HOUSTON — Mahindra North America (MNA) today announced that Mr. Viren Popli has been appointed as the president & CEO (designate). Popli will report to Rajesh Jejurikar, president of Farm Equipment Sector Mahindra & Mahindra Limited and board member of Mahindra USA, who will oversee the business during the transition. Viren Popli succeeds Mani Iyer who has expressed his desire to explore new opportunities.
“We would like to thank Mani for his contribution to Mahindra,” Jejurikar stated. “Mani was instrumental in the growth story of the business and building the Mahindra brand across North America and we wish him success in his future endeavors.”
Popli has been with the Mahindra Group since 2009 and brings with him decades of experience, leading multinational organizations and businesses. Most recently, Popli served as the chief operating officer (COO) for the Swaraj Tractor Division in Farm Equipment Sector of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Prior to that, he was chief of operations of Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd.
“Viren brings with him a rich experience and understanding of the tractor and implements business,” said ejurikar. “He takes over Mahindra North America at a very exciting time for the business. Our tractor brand has seen significant growth in the U.S. and we believe that through his visionary and inspiring leadership, Viren will lead MNA to even greater heights.”
Earlier this year, Mahindra announced plans to double its business in the U.S. market to $1 billion by 2020, compared to $547 million earned during the 2017 financial year.
“This opens a new chapter for Mahindra North America as Viren brings fresh experiences and ideas to continue the company’s expansion of the tractor and utility vehicle business,” said Iyer. “Mahindra is in solid hands as it moves forward.”
Prior to his time at Mahindra, Popli spent 10 years at Star TV India Ltd. (a part of News Corporation). He also spent 6 years at the pharmaceutical company, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. as country manager. Popli earned an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is the vice chairman at the Confederation of Indian Industry (Punjab Council), member of the Governing Council of Tractor and Mechanisation Association of India and a member of the Board of Directors of Gromax Agri Equipment Ltd.
In May 2018, Mahindra announced Jay Litsey would replace Cleo Franklin on the senior executive team as vice president of marketing and strategic planning. Franklin is now overseeing special projects and business development support in Mexico and Brazil.