Dr. Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. This is a massive group that has interests in many sectors like cement, steel, Telecom, Insurance etc. The group's operations extend to many countries across the globe. Aditya Birla Group is a household name in India, and one of India's largest business houses.
Kumar Mangalam Birla was born on 14 June, 1967, to the illustrious Aditya Vikram Birla. Aditya was an eminent industrialist and doyen of the Aditya Birla Group. He was raised in Calcutta and Mumbai as the family business were concentrated in these two cities. Kumar Mangalam studied to be a Chartered Accountant and completed his MBA (Masters in Business Administration) from the London Business School. Soon after his education, Kumar Mangalam joined the family business and started to learn under the guidance of his father.
The Birla group was founded a century back, were well established, and prosperous at that time. In fact, it was one of the few Indian business groups that were truly global. This was the heritage of Aditya Birla, who believed in putting his business on the globe, way before globalization became a key word in the Indian economy.
Kumar Mangalam benefited greatly from this, and under his leadership, the group's vision grew from strength to strength. When Aditya Birla expired in 1995, the complete management of the group came under Kumar Mangalam. This would have made anyone falter, but Kumar Mangalam had been tutored by his legendary father. And knew that he had to carry on his father's legacy. Under the aegis of Kumar Mangalam, the Birla group's revenues have grown to massive levels over the years putting the Aditya Vikram Birla group amongst the top companies in India and the world.
Kumar Mangalam has been instrumental in growing and diversifying the groups businesses in the last 15 years. Some of its major companies in India are Grasim, UltraTech Cement, Hindalco, Indian Rayon, Indo Gulf and India. The group has also partnered with other companies to jointly promote - Idea Cellular (Telecom), Birla Sun Life (Financial Services) and Birla NGK (Insulators). Kumar Mangalam is the Chairman of all of the Group's blue-chip companies in India. He serves as a Director on the board of the Group's international companies in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Egypt. The Group's operations extend to Canada, China, USA, UK and Australia as well.
The economic upsurge in India had benefited the group’s revenues tremendously. Under Kumar Mangalam's able guidance, the group touched revenues of $6 billion, placing them solidly on the list of top performing companies in the world. The stock prices of the group's flagship company - Grasim, a fiber and Cement Company, and aluminium maker Hindalco has surged in the recent past, further adding to the group's fortunes. Kumar Mangalam's telecom company - Idea Cellular, which is in alliance with Tata and AT&T, bought Escotel, a telecom services provider for $256 million, winning out over fellow billionaire Sunil Mittal.
Kumar Mangalam has ensured his contribution to society too. He has launched the Aditya Birla Scholarships for deserving’s students. Also the group is involved in several social causes like adult education, rehabilitation of the handicapped, village infrastructure development among others. The media too, has showered accolades on Kumar Mangalam. Between 1997 to date, NDTV, Star Plus, India Business Week designated him as 'The Businessman of the Year'. Global Finance has cited him among the 10 Super Stars of corporate finance. Business World ranked him among the top 10 of India's most admired and respected CEOs. And the top CEO of the coming millennium.
Kumar Mangalam is married to Neerja Birla, and has three children, Ananyashree, Aryaman Vikram, and Advaitesha. Along with his wife Neerja, he launched the Sarala Birla Academy, a boarding school for boys named after his grandmother. He was chosen as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year - India, in 2005. An iconic figure, Kumar Mangalam Birla holds several key positions on various regulatory and professional boards. He is a director of the Central of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India and chairman of the Staff Sub-Committee of the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. He serves on the Prime Minister of India’s Advisory Council on Trade and Industry. He is the chairman of the Board of Trade constituted by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, also chairman of the Ministry of Company Affairs' Advisory Committee.
Kumar Mangalam Birla is all geared up to set new standards in Indian business. And take his organization even further.