At Work Hard At Play
Nanda, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, spends
at least 12 hours at work every day. And he still manages
to play golf, party hard, keep quality time aside for his
family and intermittently take off to the mountains or the
beaches, discovers Raadia Mukadam
Nanda, as President of Infrastructure Development Sector of
the Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, guides the Groups forays
into the infrastructure sector, draws strategic plans for
the formation and management of various companies in the areas
of property development, construction, hotels and timeshare
resorts, privatisation projects, and engineering consultancy.
He is currently on the board of companies including Mahindra
and Mahindra Ltd, Mahindra Holdings and Finance Ltd, Mahindra
Industrial Park Ltd, Owens Corning (India) Ltd, GESCO Corporation
Ltd. He is the chairman of Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India
Ltd, Mahindra Ashtech Ltd and PSL Erickson Ltd. He has taught
Financial Management at Symbiosis Institute of Management,
Pune for 8 years.
And in between working 12 hours daily, he also parties hard,
is an avid golfer, twice a year takes off to the beaches and
mountains and makes it a point to spend quality time with
his wife, son and daughter.
How does he manage this mammoth juggling act with life? The
reply is cryptic, almost philosophical, Life is about
bridging the gap between what you expect and what you get.
And when youve learnt to do that nothing perturbs you
Nanda with his wife (to his right) Neeru at a party hosted
by him for Diana Hayden when she became Miss World
bashing in Dubai
the bowling alley
fact, Nanda always knew what he wanted to do. As a child,
he was as comfortable in the company of numbers and financial
figures as other children his age were with toys. Nobody was
surprised when he became a Chartered Accountant at the age
becoming an Honours Graduate in Commerce from Calcutta University
in which he stood on the merit list, Nanda went on to acquire
a degree in Law from the same University. After a brief stint
in Indian Copper Corporation Ltd, Calcutta, (1970-71) as a
Financial Accountant, he moved to Machinery Manufacturers
Corporation Ltd, as a Management Accountant (1973-76). In
1976, he joined the Mahindra Group as Chief Accountant and
Company Secretary of Mahindra Sintered Products Ltd., Pune.
Since then, he has held various senior positions within the
Group. In 1992, he joined the Board of Mahindra and Mahindra
Ltd, as Executive Director. In a major organisational restructuring
that took place in 1994, he was also appointed as President
of the Infrastructure Development Sector of the Group.
One wonders what has kept him bound to the Group for 29 long
years. The Mahindra Group is not just a family, it is
a culture. A culture as rich in its value system as in its
acquirements and achievements. This Group has taught me the
meaning and value of acceptance. I have learnt to accept my
own deficiencies along with the success of other people. To
stay right on top, I set benchmarks against myself and then
try to exceed and excel, he says. Most importantly,
it respects the individual and his dignity and I have never
had to do something that my conscience would not have permitted.
He modestly attributes his success to being at the right place
at the right time. Armed with a hard work, determination
and endless hope, when knowledge and fate come together, life
is good, he says.
he may have achieved most of what he set out to do, but Nanda
still feels he has miles to go before he stops. Life
is what we make of it, always has been, always will be. A
content person is not a person in a set of circumstances but
rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. Human beings
can alter their lives by altering their attitudes, he
Besides his commitment to the Mahindra Group whom he has served
for 29 years in different capacities, he is also a member
of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Bombay Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). He is currently the Chairman
of the Mumbai City and Urban Infrastructure Committee of BCCI
and is on the Tourism Committee, Urban Infrastructure Committee
and Construction Committee of CII and President of the Indo
French Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Getting Arun Nanda to catalogue his favourite leisure activities
is a tough task. He has no favourites and says he indulges
in what suits his mood best. An avid golfer, he plays his
favourite sport whenever time permits. He religiously takes
two vacations a year alternating between beaches and mountains.
I love to visit Switzerland as I revere the Alps, but
of late I have begun preferring Austria because it still remains
virgin and uncommercialised. Another wonderful holiday destination
is New Zealand, because of the number of activities one can
take part in within a short span of time there. But when it
comes to beaches, Maldives wins hands down. Munnar in Kerala
is another favourite mountain getaway, he says.
With approximately eight international trips and at least
60 domestic trips in a year, the tag high flier suits him
to a tee.
On why he is involved in so many activities, the rejoinder
is curt yet pointed, I want people to respect me for
who I am as an individual. I want people to remember the person
behind the profile.