In a change of guard in the Rs 300 billion-Murugappa Group, M M Murugappan took charge as the Executive Chairman of the Group on Monday, succeeding A Vellayan who has been the Executive Chairman from November 2009. Vellayan retires, as customary in the Murugappa Group, at the age of 65. Murugappan was the vice-chairman of the Group so far.
During his tenure, A Vellayan steered the Group's growth through organic and inorganic initiatives, recording nearly 100% increase in revenues from Rs 159.07 billion in 2008-09 to Rs 300.23 billion in 2016-17. During this period, the Group's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) had gone up from Rs 15 billion to Rs 40 billion and in percentage from 10 per cent to 14 per cent.
The Group's market cap has gone up from Rs 116 billion to over Rs 700 billion at the end of January 2018. It took nearly 109 years for the Group to reach market capitalisation of $1 billion, and it was then Vellayan took over as the Executive Chairman of the company. In around eight years it has added $10 billion to reach a total of $11 billion market cap now.
He has been actively involved and spearheaded industry bodies such as Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) and Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA).
The Group has 28 businesses including nine listed companies traded in NSE & BSE. It has like BSA, Hercules, Montra, Mach City, Ballmaster, Ajax, Parry's, Chola, Gromor, Shanthi Gears and Paramfos. It currently has a workforce of over 32,000 employees.
Since November 2009, Murugappan served as the Group's Vice-Chairman, heading technology, innovation and Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) initiatives across the Group.
In January 2004, he took over as Chairman of Carborundum Universal (CUMI), one of the major company in the group manufacturing adhesives, electro minerals and others, leading the transformation of CUMI into an international company. He led the integration of Volzhsky Abrasive Works, Russia (the second largest manufacturer of silicon carbide in the world), with CUMI.
In April 2006, Murugappan was appointed Chairman of Tube Investments of India (TII), which has financial institutions like Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd and cycle manufacturing arm TI Cycles. At TII, he is very involved, together with the team, in developing a strong engineering-focussed business to address opportunities in the transportation sector as a critical component supplier. He was appointed as Chairman of Coromandel International Ltd, which is into fertilisers business, at the recently concluded board meeting on January 31, 2018.
Murugappan is also on the board of several companies outside the Group, such as Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Cyient Ltd, Hyderabad. He served on the Board of Governors of IIT-Madras, for six years till November 2011 and has enabled many industry-academic partnerships. He now serves on the board of the IIT-Madras Research Park and provides guidance to many companies incubated there.
Murugappan holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the AC College of Technology, University of Madras and a Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, USA. He is a member of the American and Indian Institutes of Chemical Engineers, the Indian Ceramic Society and the Plastics and Rubber Institute.