And it’s finally official! The Mahindra Group announced the appointment of Pratap Bose as the Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer on June 11, 2021. Mr Bose will lead the automakers newly formed Global Design organization comprising the recently announced Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (M.A.D.E), which is being set up in Coventry in the West Midlands, U.K and the existing Mahindra India Design Studio (M.I.D.S).
The former Tata Motors design head quit the company by April end. Bose will now take command in his new organisation from June 24 and will oversee the design of all M&M’s key business segments such as SUVs including born electric vehicle, light commercial vehicle products, last-mile mobility, large commercial vehicles, Peugeot Scooters, tractors and farm machines.
Mahindra Auto which we can say is in a mid-life crisis lately, can surely use the charisma of Pratap Bose’s design to regain its market share. Interestingly, it was Bose’s designed vehicles like Nexon, Harrier, Altroz and Tiago that have helped his former employer go past Mahindra & Mahindra to reclaim the third spot in the passenger vehicle ranking in India. Mahindra will be expecting a similar sort of magic from his new design head.
Pratap is an alumnus of Royal College of Art, London and National Institute of Design, India. He has over 20 years of rich global automotive design experience. With him onboard, M&M will hope to stop any further decline in sales of its niche segment, SUVs, of which it was once a class-leader with models like Scorpio and XUV500. All of M&M’s new-generation models except for XUV300 and Thar have been struggling in the market. As per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), M&M’s market share in the utility vehicle segment shrunk from around 40 percent in 2016 to 17 percent by the end of May 2021.
Pratap Bose had a major role in Tata’s most dramatic transformation ever, revamping its line-up and putting the derailed Tata Cars back on their tracks. During his 14 years of service at Tata Motors, Bose was credited for designing 14 production vehicles including the best-sellers like Altroz, Harrier, Safari, Nexon, Tigor, Tiago, Bolt and Zest. Besides these, the automotive sculptor is also responsible for eight Tata concept models like the Pixel, Racemo, H2X, H5X (Harrier), 45X (Altroz) and Sierra. The H2X will be launched by the Indian automaker as the long-awaited compact SUV, Hornbill, which is expected to arrive in the coming months. Earlier Bose had also worked in Piaggio, Italy and Daimler Chrysler, Japan.
Speaking about the announcement, Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director, Auto and Farm Sectors, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., said, “We are at an inflection point in our Auto and Farm Sectors growth journey as we accelerate our transformative initiatives. Our robust pipeline of 23 new products that will be launched in the next five years would bring our design and advanced engineering capability across automotive, farm equipment and two wheelers to the fore. Having Pratap on the team will strengthen our design capability, enhance our products and widen our customer base. We are very excited to welcome him on board and look forward to writing a new chapter in Mahindra’s rich product legacy.”
In other news, internal reports suggest that Ramkripa Ananthan, M&M’s head of design, and the woman behind XUV500, XUV300 and the Marazzo, says adieu to the Mahindra camp after a stint of nearly 24 years.