> GCO Townhall

“We Will Recover Fast”

Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director – Auto and Farm Sector, is a leader with a vision, one who doesn’t shy away from rolling-up his sleeves to get the job done right. A professed introvert, Mr Jejurikar strongly believes in maintaining a work-life balance. The Mahindra leader talked about a host of topics – from the unveil of the new Thar, to his career at Mahindra, taking over at AFS, his hobbies and advice to young leaders – in the recent GCO Townhall held on August 18.

Outlook for Auto and Farm business

We have done superbly at FES which has had a strong first quarter (April to June). Tractor demand, influenced by several factors, was way beyond what we had seen in a long time. The rural demand also positively impacted the auto side as well – Scorpio and Bolero pickups have seen very good demand.

On the urban side, there has been a significant interest in Thar and it’s a reflection of how people are thinking and feeling. The lockdown imposed in the wake of the Corona pandemic has been tough for people which has triggered an overwhelming desire among people to use their vehicles to experience freedom. And that’s the reason I believe Club Mahindra will see higher occupancies as more people will prefer to drive out for their holidays. We are going to see a huge change in attitudes to driving as a part of holidays.

Career at Mahindra

I joined M&M in June 2000 and it has been 20 years now. It has been a huge learning curve as I did not have any experience of the auto industry with most of my career in the FMCG business.

Looking back, I believe the sentiment we are facing now and then are quite similar. We were facing huge challenges then just as we are now and that gives me confidence that we will come out triumphant.

Settling into my new role as Executive Director – Auto and Farm Sector, has not been difficult. However, from a business point of view, it has been overwhelming as we shifted into crisis mode just as I took over in April due to the corona pandemic. I am now well settled into my new role and have a fair sense of where we are headed in each of our key businesses – auto and farm.

Advice for Future Leaders

I believe everybody should have their own unique leadership style and pick what works for them and not simply emulate others.

  • Only get into areas where you can add value
  • Give a premium to staying connected as I believe it is critical to focus on gaining diverse insights
  • Stay grounded
  • Know how to priortise
  • Do not mix accountability with teamwork
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  • Which of the following do you enjoy the most?
    Working from home
    Working from the office
    Spending time in both spaces equally