Ashok Thakur

Head of International Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd

South Africa

Head of International Operations (Africa) for Automotive and Farm Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Operating from South Africa. Ashok Thakur is an Engineering Graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India.

Initially working in manufacturing, he took up management studies at the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi and received his Post Graduate Diploma in International Trade in 1986. For the next 30 years Ashok has been in International Business. He worked for the Birla Group in India and then with the Zawawi Group in Oman for 10 years. Ashok joined Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd in the year 1998 in International Operations based in Mumbai.

After assisting and leading various global business development project teams, he subsequently took up business development in Africa in 1999. With South Africa, being a focus market at the time, he led the team who conducted market feasibility studies, and subsequently built the strategy and framework for market entry. This exercise culminated in the setting up of the first overseas subsidiary for Mahindra’s automotive sector in South Africa. He lead the team up to launch in October 2004.

Subsequently Ashok developed business in the rest of Africa. Some of his major achievements are as follows:

a. Setting up the first CKD assembly facility in an overseas market in Egypt.

b. Developing and operating business in North African countries, West Africa and entire East Africa.

c. Developing business for three wheelers in Africa. Ashok was also responsible for operations in the Middle East and logistics for global export.

Ashok became the chief executive of Mahindra South Africa in April 2009. During the last 6-1/2 years in South Africa, Ashok has been responsible for building the Mahindra business during difficult economic times. He has further expanded the operations, participated actively during the world-cup events and taken the business to new horizons.

Ashok was promoted as Head of International Operations (Africa) in August 2015. He currently manages whole of Africa (including South Africa) for Auto, tractor, two wheelers, generators, construction equipment, heavy commercial vehicles and agricultural products.