Mahindra Group will continue to invest in successful businesses and prepare for the future by nurturing and investing in verticals that have a potential of over a billion-dollar market cap, while "appropriate action" is being taken on those not lived up to their plans, its Chairman Anand Mahindra said on Friday. Addressing the company's shareholders at the annual general meeting, Mahindra said the COVID-19 pandemic has turned lives upside down and the economy faces an uncertain future. He, however, added that it has given "us an opportunity to reboot our thinking, to reinvent our approach and to recommit ourselves to our financial goals".
Addressing the shareholders, Mahindra said that supply chain stability remains a "threat" despite a rapid trajectory recovery. He also said the China issues do not have any impact on the company's business as its total imports account for only three per cent, including from China.
Stating that "in 2018, we were declared to be the best-performing stock on the Nifty since 2002", Mahindra said, "We have the ability to turn the worst of times into the best of times. And, it is our happy experience that the worst of times is often just the trigger that propels us towards the best of times." Today, he said, "The pendulum has swung again towards tough times. Since 2018, the upward graph has shown quite a dip. The last couple of years have been tough for the whole world and we are no exception."
Mahindra added that side by side, with pursuing ambitious goals, "we had to battle on many fronts and face a number of so-called 'black swans'. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has given us an opportunity to reboot our thinking, to reinvent our approach and to recommit ourselves to our financial goals". Reiterating that growth continues to be the group's goal, he said that if anything, the group's focus on growth is sharper than before. "We have already started identifying and taking appropriate action on businesses that have not lived up to their business plans."
Mahindra further said the group will commit itself to ambitious growth "by continuing to invest in its successful businesses and prepare for the future by nurturing and investing in businesses that have a potential of over a billion-dollar market cap." He added that far from abandoning dreams, the group is reigniting itself in a calibrated, strategic and well-thought-out manner.
"Today, our factories are humming again, we have reinvented our business, we have moved sale online (and) we are all set to rise," Mahindra said. He said, "I think life has led us full circle. In 2002, when we seemed to be facing the worst of times, we committed to a focus on financial returns and succeeded beyond anyone's expectations."
Mahindra also said that in 2020, tough times are back again and the company is rededicating itself to those financial goals and growth aspirations with a laser-sharp focus on financial returns. "I firmly believe that the worst will soon be behind us and the best of times are well within reach." He said that as much as 65-70 per cent of the automobile sales is back to the pre-COVID-19 level which is a rapid trajectory of recovery.
But, supply chain stability is the biggest concern, he said. Responding to a question on the joint venture with Ford, Mahindra said the company was awaiting approvals from the Gujarat and Tamil Nadu governments as Ford has plants in these states, and sounded hopeful that the JV should be functional by October.
He said the company's future plans remain focussed on industry-leading products. He added that "we are also looking into an emerging area of EVs and precision farming". Mahindra said the group is mindful of the global scenario but is confident that most of our investment will create significant value for shareholders.
"We are going to be financially prudent but we will grow without losing our ambition for growth, and we will allocate capital carefully, yet we will have a number of businesses that are going to grow dramatically in the future," he added.