Dr. Pawan Kumar Goenka


Dr. Pawan Kumar Goenka is currently the chief operating officer (COO) of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Mumbai. After completing his B.Tech in mechanical engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1975, he went to Cornell University from where he obtained his MS as well as Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.


His MS work on lubrication and tribology of artificial hip joints and subsequent work on engine lubrication and tribology for his Ph.D. thesis at Cornell University gave him widespread recognition.

After obtaining the doctorate, Dr. Pawan Kumar Goenka joined general motors, a global research, and development center in Detroit, where he continued research in engine lubrication & tribology. He developed a software package FLARE (Friction and lubrication analysis of lubricating reciprocating engines), which is widely used in automobile industry worldwide. Later, he led GM engine research activities in mechanical components and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). After serving for 14 years at GM, Dr. Goenka returned to India and joined Mahindra and Mahindra (R&D) in 1993. Dr. Goenka's first task in Mahindra R&D was to introduce CAD-CAM and deal with problems related to engine and vehicle NVH. This led to a project for reworking the guts of the Armada vehicle and then the Chrysler-Cherokee project. He subsequently moved to other projects such as Armada 98, Bolero, and Load King. The latest in this series is Scorpio, which has been conceptualized and designed by the in-house integrated design and manufacturing team led by Dr. Goenka. "Scorpio was the most exciting project any automotive engineer could think of being involved with. Our team was involved in everything, from market research to design to set up the plant. I could never have got such an opportunity at GM" says Dr. Goenka. The launch of Scorpio helped Mahindra move into the urban market segment and helped launch the SUV segment in India.

Dr. Goenka is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in engine tribology. His methods for the analysis of engine bearing and engine friction, which were developed 20 years ago, still remain in use as a common reference in automotive engineering. He is an expert in vehicular emission control and alternative fuels.

Dr. Pawan Goenka was conferred prestigious "SAE fellowship" by the society of automotive engineers, the USA in 2004, the highest grade of membership bestowed by SAE international for outstanding engineering and scientific accomplishments, resulting in meaningful advances in automotive, aerospace, and commercial vehicle technology. The fellowship program, established in 1975, recognizes only 20 scholars worldwide for this honor every year. He is the second Indian recipient of this honor. Dr. Goenka is also a fellow of Indian national academy of engineering. He is highly respected in Indian industry for his phenomenal commitment to engineering design and quality assurance. He is a member of the national committee on quality, constituted by the confederation of Indian Industries (CII). Dr. Goenka moved into his current role as COO of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. in April 2003.

Achievements and Honors

  • Recipient of Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2005 by IIT Kanpur.