Mahindra meets Mahinda, eyes Lankan hospitality | autos | Hindustan Times
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Mahindra meets Mahinda, eyes Lankan hospitality

autos Updated: Aug 18, 2010 22:54 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The Mahindra Group is looking at expanding in the hospitality and non-banking financial sectors in Sri Lanka, the company has said.

"Over the years, our vehicles and tractors have acquired a reputation as fuel efficient, tough and rugged workhorses (in Sri Lanka) and we now look forward to expanding our footprint in the emerald isle, as it takes a step towards greater economic progress," Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and managing director, said at a press conference in Colombo on Wednesday.

The company has already sold more than 4,000 tractors and utility vehicles in Sri Lanka.

It is also studying the possibility of introducing its electric car, the Mahindra Reva, in Sri Lanka, and is looking to expand its sales and service networks in the war-ravaged north and north-east of the country.

According to a company statement, with convenient air connections to over 10 Indian cities and affordable travel costs, it expects traffic from India to Sri Lanka to increase.

On Tuesday Mahindra met President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka offered every facility for investment that would be mutually beneficial to both the investor and the people of the country.

More than 70 big and small Indian companies operate in Sri Lanka, Bharti Airtel being one of the largest private investors, and the Indian Oil Corporation has a subsidiary with substantial presence.

There is a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, but the much-touted Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement has run into opposition from local entrepreneurs, who fear they would be swamped by the Indian service sector if the pact were to be signed.