Ramkripa Ananthan, born in 1971, is a prominent figure in the Indian automobile industry renowned for her exceptional design skills. Her contributions to Mahindra & Mahindra Limited played a pivotal role in the creation of one of India’s most iconic SUVs, the XUV 500.

Ramkripa pursued a degree in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani. Subsequently, she furthered her education by obtaining a post-graduate degree in industrial design from the esteemed IDC, IIT Bombay.

In 1997, after completing her post-graduation, Ramkripa joined Mahindra & Mahindra as an interior designer, responsible for the interior design aspects of popular models like Bolero, Scorpio, and Xylo. However, her talent and potential were soon recognized, leading to her appointment as the lead designer for the development of a premium SUV. Mahindra & Mahindra aimed to tap into the market for premium SUVs and compete with other automotive firms.

To commence the project, an extensive survey was conducted among 1500 individuals to gather insights into their expectations from an upcoming premium SUV. Ramkripa herself is an adventurous and outdoorsy person, having embarked on a challenging journey from Manali to Srinagar on her Bajaj Avenger bike. Her personal experiences and passion for exploration greatly influenced the development of the car.

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When the project began in 2007, Ramkripa Ananthan became the first woman design chief in India entrusted with the responsibility of leading a car design project. Over the course of four years, Ramkripa, alongside her dedicated team of 20 employees, meticulously crafted the design of the XUV 500. Their tireless efforts came to fruition in 2011 when the XUV 500 was officially launched, immediately gaining immense popularity and acclaim.

Currently serving as the head of design for Mahindra & Mahindra, Ramkripa Ananthan holds a prestigious position within the company. Her instrumental role in the development of the XUV 500, which has become one of the best-selling SUVs in India, has solidified her status as one of the celebrated designers in the Indian automobile industry. Her innovative and visionary approach to design continues to inspire and shape the future of automotive aesthetics.

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