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India automaker makes move to The Motor City

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(DIYA TV) — In the age of companies outsourcing jobs to India, one South Asian company has found a home in one of America’s most downtrodden cities—Indian automaker Mahindra has outsourced its key automotive engineering roles to Detroit, despite the fact the company does not sell vehicles in the United States.

When Mahindra & Mahindra sought to expand its global vehicle development capabilities, company executives had enough foresight to recognize there wasn’t sufficient enough talent in India. They toyed with the ideas of creating technical centers in Germany, Italy, England, California and others before finally deciding on Detroit. The same intellectual wit which saw them look outside of India was the same which brought the company to The Motor City—widely considered the epicenter of the world’s automotive industry since its inception.

The Mahindra North American Technical Center is located in Troy, Michigan, and employs a staff of about 80 employees, mostly engineers, with further plans to grow. The company also has an electric scooter manufacturing plant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which launched in November of last year. Collectively, the two centers have made an investment of $30 million in Michigan’s economy.

Even greater, Mahindra is in the running for a $5 billion contract to supply the U.S. Postal Service with 180,000 vehicles a year for five years. Though just one of 15 companies bidding for the contract, but they have a step ahead of the competition, thanks in part due to the construction of their vehicles.

“We are pursuing the contract because we have righthand-drive, rugged vehicles,” said Richard Ansell, vice president of marketing at the Mahindra North American Technical Center.

Ultimately, the Mumbai-based automaker hopes to become an industry titan, said CEO of the North American center, Richard Haas—past goals to begin the mass-production of SUVs and pickup trucks for the U.S. market by 2010 were not met, in part due to issues with the company it selected as a distributor.

Haas, a Detroit native, worked for Ford at multiple outposts around the world before heading west to Palo Alto and a position with electric carmaker Tesla. He left Tesla in 2011 to work for Mahindra and ran an engineering facility in Chennai. He recognized and was attracted to Mahindra’s desire for global expansion, but also saw the challenge which came with it facing the company: India’s strong manufacturing base might not be enough to promote a car culture or vehicle development singlehandedly.

“We needed to do something,” said the engineer. “We could bring in lot of experts from around the world but that would be a difficult task and could be a hard sell.” Those efforts continue, but plan B was to locate a tech center in another country.

The importance of placing the company’s technical center in Detroit was viewed as one paramount to the further development and growth of Mahindra in the U.S., said Ansell. The biggest reason to move the company to America is because this is where they want their products sold, he added.

“Most companies locate R&D in India. We’re doing the opposite by putting it in the U.S.”

Mahindra is currently best known for its production of tractors—starting in the 1960s, the Indian company is now the largest tractor manufacturer in the world. Its North American headquarters, Mahindra USA, are located in Houston. Aside from the manufacturing of vehicles, Mahindra is focusing on strengthening its technology presence in both India and the U.S. as well. Tech Mahindra has five development centers in the U.S., including Silicon Valley. There is even a small aerospace presence in the U.S.

“This is the most interesting thing I’ve ever done in my entire career,” Haas said of working for the multifaceted company.

 

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Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

Former MGM executive Roma Khanna named Revolt TV’s next CEO

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Roma Khanna

Sean Combs Announces Roma Khanna CEO of Revolt TV

LOS ANGELES (Diya TV) — Sean Combs has announced Roma Khanna the CEO of Revolt TV.

“As Revolt continues to grow as a brand and expand globally, I knew we needed a seasoned executive with a proven track record to keep the momentum going and help me lead the network into the future,” said Combs. “Roma is that person. She has the experience and tenacity to build on Revolt’s success and as we continue to influence content and culture around the world.”

“After decades of building large-scale businesses in TV and media, I am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside visionary Sean Combs to get hands-on and redefine content models with a view to building a modern, relevant, global cultural brand,” said Khanna. “Revolt is ready to create and curate content and super-serve its audience on its own TV platform and beyond, living and breathing with its audience wherever they might be.”

Revolt says the company’s mission is to build on its platform to offer long- and short-form content revolving around hip-hop music and culture. According to Revolt’s website, “REVOLT is focused on expertly curating the best of the best in music and engaging youth in social conversation – on-air, on-line, on-demand. The multi-genre, multi-platform network offers breaking music news, videos, artist interviews, exclusive performances, and original programming.”

Revolt claims to have over 50 million young adult consumers through television, digital properties, social and mobile. REVOLT is accessible 24/7 – anytime, anywhere, any screen.

Khanna left MGM, where she served as president, in late 2015. She helped launch FX’s “Fargo” and History’s “Vikings.” She spent three years as president of global networks for NBC Universal’s international networks wing. She also oversaw the development of Hulu hit “Handmaid’s Tale.”

Revolt had been without a CEO for a year, since Keith Clinkscales left the company last August. Revolt launched as a linear channel in the U.S. in October 2013 and has since expanded to Africa and the Caribbean.

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Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

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Vas Narasimhan

Indian American Physician Vas Narasimhan Named CEO of Novartis

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Switzerland-based biotech giant Novartis says Indian American physician Vas Narasimhan will take reins as CEO on Feb. 1.

The 41-year-old Narasimhan joined Novartis in 2005. He currently serves as the company’s Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer. He is also a member of Novartis’ Executive Committee.

“Both from a professional and a personal perspective, this is the right moment to hand the leadership reins of the company to Vas,” said current Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez. “Our strong pipeline and the strategic moves we have taken to focus the company have put Novartis on a strong path for the future. On the personal side, after 10 wonderful years in Switzerland, my family is ready to return to Silicon Valley and the U.S. I’m confident that Vas will be an excellent successor.”

Joerg Reinhardt, chairman of the Novartis board of directors, said the company anticipates “a smooth transition, as Joe built a strong leadership team and mentored his successor.”

Narasimhan graduated from Harvard Medical School. He also has a master’s in public policy from the university’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He earned undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago.

Prior to joining Novartis, he worked at McKinsey & Company, first as a consultant and then as an engagement manager.

An elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, Narasimhan has held a number of positions at Novartis.

Reinhardt expressed confidence in Narasimhan’s ability to lead the company to “expected next growth phase … The strength of Novartis is our ability to drive science-based innovation. Vas is deeply anchored in medical science, has significant experience in managing the interfaces between Research and Development and commercial units and has strong business acumen with a track record of outstanding achievements. As a physician, he has a strong patient focus and a genuine humane perspective and care for the mission and values of Novartis. As a result, the Board of Directors is confident that Vas is the right choice to lead Novartis on our expected next growth phase, driving innovation and further strengthening our competitive position.”

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Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya to raise $500M for a large fund

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Charmath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive and a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors is attempting to raise $500 million as he builds a large investment firm.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Palihapitiya is listed as CEO of “blank check company,” Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings. The company plans to raise $500 million in its IPO and subsequently acquire emerging private businesses that have little incentive to go public.

“Our mission is to create an alternative path to a traditional IPO for disruptive and agile technology companies to achieve their long-term objectives and overcome key deterrents to becoming public,” the filing said.

Palihapitiya has often condemned the traditional venture model and expressed his admiration for billionaire Warren Buffett, who erected Berkshire Hathaway into one of the World’s largest publicly-traded holding companies over a half century.

Social Capital is going to be more like a “bastard stepchild of Berkshire Hathaway and Blackstone and BlackRock” than a traditional venture firm, Palihapitiya said at an event in 2015.

One of Palihapitiya’s goals in the venture is bringing together “technologists, entrepreneurs, and technology-oriented investors,” the filing said.

The Wall Street Journal reported Palihapitiya’s team is planning to meet with investors soon, then initiating the IPO shortly thereafter on the New York Stock Exchange.

Hedosophia has offices in Hong Kong and London. Ian Osborne, CEO of Hedosophia, will be president of the new holding company. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates and former Twitter executive Adam Bain are among the Board members.

Palihapitiya spoke to Diya TV moments after the Warriors championship win in 2017

 

 

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