is place for a country and a leader to fill that vacuum because the President of America, the leader of the free world, is not reimagining the world. I think this is an enormous opportunity for India,” he added further.
Mahindra said a similar opportunity for India had emerged in the 1950s, when we had charismatic leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru who came up with big ideas like IITs, creating new infrastructure, etc. India became a laboratory for reimagination.
“However, Nehru forgot that in order to continue to have influence over the world, we needed a thriving, energetic and engaging economy; he led us into seclusion. At this point, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to fill that gap but I don’t think his economy is big enough to do so. China’s Xi Jinping tried to smoothly place China as the leader during (the) Davos (meet) but China will always be feared. And, that gives a wonderful gap for India to fill. It’s time for big ideas. India could serve as a bridge builder when nations are getting separated,” said Mahindra.
He urged the information technology sector to push its limits and not get bogged into issues like H1-B visas and US immigration law. He asked the industry to adopt cloud technology, making this an ‘app on tap’.
Mahindra also supported the government’s demonetisation drive and several other such initiatives. He said on Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “When you talk to the man who is running the country, you realise he wants to change the mindset of people. We all discuss this during cocktail parties, that so and so could have done better if only we could change our mindset, and this man is trying to just do that with Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and others.”
Mahindra added that corruption at the top level, as gleaned from his talks with people in Delhi, was almost non-existent.
The government’s cleanliness drive, he said, was closely related to making India a leading tourist destination. Tourism is a ‘higher margin’ business and the lack of cleanliness an impediment for the sector.
Asked about M&M’s plan on autonomous vehicles, he said: “The sequence of autonomy will first come to tractors. They do not run into anyone in fields, they do not cause paranoia and they raise productivity. We are going to do that, for sure. The second thing that will get on to the autonomous mode is trucks. That will unleash productivity. If you can create dedicated lanes, which is more possible to do, that will be the second phase.”