Pratap Bose, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer

In a move to put design at the centre of its future offerings from two wheelers to trucks, Mahindra & Mahindra, the maker of XUV and Thar sports utility vehicles, on Friday announced creating a new global design organisation for the automotive and farm equipment sector.

To steer the new set up, the Mahindra Group also announced the appointment of Pratap Bose as the Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer to lead its newly formed Global Design organization.

Bose will join on 24th of June and will directly report into Rajesh Jejurikar, ED, Auto and Farm Sectors of Mahindra & Mahindra. Kripa, the current chief of design, will explore opportunities outside of Mahindra Group, said an internal announcement. She will continue till November 2021 to ensure smooth transition and handover. Kripa was responsible for designing highly successful products like the XUV 500 and Thar.

On the announcement, Jejurikar said the Group is at an inflection point in both Auto and Farm Sectors growth journey as it accelerates the transformative initiatives. The robust pipeline of 23 new products that will be launched in the next five years would bring the new design and advanced engineering capability across automotive, farm equipment and two wheelers to the fore.

“Having Pratap on the team will strengthen our design capability, enhance our products and widen our customer base. We are very excited to welcome him on board and look forward to writing a new chapter in Mahindra’s rich product legacy,” said Jejurikar.

Criticised for its polarising SUV design language, M&M is seeking to strengthen that part of its operation. The group has plans of launching over three dozen products across segments (Uvs, CVs and tractors) in the next 5 years and will be investing close to Rs 17000 crore across business in three years.

Having Pratap on the team will strengthen our design capability, enhance our products and widen our customer base. We are very excited to welcome him on board and look forward to writing a new chapter in Mahindra’s rich product legacy.Rajesh Jejurikar, ED, Auto and Farm Sectors of Mahindra & Mahindra.

With this M&M is set to double its design investment and take the resource pool to 150 in the coming two to three years, say people in the know.The Global Design organization will comprise of the recently announced Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), which is being set up in Coventry in the West Midlands, U.K and the existing Mahindra India Design Studio (M.I.D.S). Bose will lead a team of 30 designers out of the UK in the first phase.

Bose will be responsible for both M.A.D.E and M.I.D.S and will oversee design of all key business segments such as authentic SUVs including Born Electric Vehicle (BEV), LCV products (under <3.5 T), Last Mile Mobility (LMM), Large CVs, Peugeot Scooters (France) and Tractors & Farm Machines.

An alumnus of Royal College of Art, London and National Institute of Design, India, Bose brings with him over 20 years of rich global automotive design experience.

His last assignment was with M&M’s rival Tata Motors, in the UK where he spent 14 years. Prior to that he had worked in Piaggio, Italy and Daimler Chrysler, Japan.

The Born EV products are likely to be designed out of the UK, whereas the rest of the portfolio’s responsibility will be shared between India and UK. All major tractor and truck design capabilities are expected to be managed out of India.

The global design organization is a strategic initiative aimed at ensuring that products are future-ready and exceed expectations of customers across the world.

The incumbent for the position of Head – Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (MADE) is being hired and will be announced in due course, said an internal missive to the employees. The role holder will be responsible for Creative Design of MADE and will be based in the UK.

Ajay Saran Sharma, another ex-Tata Motors executive who recently joined M&M is being appointed as Vice President and Head – Global Design Management. He will lead Design Program Management (DPM) of MIDS as well as M.A.D.E. His responsibilities will also include overseeing Physical & Digital Modelling, Studio Engineering and Design Perceived Quality. Ajay will be based out of Mumbai, India, added the internal circular.

To ensure world class creative output and program execution, dedicated verticals are being created in each studio location that will maximize and enhance creativity and ensure program delivery on schedule. The organization will sharpen Mahindra’s distinctive product designs and differentiated technology offerings across its portfolio, the company added in a statement.

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Of the proposed investments, INR 9,000 crore is for the automotive sector — INR 6,000 crore for conventional vehicles and INR 3,000 crore for electric vehicles (EVs). INR 3,000 crore is for the farm equipment sector. The remaining INR 5,000 crore is for investments in group companies as well as the auto and farm sectors.

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