M&M bets big on Africa, opens business unit

Indian automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has opened a business unit in Africa with a view to capitalizing on the emerging market opportunities in the continent.

The company, which has opened its local office in South Africa, will come up with three more similar units in Egypt, Nigeria and Kenya. The new additions will work with local companies and employees.

Playing the role of internal distributor for the carmaker, the unit will cater to the company's requirement in connection with two-wheelers and trucks.

Betting big on Africa's potential for notching up a 10-fold growth translating into Rs 6,400 crore in five to seven years, M&M currently posts around Rs 960 crore earnings a year from Africa.

M&M president of agriculture business Ashok Sharma, who is at the helm behind the expansion, told the Economic Times: "The channel partners, government and the other stakeholders may not be able to understand the impact brand Mahindra can have. When we go as 'One Mahindra', then they will be able to see the impact we can have on the local economy."

The company also seeks to look at specific demands brought to the fore in the market, tailor its products and engineer them accordingly.

M&M is currently present in 50 countries in Africa.

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