He’s the man who was at the vanguard of two blockbuster utility vehicles UVs) of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) — the Bolero in 2000, and then, two years later, the Scorpio — which enabled M&M to earn the first ‘S’ in the UV abbreviation. Alan Durante, who retired as Executive Director at M&M in 2005, recalls the early 90s when the Scorpio was just a gleam in his eye. “We needed a vehicle to replace the Armada and Bolero. A state-of-the-art vehicle to position against others available at that point of time,” says Durante, who headed M&M’s automotive business. The first step was to bring in a man familiar with global vehicles, technology and markets. Enter Pawan Goenka, who returned to India in 1993 from General Motors. The brief from then vice-chairman Anand Mahindra was — plan the launch of a relevant and contemporary product five to six years down the line. By 1997, Project Scorpio was on the drawing board. By mid-1998, the blueprint was frozen.