Kumar Mangalam Birla
Chairman of The Aditya Birla Group
He was born on June 14, 1967 and was brought up in Calcutta and Mumbai. He studied Chartered Accountancy and later accomplished his MBA from the London Business School. He got married to Neerja and is the father of three children, Ananyashree, Aryaman Vikram and Advaitesha.
Decade since he found himself in his father’s large shoes, Kumar Mangalam Birla has forged a career that could make him the biggest Birla of them all. Major companies of Aditya Birla Group in India are Grasim, Hindalco, UltraTech Cement, Aditya Birla Nuvo and Idea Cellular. Aditya Birla Group’s joint ventures include Birla Sun Life (Financial Services) and Birla NGK (Insulators). The group also has its presence in various countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Egypt, Canada, China and Australia.
After his father’s death, doubts were raised by people across about his ability to handle such a giant business house with interests spanning viscose, textiles and garments on the one hand and cement, aluminium and fertilizers on the other. But he proved his skeptics wrong. He brought in radical changes, changed business strategies, professionalized the entire group and replaced internal systems. He reduced his group’s dependence on the cyclic commodities sectors by entering consumer products.
He also holds several key positions on various regulatory and professional boards, including chairmanship of the advisory committee constituted by the ministry of company affairs (2006 & 2007), membership of the prime minister of India’s advisory council on trade and industry, chairmanship of the board of trade reconstituted by the union minister of commerce and industry and membership of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India.
He has also won several admirations. Major among them includes The Business Leader of the Year (2003) by The Economic Times, Business Man of the Year (2003) by Business India, and The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2005).