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Mahindra: Tata a source of inspiration

In the world of cut throat competition, a mutual admiration club of this magnitude is a rarity. In his last annual general meeting of Tata Motors on Friday, chairman Ratan Tata paid rich compliments to its biggest homegrown rival Mahindra and Mahindra for giving tough fight to his own company. HT reports.

business Updated: Aug 12, 2012 21:36 IST
HT Correspondent

In the world of cut throat competition, a mutual admiration club of this magnitude is a rarity.

In his last annual general meeting of Tata Motors on Friday, chairman Ratan Tata paid rich compliments to its biggest homegrown rival Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) for giving tough fight to his own company.

The following day, a glowing Anand Mahindra, chairman, M&M, chose to pay back calling Tata a big brother and a source of inspiration.

"I have a great respect for what Mahindra & Mahindra has been able to do. I also have a certain degree of sadness and shame that we have let that happen," Tata said during the AGM.

"I think we have a great deal of introspection to do as to why M&M should be ahead of us and us catching up, on the horse-power we have lacked it, but we should have been there and not them."

In the last few months, M&M, which is India's largest utility vehicle maker, has edged close to Tata for the number three spot in the passenger vehicle segment.

In the first four months of this fiscal so far, Tata sold 86,679 units with M&M breathing down its neck at 83,515 units.

While Tata's sales have grown by only 5% this year, M&M has grown by over 27.4% on the back of surge in demand for its Bolero and XUV5OO.

"Mr Tata's comment is extraordinarily humble and generous," Anand Mahindra tweeted on Saturday. "M&M takes it as a pat on the back from a big brother and it inspires us to work harder."

This camaraderie between the heads of two of the largest business conglomerates in India is a stark contrast to the rules of "dog eats dog mantra" of corporate leadership.

It is no coincidence that Tata Motors and M&M also seem to be following each other in diversifying out of India.

Tata bought over British marquee brands Jaguar Land Rover in 2008 while Mahindra went abroad to the East and acquired South Korean company Ssangyong in 2010.