Mahindra, one of India’s leading autos-to technology conglomerates, seems to have caught the startup fever.
According to a recent statement given by the group’s executive chairman, Anand Mahindra, the group is looking to promote a greater startup culture within the group, and foster new, innovative businesses and ideas, which could act as compliments to its various existing products and services.
Speaking to Reuters at an investor gathering recently, Anand Mahindra said “We don’t believe start-ups are the private preserve of only garage start-ups…The corporate garage is going to be the scene of a lot of action.”
In September last year, Mahindra’s automotive arm Mahindra & Mahindra had announced about joining hands with popular Indian ride-sharing company Ola in order to increase the sales of its cars, and also take advantage of Ola’s data on drivers and rides so as to inspire and influence the company’s cars designs in the future.
During the announcement event, Mahindra had also announced that the Mahindra & Mahindra and Ola partnership would also be feeding into research on autonomous driving and cars.
It is interesting to note that several of India’s young and inspiring young talents have been able to successfully tap into domestic and overseas investors so as to build themselves startups like Flipkart and Snapdeal, which are now fighting it out on an equal level as global e-commerce giant Amazon.com in the Indian market. The same is the case with homegrown Ola, which is fighting it out tooth and nail with international biggie Uber Technologies.
While the talent has been here all along, it was only recently that big Indian corporations shifted their focus towards them with an aim of internally fostering innovation and startups, and avoid getting disrupted by up-start companies.
According to sources, the group will get on the startup bandwagon very soon with investments in the sector being primarily made via group’s venture capital arm, Mahindra Partners, which is already a house to several startups like Smart Shift, Trringo etc.
The group has emphasised that while scouting and filtering the startups, it would be meticulously searching for products and technologies that would someway or the other prove advantageous to the group’s existing companies.
Currently, the group is specially looking forward to investing in primary health care and diagnostics, as well scouting for sometime investment opportunities in the digital sphere, such as the emerging Blockchain technology.
For the unversed, Blockchain is a slowly emerging but promising technology that allows for transactions and data transfers to be completed in just a matter of a few seconds through a peer-to-peer computer network, with no dependence on a third party. The tech is being considered as a potential game changer for the banking industry, a sector that the conglomerate’s IT services arm, Tech Mahindra Ltd has its eyes set on.