Utility vehicles leader * Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today said it will invest Rs 10,000 crore in the next three years and part of the amount will go into setting up a new auto plant.
"We are bullish about our future and will continue on our path of investing in that future. We are planning Rs 10,000 crore investment in the next three years, including a new auto plant," M&M Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra told shareholders at the company's 67th annual general meeting (AGM) here.
He gave no details about the proposed facility.
"Our past experience suggests this will pay dividends. In 2008, when the economy was slowing down, M&M was one of the few companies that continued to invest; and that investment is one of the major reasons why we significantly outperformed the industry over the last two financial years.
"And today as well, despite the difficult situation, we will continue along our investment path, not only in capacity building but also in R&D," Mahindra said.
"We will invest with an even greater focus on the frugality and efficiency of that investment. Mahindra Group well prepared to take on a challenging environment."
Mahindra said the country is today facing a serious economic crisis. There are real spectres looming over the economy - galloping fuel costs; a falling rupee; inflation eroding growth; the spectre of a return to the Hindu rate of growth. "All these burning issues have to be tackled if we are to regain our growth trajectory."
The falling rupee is a major macroeconomic concern. However, it has its bright side. It works to the benefit of our IT business and exports, be they auto, tractors or 2 wheelers, the M&M chief said.
Its advantages can be reaped by our holiday business, as more and more Indians choose to holiday in India rather than abroad. The falling rupee will attract NRI investment in our real estate business, Mahindra noted.
And as India becomes an export powerhouse, SEZs, which is also one of our businesses, can provide a platform to take exports to new levels, he said.
Amidst the slowdown there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The window of opportunity is the bumper monsoon this year. If agriculture does well, food inflation could come down, rural incomes could go up and this could revive demand for the goods and services, Mahindra added.