Mahindra & Mahindra, the world’s largest tractor manufacturer by volume, announced plans to set-up a Mahindra Ag Tech Center in the United States at Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. This research facility will focus on creating breakthrough technology products for the North American agriculture market.
"Mahindra Group strives to be at the forefront of technology and innovation with a view to improve the lives of our customers. We call this innovation initiative FutuRise,” said Rajesh Jejurikar, president, Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Equipment Sector. “Leveraging the ecosystem of a leading academic institution such as Virginia Tech will foster innovation and enable us to stay ahead globally.”
Mahindra has established a strong presence in the United States, and is currently ranked number three in the 0-120 HP tractor category.
"We believe the path to customer delight and even greater success in North America will come through providing our dealers and customers with cutting-edge products and solutions. This industry-leading innovation enhances our brand differentiation in the marketplace," said Mani Iyer, president & CEO, Mahindra North America. Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector intends to tap into the U.S. technology ecosystem at Virginia Tech in two ways. The first is to establish a hi-tech R&D facility at Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC). The Mahindra AgTech Center (MaTC@Virginia) will complement the work being done in product development centers at Mahindra Research Valley in India, Japan and Finland to create product solutions for farmers globally. MaTC@Virginia will be headed by Hugo Correa, head of Product Planning at Mahindra Farm Equipment Sector, who will lead a dedicated team to work on integrating new advanced technology into product programs.
The second collaboration with Virginia Tech researchers is focused on technology projects to develop new generation farm equipment and work on the latest in technology that envisions grape-picking robots and tractors that communicate with GPS systems and repair shops.
“This is a longstanding courtship between one of the great emerging companies of the 21st century and an American land-grant university of global reach and distinction has culminated in an enterprise that brings together research, practical application, and commercialization,” said Guru Ghosh, vice president, Virginia Tech Outreach and International Affairs. “Once the facility is fully established at VTCRC, Mahindra Group will be Virginia Tech’s largest internationally headquartered tenant.”
Speaking on this development, Dr. Aravind Bharadwaj, chief technology officer, Mahindra & Mahindra Farm Equipment Sector said, “Virginia Tech and Mahindra share a relationship that exemplifies corporate-university partnership. VTCRC offers the perfect setting for both research and testing. The commonwealth’s rural communities married with Virginia Tech’s research expertise were the winning factors in narrowing down to Virginia Tech.”
“The enterprise, MaTC@Virginia, will be working in a space that has been custom-configured for the company,” said Joe Meredith, president & CEO, VTCRC. “With Mahindra’s Research Center at the VTCRC, growth at the park will be fabulous,” Meredith said. “We could be building several new buildings this year, once everything comes into line.”