Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mahindra v. Tata: What Statement Does the Donation Battle Make?

Has anyone been following the charitable donation battle between Anand Mahindra and Ratan Tata? In a nutshell, Mahindra donated USD $10 million to Harvard a couple of weeks ago to secure the re-naming of a humanities center to The Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. To up the ante, Ratan Tata (Mahindra’s biggest Indian automotive rival and owner of Jaguar and Land Rover) recently donated USD $50 million to the Harvard Business School for a new building to be named Tata Hall.


It’s understandable that both of these incredibly successful Indian businessmen want to give back to their Alma Mater (and satisfy their equally incredible egos), but it also stirs controversy in India. Just when you think the divide between the haves and the have-nots in America is getting bigger every day; we’ve got nothing on India. So, what’s to be gained by donating millions of dollars to a foreign university (that isn’t exactly cash-strapped to begin with) while millions of your fellow countrymen live in utter poverty?

Is it all about image? Do these charitable acts give credence to those who have suspected all along that Mahindra (and possibly Tata) only wants to sell vehicles in the US to gloat about the achievement and fluff up their status as an Indian international success story just to sell more cars at home?

It’s my sincere hope that both of these men make far more charitable contributions to those in need than these very public donations to a wealthy American institution portray. I personally believe there is a bigger statement to be made by taking a more stealthy approach to giving, but hey, the Salvation Army probably isn’t going to let me re-name one of their second-hand stores no matter how many lightly used slacks I donate. Personal satisfaction, warm feelings, and good karma be damned, they should at least paint my name on the side of a Red Kettle come Christmas time. Anonymous gifting is so overrated.

So are these multi-million dollar Harvard donations simply a good deed, or just good business?

Sources: Stuff Rich People Love, The Wall Street Journal, All Headline News

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have stated many times that Mahindra is more interested in boosting sales in their core market, India, with attempts to sell and selling token number of vehicles abroad.

Their total foreign sales is nothing compared to their domestic sales, and practically non existent compared to the sales of say Ford. I doubt they make any serious money from their foreign sales.

It is all just to impress their domestic buyers (most of them are easy to impress with a dose of the Indian version of patriotic buying).

If you compare their cars to anything else in the world, they look, feel, and run like junk. So how do you think they expect to sell significant numbers; and unlike the Chinese, they do not have price advantage and access to virtually free technology.

I am always just dismissed for stating the obvious. You guys have wasted your precious time and money following this piece of junk.

Truck Rental said...

Yes Agreed . Mahindra is more boosting site in market as compared to Tata. In fact , if we compare the sale of both one per year, Mahindra is doing good.

Anonymous said...

you people are something else! I from the school "if,its my money , I can dam sure do with it as I want" You are free to say what you want, granted, but to be bitter? shame on you! As for Mahindra not having access to free technology! Hell, they pay for it! read read read , dont just flap them jaws! I am surprised how much I dont know and laugh for what you all think you know. I will wait for them and buy two trucks! they will be the best thing going even if the Majors do small diesels, these will set the standard! best to ya

Anonymous said...

ps, the person who indicated,that we waste our time and mahindra is junk ,is probably a jeep owner and mahindra has them roots. and does not this person been reading all this also!!!! cheers PRECIOUS

Anonymous said...

lets cool down some. Mahindra is big , regardless if it sells here. It is big in the land of OZ. and them folks down under know a thing or two about what trucks are all about. More so than I would expect we do in the USA. If they like it , I will like it. You can sing red, white and blue all you want.My money is earned and I want something that will work on the ranch. My dodge diesel 4x4 does fine, but I am ready for something I can toss around. This sounds like it will fit the bill. I will be able to buy 2 1/2 mahindras for the price of my rig. and do the same chores, well maybe not drag the backhoe around. But still it is worth the wait and I am hanging in there.

Anonymous said...

[quote]But still it is worth the wait and I am hanging in there.[/quote]

You might be hanging a long, long time. (still enjoying the silverado, even with the dent)

Anonymous said...

" It is big in the land of OZ. "

RoTF and LmFAO.

First of all, you'd have to go to a lot of trouble to find Mahindras; they sell next to nothing of them, especially when compared to other brands.

Secondly, I suppose you missed all the nasty reviews and crash test results from "the land of OZ".

Maybe in fantasy land, but not in Australia (assuming that's what you meant by "the land of OZ").

Forget, OZ, they don't have significant sales outside India.

Yes, they are big in India, but remember Indian automobile market is a heavily protected market. Their import duties are insane and across the board.

Our chicken tax is nothing compared their import duties and its not just for light trucks.

Their only untaxed out competition there is Tata, who makes crap like nano and crappy trucks. No wonder Mahindra can be big there.

If imports weren't taxed to death, Mahindra and Tata would be wiped out.

Anonymous said...

i think you guys make most of your crap up

Anonymous said...

oz downunder whatever. the reviews i have read from that area and if you are able to read south of the border lingo then you should be excited for this product. i think most of us are just fed up with the buildup and then the let down.dont run this product down. if your worried about crash tests and crap trucks from india go sit on your hands and chew on your foot, cause you seem to be putting your foot in it alot anyway.i have been to south america and sought out their product and yes they get stuck in the mud just as does a jeep and whatever you may think is better. i have seen their product held together with bailing wire and keep going and going. i will wait and get one if and when they get here.so go off and do your thing in a american built rig and stop your crying. your just showing me what a baby you are for being scared of something you really dont know anything about.

digger derrick trucks said...

Sometimes charity loses the meaning of the word and starts representing the ego of the giver...this is something similar that has happened.But they are big names and must have looked for marketing promotion from the act.