Michael Delfs

John Kneeland
University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (International Relations, East Asian Studies)
Mahindra Global Recruit 2008


PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

  • Asia-Pacific marketing, Apple Inc. Beijing, China, 2007
  • Event Marketing, Pico, Singapore, 2006
  • SAT Teacher, Seoul, South Korea, 2005

 

WORKING @ MAHINDRA

I spent my first year with Mahindra in Bangalore, working on Mahindra’s retail startup. While I was formally placed in the marketing department, Mahindra Retail allowed and encouraged me to learn about all other aspects of the business — finance, real estate, legal, logistics, buying & merchandising, and of course, marketing. They even brought me in to participate in a quarterly review with Anand Mahindra.

 

I worked directly under the VP of marketing and was given responsibility for brand building and all electronic media initiatives. I worked with IT, B&M, marketing, logistics, and finance to design an e-commerce solution that covered everything from inventory management to ordering to payments to shipping.

 

At the same time, I was also given the chance to be in charge of the Global Recruit Program’s marketing campaign, right from creating the marketing message to planning the information session trips and the even the website which you are on right now. In this endeavor towards increasing awareness of the program on campuses all over the US, Mahindra entrusted me with a great deal of responsibility, and I delivered.

 

As of now, I live in Mumbai, working in an expanded role in managing the Global Recruit program, and in a strategy role for Mahindra United Football Club, one of India’s top soccer teams. All-in-all, not a bad gig for someone in his first year out of college!

 

THE INDIA EXPERIENCE

I’ve lived in several countries, and nothing compares to India. The sheer intensity and chaotic energy are at once overwhelming and exciting. When you live in the frontier town of the new Flat World, every day is a new adventure. People of different religions, classes, and ethnicities live side-by-side, with expats from all around the world. The confidence and optimism that tomorrow will be better is palpable, a fact made visibly evident by the fact that even in the face of a global recession, India’s economy continues to surge ahead with 7% growth (Certainly a welcome change from the gloom that hangs over the ‘developed world’ these days).

 

Living and working in India, you learn things that you never would have learned or considered as possible elsewhere. India, blessed with so many bright minds and yet consistently strapped for capital, has consistently being able to come up with entirely new ways around problems.

 

How can a company collect finance payments from a delinquent payer in a remote village where the reach of the company and the state are limited? How can you build a functioning e-commerce solution without a budget for advanced technology? Mahindra found a way (and I helped them find it, ahem). Thanks to challenges and experiences like these, I now have a richer body of experience from which to draw solutions from.

 

India is stable and resilient in a way its neighbors are not. India affords its citizens freedom of religion, language and speech. And unlike the countries I have lived in, India has never censored social media portals like Facebook, Google, Twitter or any other website, and never will. India is a country of more than a billion souls that will transform the world. India has shown the developing world that one need not sacrifice human freedom or human rights to achieve economic growth. I am happy to live in India, and proud to contribute to the development of the world’s largest democracy.