Kumar Mangalam Birla is the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, India’s third largest commercial conglomerate. He was groomed to become a successful entrepreneur and eventually opted to get involved in the family firm after being born into a generations-old business family. He continued his post-graduate studies in London after earning his graduate degree and becoming a Chartered Accountant. When his father died unexpectedly when he was 28, he was left with a lot of business duties. Because Kumar took over the Aditya Birla Group at a period when it had already grown into a massive conglomerate operating in viscose, textiles, garments, cement, aluminium, and fertilisers, he was met with a lot of suspicion about his lack of expertise. He, on the other hand, was not about to be let down.
He promoted new business practises, and his zealous attitude resulted in significant improvements in the organization’s operations. He demonstrated interest in emerging industries such as software and BPO, in addition to retaining the company’s reputation in existing fields. He is a leading philanthropist who contributes greatly to the advancement of society’s weaker parts, in addition to owning a successful business group.
Childhood and Adolescence
- Aditya Vikram Birla and his wife, Rajashri Birla, raised him in a Marwari business family on June 14, 1967. Vasavadatta is his sister.
- He is a fourth-generation business family member who spent the majority of his childhood in Mumbai and Kolkata. He was raised in a high-pressure environment that continually reminded him of his family’s name, riches, and the responsibilities that came with it.
- He earned his B.Com degree from the University of Bombay after completing his schooling. He went on to become a Chartered Accountant with the Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
- He then went on to get his MBA at London Business School in London, United Kingdom.
- Kumar took over as Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group of Companies in 1995, after his father died suddenly when he was 28. Some doubts were expressed about his ability to lead such a large enterprise, but he proved his critics wrong.
- He strengthened the company’s position in existing businesses while also expanding into new areas such as telecommunications, software, and business process outsourcing. He presently serves as Chairman of the $40 billion multinational, which has operations in more than 40 countries across six continents.
- He was also the Chairman of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Board of Trade, as well as the Chairman of the Ministry of Company Affairs’ Advisory Committee.
- As Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, one of his most important works was the drastic changes he imposed in the company. Over the years, he changed business tactics, professionalised the entire group, and accelerated the organization’s growth.
- As a philanthropist, he is actively involved in relevant welfare-driven activities in a number of nations throughout the world, including India, Thailand, and Egypt, which have a significant impact on the quality of life of the poorer sectors of society.
‘The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year-India’ was bestowed upon him in 2005.
He was selected “Global Indian Leader of the Year” by NDTV in 2007 and “The Most Socially Responsible Leader” by Outlook business magazine in 2008. He was awarded the AIMA’s ‘JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award’ in 2008. In the same year, he received Amity International Business School’s ‘Corporate Role Model Award.’ The Bombay Management Association honoured him with the ‘Entrepreneur of the Decade Award’ in 2009. He was named the ‘CNN-IBN Indian of the Year’ in 2010.