Indian automobile designer Pratap Bose is expected to join the Mahindra Group to head the newly minted Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (MADE) centre in the West Midlands, U.K. Until recently, Bose was Vice President, Design at Tata Motors. It would be a brand new role being created at the Mahindra Group, that will see the group’s design capabilities in India and Italy (Pininfarina) report to him. Such a position does not exist at present at M&M. In what would be a very significant development for Indian auto, Bose will be able to once again be able to work on a much celebrated and storied Indian automobile powerhouse. The move could be a huge statement, but more importantly, also comes at the right time for both M&M and Bose. There has been much said and written about how Bose has helped steer the Tata brand in recent years, towards modern, desirable cars that also bring in sales. And in many ways, he had done what he could at Tata – this reporter’s humble opinion – but one shared by several industry analysts.
The move to Mahindra gives him an immense opportunity and more importantly – a big challenge – to help drive growth in new areas like EV (electric vehicle) and future SUVs at M&M. For Mahindra, the time is ripe to set this kind of change in motion, as it dedicates its automotive business towards a sharp focus on SUVs, and increasing its market share. And M&M also has a lot going on with brands like Peugeot Scooters and its commercial vehicles, and farm equipment portfolio in global and local markets.
We have already understood from Mahindra that the advanced design centre will therefore cater to M&M’s vast global portfolio of design needs – that does stretch from two-wheelers to tractors. But it won’t be limited to just the automotive businesses. Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, M&M said, “A key lever to make the business future-ready is to significantly strengthen design capability across automotive, farm equipment and two-wheelers globally. MADE will contribute to all future automotive and mobility products including Born EV SUVs and be a resource available to Mahindra Group companies.” carandbike has reached out to Jejurikar and Mahindra Automotive specifically about Bose’s appointment, and a response is as yet awaited.
We have also reached out to Bose, who has not as yet confirmed the decision to join the Mahindra Group. Interestingly there has been a lot of buzz that Bose would head Ola Electric’s design needs. And after today’s announcement from Mahindra, a number of people also speculated whether Julian Thomson who stepped down as Head of Design for Jaguar would be heading to Mahindra. At the time of resigning from Tata, Bose had confirmed that he would indeed stay on in Coventry.