|Name||Kumar Mangalam Birla|
|Born on||14 June 1967|
|Place of Birth||Rajasthan|
|Educated from||H.R College Mumbai, London Business School|
|Works For||Aditya Birla Group|
|Valued at||$9.2 billion|
|Position||Chairman of Aditya Birla Group|
|Married to||Neerja Kasliwal|
|Father||Basant Kumar Birla|
He was born into a Marwari business family, commonly referred to as the 'Birla family.' Basant Kumar Birla and Sarala Birla are his grandparents Rajashri Birla and Aditya Birla, after whom the company has been named, are his parents. He also has a sister, Vasavdatta, who is married to Kushagra Bajaj of Bajaj Corporation.
Born into a many generation-old business family, Kumar believed that he was brought up in a 'pressure-cooker' environment that continuously made him conscious of his family name, wealth and the responsibility attached with it.
His doting grandparents were convinced that he was born to succeed, and groomed him in this belief. But, his father remained his hero, as he always took out special time to spend with his son. He acted as a teacher to him.
He spent his early years in Calcutta and Mumbai. After graduating in the B. Com program from HR College, Mumbai, he studied Chartered Accountancy, and later completed his MBA program from the London Business school, where he is an Honorary Fellow.
- He became involved in the family business at the age of fifteen.
- In 1995, he took charge of Aditya Birla Group, when his father died, due to cancer, at the early age of 52.
- Two years before his father's death, he consciously fast-tracked his efforts, realizing that his father did not have much time left, and he would have to succeed him. At the age of 28 years, when he took over the company, many people felt that he would not be able to lead well. But he set out to prove them all wrong.
The Ideal Beginning
At the time Kumar took over The Aditya Birla Group, it had already become a giant business house, dealing in viscose, textiles, garments, cement, aluminum and fertilizers. He brought in radical changes, by changing business strategies, professionalizing the entire group and replacing internal systems.
Through entering into consumer products, he effectively reduced his group's dependence on cyclic commodities. Along with maintaining the group's name in present sectors, he also ventured into sunrise sectors like cellular telephony, asset management, software and BPO.
At the age of 22, he married Neerja Kasliwal, when she was only 18 years old. She is a full-time housewife and has no business ambitions, although she acts as a big support to him in all his emotional needs. Kumar, is the father of 4 children, Ananyashree, Aryaman Vikram and Advaitesha. He wants his children to come up in life like anybody else, overlooking the various advantages they are born with.
Man of Substance
- Today, he is the Chairman of Aditya Birla Group. He is also the Chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science.
- Kumar took over a company worth Rs. 8000 Crore and transformed it into a 34,000 Crore empire, estimating his net worth at $9.2 billion.
- He has been honored with many awards, to name a few Business Leader of the Year (2003) by The Economic Times, Business Man Of the Year (2003) by Business India, The Ernst and young Entrepreneur of the Year – India (2005)
- Apart from this, he also holds significant position in various professional and regulatory bodies, including, membership of Central Board of directors Of the Reserve Bank of India, 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.
Major companies of Aditya Birla group in India are Idea Cellular, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Ultra tech Cement, Hindalco, Grasim. Its joint ventures include Birla Sun Life (provides financial services) and Birla NGK (insulators). The group also performs internationally in various countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Canada, Australia, Philippines.
Kumar, also brought about a major change in the group's work environment by abolishing policies such as 'babu-culture’, 'womb to tomb policy' and 'partha system'. He focused on employee satisfaction and management training, and founded the innovative Organizational health service (OHS) to measure the satisfaction level of all managers across the group. The group also works towards achieving 100% customer satisfaction.
- He was under the continuous scrutiny of the society, at large, who were dubious about his skills of handling a giant business house. Continuously, expectations had to be met, in order to lead the group in his style of government.
- As a young leader, he faced opposition to changes that he implemented in the organization, but he refused to be let down by these challenges.
- India's most successful young entrepreneurs, Kumar Mangalam is a shy and modest man.
- He is tagged as an agent of change and has driven against the stream to bring about marked changes in the functioning of Aditya birla group.
- Passion, he feels, is an important tool to achieve success, as it brings a certain amount of discipline, sustainability, the fact that you can be much more productive, much more lateral in the way you think, about the business you are doing.
- Kumar believes in profitable Growth, and wishes to undertake only those streams of business, where he can see himself excelling to the top position in the future.
- He is an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs and managers, all over the world.