Complete History Of Swaraj Tractors And Connection With Gandhi

It All Started With Punjab Tractors Ltd.

It All Started With Punjab Tractors Ltd.

Punjab Tractors, India’s first company to indigenously develop agricultural tractors, aptly named “Swaraj”, pushed Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of self-reliant India. 

The organization was started by Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur, in the 1960s as a design project, which later transformed into a full-fledged organization in Mohali.

Swaraj is a farm-tech division of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., formerly Punjab Tractors Limited. Mahindra took over Swaraj in 2007. Hence, in 2009, the name was altered to today’s Swaraj division!

A Sneek Peak Into The History Of Swaraj

It was 1964; then Prime Minister Mr Nehru invited Man Mohan Suri to join as a Director of CMERI. In 1965, on Suri’s invitation, Chandra Mohan quit Indian Railways and joined CMERI. 

Man Mohan Suri was a charismatic personality. He even accompanied then-Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s delegation to the Soviet Union as a technical expert. 

He returned with the idea of manufacturing tractors in India for small acreage. In September 1965, a five-page proposal was submitted to the Planning Commission, and the journey began.

Research and Development of Prototypes

R&D began at CMERI in 1965. The design team comprised six young engineers, mostly fresh graduates with limited skills. At that time, no one except Mr Mohan was familiar with tractor technology.

Two tractors were bought for reverse engineering. However, technical Inputs were obtained from Indian Patent Office and IIT Kharagpur (The only institute running a course in Agricultural Engineering in the 60s).

The basic product specifications included:

  • An automatic implement-control system.
  • Failure-proof working.
  • Low-cost servicing.
  • A “Unified Series” concept.

During the initial manufacturing phase, these concepts proved valuable in lowering manufacturing costs and enhancing product reliability. The prototype testing failed in 1967, but the team continued to learn and improve the design. Today Swaraj flaunts high-end inventories like  ACE Tractor and farmtrac 60 powermaxx.

With further political notions, the Government invited MAMC (Mining & Allied Machinery Corporation) as a 50% partner in the development to transform its idle capacity into a productive one.

Materials for manufacturing and support were also received from Britannia Engineering Co., which had surplus production capacity, lying idle post-war against China. Moreover, the prototypes were a huge success in 1969 and had all indigenous components!

The Launch of Punjab Tractors Limited

Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation came forward for support for funds, following which the work began in May 1970. 

However, the team faced many challenges in procuring funds and approvals and a lack of manufacturing facilities.

Acquisition by Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Due to the state government’s lack of political will and disinvestment, Punjab Tractors Limited was eventually acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra in 2007. As a result, this acquisition made Mahindra World’s largest tractor manufacturer!

Following the take-over, Punjab Tractor Limited was merged into M&M and transformed into the Swaraj division in 2009. Beginning with models like 724XM and 744XM in 2009, the Swaraj division now has a more standard series of products like Swaraj 744 xm and Swaraj 724 xm.

Further, the company was awarded Deming Prize in 2012 and other Excellence Awards. And flaunts top Customer Satisfaction ratings. 

Final Words

Ever since its beginning in 1974, Swaraj Tractors has come a long way, winning the hearts of every Indian farmer with its superior performance. Every farmer’s heart swells with pride to proclaim, “Mera Swaraj”.

Frequently Asked Questions On Swaraj Tractors

What is the price of Swaraj 744 in 2023?

Swaraj 744 FE is a 48 HP variant from Swaraj available at Rs. 6.90-7.40 Lakh.

Are Mahindra and Swaraj tractors the same?

Swaraj became part of the Mahindra Group in 2007.

Which is the most successful tractor in India?

Swaraj tractors are one of the most popular tractor brands among Indian farmers, especially known for their superior models, like the Swaraj 744 FE and Swaraj 855 FE. 

Which is the number 1 company tractor?

Mahindra tractor is the world’s number 1 Tractor manufacturing company.

Which is the first tractor of Swaraj?

The first Swaraj tractor was the 26.5 hp variant Swaraj 724. In addition, it was India’s first indigenously developed tractor, saving Indian farmers from expensive imports.

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