Ref: IMD-7-1926

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-1926

Order this case study

Growing pains: Mahindra First Choice 2017

Thomas W. Malnight

By Charles Dhanaraj, Professor Thomas W. MalnightThomas W. Malnight and Ivy Buche

The case focuses on the business and leadership challenges at the intersection of corporate ownership and entrepreneurship. Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. is the leading utility vehicle manufacturer in India and the largest-selling tractor brand by volume in the world. The company launched its aftermarket business in 1999, and by 2012/13 it had stabilized into two independent companies, each with a CEO who was responsible for growth and profitability. Mahindra First Choice Services (MFCS) focused on providing affordable and reliable servicing for out-of-warranty vehicles, and Mahindra First Choice Wheels (MFCW) focused on creating an ecosystem for used car ownership. Both companies were bold and innovative, and aimed to create new markets to address an unmet need in India’s burgeoning used car industry. However, profits were elusive. Three strategic questions emerged: (1) Should parent Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. continue to own MFCS and MFCW? (2) Should MFCS and MFCW be combined into a joint entity? (3) What ownership models (company owned, franchise or others) should be adopted to achieve success?

Learning Objective

The case deals with business ownership at three different levels.

  1. Corporate ownership: Does corporate ownership help or hurt the growth of entrepreneurial initiatives?
  2. Corporate structure: What are the synergies and benefits of the used car sale/purchase and out-of-warranty service businesses? What are the costs of ownership?
  3. Ownership model: What ownership model(s) should be adopted for high growth and profitability?
KeywordsBusiness Model, Car, Company Ownership, Entrepreneurship, Franchise, Growth, Private Equity, Profitability, Sales, Services, Strategy, Sustainability, Value
Mahindra First Choice
2008 - 2017
TypeField Research
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-1926

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Information Center for additional information on IMD publications

Keep reading

Back to top