Communal Harmony: ‘Mahindra & Mahindra Group’ was actually ‘Mahindra & Mohammed’!

Mumbai: A US $14.4 billion group with more than 144,000 employees in over 100 countries across the globe, the Mahindra and Mahindra Group launched its steel trading enterprise in 1945 and progressed into a multi-billion rupee conglomerate in a few decades.

Fortune India 500 ranked Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) 21st in the list of top companies of India in 2015. It’s operations include aerospace, aftermarket, agribusiness, automotive, components, construction equipment, consulting services, defense, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate, retail, and two wheelers.

Besides this, Mahindra Finance is India’s largest rural non-banking financial company (NBFC).

An interesting fact to recall is that Mahindra & Mahindra was born as Mahindra & Mohammed as a working model of communal harmony.

Mahindra & Mahindra in a section on its website titled “How We Got Here” said: “Mahindra & Mahindra was set up as a steel trading company in 1945 in Ludhiana as Mahindra & Mohammed by brothers K.C. Mahindra and J.C. Mahindra and Malik Ghulam Mohammed. After India gained independence and Pakistan was formed, Mohammed migrated to Pakistan. The company changed its name to Mahindra & Mahindra in 1948”

Sir Malik Ghulam Muhammad acquired education from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). He joined the Indian Civil Service (IAS) as a Chartered Accountant at the Indian Railway’s account service before being promoted to join the Ministry of Finance under Liaquat Ali Khan in 1946.

After the independence of Pakistan as a result of Partition of India in 1947, he joined the Liaquat administration as the country’s first Finance Minister where he helped draft the first five-year plans to alleviate the national economy of Pakistan.

“As India’s inevitable independence loomed large, Jagdish Chandra Mahindra was prescient about the opportunities that Indian entrepreneurs would have to contribute to the growth of a new nation. It led him to found Mahindra & Mohammad, in partnership with his brother Kailash Chandra Mahindra and Ghulam Mohammed,” M&M website adds.

“In 1946–47, Muhammad left Mahindra & Mahindra and joined the Ministry of Finance as a Cabinet Secretary under Finance Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, assisting him in drafting and preparing India’s first union budget”, according to Story of Pakistan.

The business relation between Mahindras and Ghulam Mohammed ended after his migration to Pakistan. But, the relation between the two families remained intact for long.

“When Ghulam Mohammed came to New Delhi as Republic Day Guest in 1955, he did not miss to give my grandmother a courtesy phone call”, BBC Hindi quoted Keshub Mahindra as saying in its report published today.