Kumar Mangalam Birla is a young and dynamic entrepreneur of India as well as the world, ranking eighth youngest billionaire of the world. He took up the reigns of huge business empire of Birla’s, as a chairman, at a tender age of 28yrs .Sudden demise of his father made him to take the crucial responsibility of heading the business. The group was named as Aditya Birla Group after Aditya Vikram Birla. The way Kumar Mangalam Birla expanded the business in the past two decades, demystified the thoughts of people who doubted his management skills.
Back in 1995, when Kumar Mangalam Birla took over the reins of the AV Birla group, the turnover was $2bn and the overseas operations accounted to a minor part, in Egypt, Thailand and Indonesia.
Under strong leadership of Kumar Mangalam Birla the group’s turnover spiraled up to $33bn, which is fifteen times the earlier revenue. Birla group has its wide spread operations across more than 40 countries including Australia, Dubai, and reaching out to North America, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary and China. 60% of the revenues come from abroad and 1,30,000 people are being hired globally for their business operations.
Kumar Mangalam Birla being a powerful strategist and visionary could tap the potentials in business along various verticals and various geographies and with his boundless efforts and hard work he widened the business base of the giant conglomerate. He acquired 22 companies within past 15yrs within India and outside, but still stayed within their capabilities of management and to stay strong enough in business. Thus, Kumar Mangalam Birla carried the saga of Birla’s and took up the pride of Birla’s both in India and in Global arena.
Kumar Mangalam Birla started his career as chairman of Aditya Birla Group, after his father in 1995. Before starting as chairman of the Birla group he was man of knowledge, intellect, perseverance and was independently handling Grasim's cement division, the fertilizer business of Indo-Gulf, and also a newly setup carbon black unit in Egypt. His father built companies from the scratch both in India and out of India. Before Kumara Mangalam Birla, most of the business was dependent on cyclic commodities.
As it came to the fourth generation, Kumar Mangalam Birla felt that the challenges have changed and the level and quality of competition has gone up. World has become small due to globalization and that there was a constant need of reinvention in business. As a response to all these challenges he shifted the focus of the business from commodity centric to customer centric. This gave a high competitive edge to the company.
Kumar Mangalam Birla has expanded business primarily through acquisitions, snapping up 22 companies in the past 15 years, both overseas and in India. The $6-billion acquisition of Canadian aluminium rolled product giant Novelis has been Birla's biggest takeover so far. He has also bought mines in Australia; Star Trading, a cement company in Dubai; and UltraTech Cement Ltd in India from Larsen and Toubro Ltd. Later he announced a deal to buy carbon black maker Columbian Chemicals Co for $875mn to become the biggest manufacturer of carbon black.
Kumar Mangalam Birla has a great interest and inclination to enter into new avenues of business and under his leader ship; the group entered new segments like business process outsourcing, in which Transworks-Minacs is the third largest third-party BPO outfit in the country, and Idea Cellular, market capitalization of which is over $8 billion, accounts now for almost a third of the group market cap.
Under Kumara Mangalam Birla the company made its name among the world's top ten producers of cement, aluminum. It also entered into sunrise sectors like cellulars, BPO, software and asset management. The major businesses include Grasim, Hindalco, Ultra-tech cement, Idea cellular and Aditya Birla Retail. By taking the advantage of globalization having seeded by his father, he built upon the inherited strong base and broadened the business platform of Birla group and accelerated the growth and development, and hence proved his abilities and efficiencies.
The group is today the world number one in viscose staple fibre; the world's largest single-location palm oil producer; Asia's largest integrated aluminium producer; a globally competitive, fast-growing copper producer; the world's third-largest producer of insulators; globally the fourth-largest producer of carbon black; the world's eighth-largest producer of cement and the largest in a single geography; India's premier branded garments player; among India's most energy efficient private sector fertilizer plants; India's second-largest producer of viscose filament yarn; the number two private sector insurance company and the fourth-largest asset management company in India.
The Fantastic Four
Kumar Mangalam Birla, the 40-year-old Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, was born exactly20 years after his great grandfather, Ghanshyamdas Birla, set up Gwalior Rayon (now Grasim Industries) in 1947. Eighteen years after that, his grandfather, Basant Kumar Birla set up Century Enka. And when his late father, Aditya Vikram Birla, set up his first overseas venture Indo-Thai Synthetics in 1969, Kumar Mangalam was just two.
THE FANTASTIC FOUR: Kumar Mangalam, Aditya Vikram, Ghanshyamdas and Basant Kumar
THE FANTASTIC FOUR: Kumar Mangalam, Aditya Vikram, Ghanshyamdas and Basant Kumar
Even though Birla’s inherited the business, the Birla of each generation also established new business ventures. Kumar Mangalam Birla inherited Hindalco, Grasim and Indian rayon, where as the companies he started and acquired are Retail venture, Idea cellular, Ultratech cement, Trans work, Aditya Birla minerals, Birla Sun -life insurance and asset management.
Basant kumar Birla, Chairman of BK Birla Group, Grand father of Kumar Mangalam Birla said in his statement that “In terms of management style, the change from GhanshyamDas Birla to me was 10%, from me to Aditya 25%. But from Aditya to Kumar Mangalam Birla, it was 75%.
Kumar Mangalam Birla was born in, June; 1967, in a Marwari Birla business family from the state of Rajasthan. He spent most of his childhood in Calcutta and Mumbai. He was raised by his mother Rajashree Birla and his father Aditya Vikram Birla in a traditional manner with a deep rooted spirituality, a dedication and commitment to the society. His grandmother Sarala Devi, who was a strict disciplinarian when he was growing up, also moulded his outlook. His grandfather Basant Kumar Birla has always has been guiding force of his life.
He is a charted accountant by profession. Kumar earned his commerce degree from HR College, Mumbai and he earned his MBA in HR, from the London Business School. He got married at the age of 22yrs with Neerja Kasliwal whose age was then only 18yrs and later had three children Ananyashree, Aryaman Vikram and Advaitesha.Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Wife Neerja oversees the Aditya Birla World Academy, a school in Mumbai tight money
The car Kumar Mangalam Birla uses is an olive green BMW 5 series sedan.
Awards and Honors
Kumar Mangalam Birla worked with a commitment to the society and relentlessly shaped and reshaped the Aditya Birla Group, with his deep rooted knowledge in business dynamics and earned numerous awards which he deserved.
|Mr. Birla was named the ‘CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2010 – Business |
"Business Leader of the Year" at the AIMA Managing India Awards 2010 by the All India Management Association (AIMA).
He received Bombay Management Association's "Entrepreneur of the Decade Award – 2009
He bagged "JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award – 2008"
He is conferred "The Corporate Role Model Award – 2008" by Amity International Business School, the Asia Pacific Global HR Excellence "
He was honored with “Exemplary Leader" Award, and NDTV's "Global Indian Leader of the Year" and "The Most Socially Responsible Leader" by Outlook business magazine in 2007.
He received Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM, Lucknow National Leadership Award – 2006.
Business Leader was conferred on Mr. Birla by our Prime Minister.
He received the award of “Ernst and young Entrepreneur of India-2005”
He bagged the award of “Young super performer in CEO category” Business Today in 2005.
“Udyoga Rathna” by chamber of commerce and industry 2005.
To "salute his entrepreneurial excellence and exemplary contribution to Indian business", AIMA conferred its "Honorary Fellowship" on him, and the National HRD Network named him "The Outstanding Businessman of the Year".
Memberships in Educational and Advisory Boards
Kumar Mangalam Birla also holds several key positions on various regulatory and professional boards, as a mark of excellence and contribution towards different social fields, other than business holdings.The memberships include; chairmanship of the advisory committee constituted by the ministry of company affairs for 2006 and 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 was also a member of the Organizing Committee for Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010
On the academic front, Mr. Birla is the Chancellor of BITS, Pilani, Hyderabad, Goa and Dubai. He is a Director of the G. D. Birla Medical Research and Education foundation. He is on the Asian Regional Advisory Board of London Business School. He has been inducted on The Economic Times Corporate Advisory Board.