Consumer goods major Dabur India on Friday appointed Amit Burman, 50, chairman of the company as part of the family’s succession planning.
Amit, who was the vice-chairman earlier, is the cousin of Anand Burman, 67, who stepped down on Friday as Dabur’s chairman. Their cousin Mohit, also 50, was appointed vice-chairman of the company, while Anand Burman’s son Aditya, 39, was inducted into the board as an additional director. These appointments are effective Friday.
While the Burman family has separated ownership from management for 20 years now, the elevation of younger members as well as induction of the next generation — Aditya is the sixth generation of the family - comes at a time when India Inc is seeing cases of strife within high-profile business families.
Last month, the Godrej family, one of the biggest land owners in Mumbai, appointed advisors and top law firms to untangle their land holdings. And in April, cousins Prakash and Deepak Chhabria of the Finolex group accused each other of trying to gain control of Finolex Cables in a dispute that began last year.
Mohit has been working with the family’s foray into insurance, asset management, and sports
Amit, according to company sources, was being groomed for the role of chairman for two years now. The understanding, they say, between family members is that a chairman and vice-chairman (appointed from the family) will have two terms only and will then make way for the next eligible individual.
Anand was first appointed Dabur chairman in 2007 and had completed two terms by 2017. Amit, too, had completed two terms as vice-chairman of the company, persons in the know said.
An MBA from the University of Cambridge, Amit was responsible for Dabur’s foray into processed foods with the setting up of subsidiary Dabur Foods, which was subsequently merged into Dabur in 2007. But Amit by then had managed to make brands such as Real, which is into fruit juices, a household name. He is also the promoter of Lite Bite Foods, which has a network of restaurants across the country.
Aditya was with Dabur Pharma
Mohit, on the other hand, has been the driving force behind the Burman family’s foray into life insurance, general insurance, asset management, and sports. He co-owns the Kings XI Punjab cricket franchise, which plays in the Indian Premier League, along with actor Preity Zinta, Wadia group scion Ness Wadia, and Apeejay Surrendra Group’s Karan Paul.
Aditya, who returned to India in 2003 after completing his studies from the US, joined Dabur Pharma, a family-owned oncology-focused pharmaceutical firm. He is also a director on the board of Oncquest Laboratories, a clinical pathology and molecular diagnostics company.