Speed bump ahead

Ashok Leyland’s turnaround was historic. But now, with macro headwind, policy changes and a drop in market share, can it sustain its run?

Since 2014, Ashok Leyland has scripted one of the best turnaround stories in the history of India Inc. A couple of years before that, it was caught in quick sand. There was a slowdown in the mining industry, which led to a fall in demand for heavy vehicles such as trucks, which in turn led to unsold stock and investor panic. The management took hard decisions — including downsizing and moving out of its non-core businesses — and, buffeted by recovery in infrastructure and agriculture, Leyland saw remarkable improvement over the next three years.