India: The auto conglomerate is encouraging its employees to build startups in-house and it turn it is giving them seed funding, including other facilities.
Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra has received over a dozen applications and he, along with an investment committee, is scanning through them.
“It is a very natural step for us to take on the task of incubating new-age startups within our sectors and possibly in entirely new areas as well. There is growing support in business academia for this notion that a ‘corporate garage’ may well be an ideal host environment for startups,” Mahindra told ET.
The company has launched its first startup, SmartShift. It is app-only firm that connects cargo owners with transporters for intra-city logistics facilities. It is also ready to come up with two more startups.
But if the employees want to begin their startup, they will have to quit their jobs and own the startup. But they won’t have to worry as the Mahindra Group will fund them.
Apart from Mahindra, even Reliance Industries and Aditya Birla Group have initiated programmes to get new ideas, talent and technology.
Meanwhile, Mahindra’s plan is to back the startups with seed funding and later on also seek investments from outside the conglomerate.