Michael Delfs

Kenji Morimoto
Brown University
A.B. International Relations
Mahindra Global Recruit 2011


Sector/Company: Office of Strategic Management (OSM), Mahindra Partners

Years at Mahindra: 2

Career Goals: Inspire others, create meaningfully, and have fun in the process.


Hobbies: Writing, Photography, Cooking Paleo

 

What were you doing before you joined Mahindra?

Prior to joining Mahindra I was at Brown University studying international relations, which was an ideal concentration given my diverse array of academic interests. This concentration exposed me to a world of potentials and taught me various frameworks to better understand my surroundings. Through intensive language programs in China and Japan to microfinance internships in India, each summer away from Brown showed me how much existed outside of the comfort of the US and sparked the desire to be abroad post-college.

Why did you decide to join Mahindra?

As mentioned above, due to my desire to be out of comfort zone directly out of college and my interest in business, Mahindra was the clear choice. One of my internships during college was with a microfinance firm in Northern India; I saw the inherent challenges that the NGO world faced in a developing economy and I realized that I wanted to better equip myself with the formal business tools to work effectively in this setting. What better setting than in corporate India? Beyond this, Mahindra (and Mumbai) seemed like a choose-your-own-adventure story book filled with unknown but each option leading to new opportunities and excitement. After a formal academic career for my entire life, this appeared to be the best decision.

What are you doing now?

During my first year, I was placed in the OSM where I worked on a variety of operational and strategic consulting projects for many of the Mahindra group companies. The topics were as expansive as Mahindra's portfolio: benchmarking for special economic zones, customer acquisition for vacation homestays, assessing automobile components, to name a few. In my second year, I moved to Mahindra Partners, the PE division of the Mahindra Group where I was the managing project leader for the re-design and re-launch of their social intranet. I also led a HR Mahindra Group-wide initiative on value internalization.

How do you find Mahindra as an employer?

Mahindra did an excellent job at creating a safe community for us as global recruits. Through extensive work orientations and cultural excursions, they gave us access to innumerable opportunities to truly experience our time in Mumbai.

What has been your best India experience?

I had many adventures in India-from living on a houseboat in Srinagar (twice!) and roaming on elephants in jungles of Assam to chasing hermit crabs in the Andaman Islands and chatting with 5th generation Chinese in Kolkata in Mandarin. That said, my favorite memories were in the quiet, daily routine of living in Bandra with friends who definitely became like family.

What were your favorite projects during your time at M&M?

My last project with Mahindra Partners was my favorite as it allowed me to harness many of my skills and create a valuable product that is still in use. I was able to speak to numerous stakeholders within the company and synthesize many ideas, opinions, and values into one succinct product.

 

Outside of the office, what are your favorite activities in Mumbai?

Exploring new neighborhoods--Living in Bandra, it is very easy to stay in that expat bubble, but just a hop, skip, away you'll find yourself eating the best food dosa and uttapam, getting lost in the Parsi colony, or even, crashing a wedding.