Kumar Mangalam Birla is chairman of the Aditya Birla Group which is a multinational and the third largest business conglomerate in India. He was born into well sufficient family having their old businesses, he was nourished and taught to be an entrepreneur, and so that he also decided to join his family business in the end. After completing his graduate degree and becoming a CA, he moved to London for his post-graduation.
He took all the responsibility and business responsibility on his strong shoulders at the age of 28, after his father's untimely death. When he took over A.B. Group, it already became a renowned organization that was dealing with many different businesses like textiles, cement and fertilizers etc. Due to his inexperience, he had withstood a lot of distrust. Unlike any pessimist, he denied getting affected by any of these and reflected to be astute having accurate senses of running a business properly. Later he also included new business policies and improved the functioning of the whole organisation by his visionary approach.
He is also known to be a philanthropist whose contributions help the weaker/poor parts of society and lead to significant and prosperous growth.
Childhood & Early Life
Kumar Mangalam Birla was born on June 14, 1967, he grew in a Marwari family which had a growing and thriving old business, his father was Aditya Vikram Birla and his mother was Rajashri Birla. Kumar has a sister, Vasavadatta.
Kumar is a 4th generation member of this Marwari business family. He was born in Kolkata and raised in Mumbai. Being a part of this conglomerate holding family always made him think about his family's name and the wealth and responsibilities of the business.
After completing schooling at Sydenham College of Commerce, and his B.Com degree from the University of Bombay he moved to London business school for pursuing Post Graduation in MBA. He also became a Chartered Accountant a part of ICAI.
In 1995, when he took over Aditya Birla group as a chairman of the company due to the untimely demise of his father at the age of 28. There he had to face scepticism, questions were raised regarding his inexperience and capabilities to manoeuvre Aditya Birla Group which was already a thriving business in India and were on expanding process but with his passion and dedication, he proved every questioner wrong and reflected to be astute.
He expanded the company's business to software, BPO, telecom and in many several other areas. He holds the company's chairman position with his business spanning over many countries.
He had also been on the designation of Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of Indias (SEBI) Committee on Corporate Governance, and the Chairman of SEBIs Committee on Insider Trading.
He has also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trade constituted by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and worked as the Chairman of the Ministry of Company Affairs Advisory Committee.
He is also a part of the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which is the Apex Advisory Council for Associated Chambers of Commerce, and the Advisory Council for the Centre for Corporate Governance. He served as the Director of the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India.
After becoming the chairman of the Aditya Birla Group he brought very significant changes regarding, professionalism and strategies necessary for speeding the growth of the company gradually over the years.
As a philanthropist, he has contributed to different sectors of society for a strong and progressive impact on the quality of life of the poor and week parts of society he is doing this not only in India but also in many countries around the globe i.e. Thailand and Egypt etc.
Awards & Achievements
Kumar has been awarded several honourable awards, a few among them are listed below.
In 2003, he was awarded The Business Leader of the Year by The Economic Times. In 2006 CEO of the year by International Advertising Association. In 2014 "Global Leadership Award" by the US India Business Council.
In 2012 Most Inspiring Leader title from NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards.
He has also been the chairman of IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Delhi, and also been the Chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS).
Personal Life & Legacy
He is married to Neerja Kasliwal, and the couple was blessed with two daughters and a son:- two daughters named Ananyashree and Advaitesha and a son are Aryaman Vikram. Neerja is a homemaker and Ananya is the founder of Svatantra Microfin, which is a company that offers village women microfinance facilities and she has also the co-founder of mental healthcare service provider Mpower
What Can We Learn from His Life? -
Respect the people who work with you: -
In business, it's very important to respect the people who work with you this creates a positive work environment and that's an important aspect of any business, if they ever attempt any mistakes then instead of disrespecting them you should help them to polish their skills, they'll pay you back with their determination and higher intellectual level. this is the quality of a true leader.
Failures and mistakes are inevitable: -
Failures show progress, it's inevitable, if you don't fail means you aren't taking enough risks and putting in enough effort. When you fail, you either cultivate the ability to learn from it instead of just being in denial and let people have scepticism about you. If you learn and move forward, you'll attain success.
You have got different roles to play at different times: -
Once Kumar said I think a leader has many roles to play at different times. So, you know, one role is that of incubating talent and the other one is of being a strategist. It's a very joyful and interesting job I've got. Being the owner of the largest conglomerate, he has to face different tasks for different firms, all the time environment changes and this makes it interesting and challenging.
Let your work speak: -
When Kumar's father demise happened untimely, the whole family was in shock and Kumar had to take care of his father's legacy, he took over the company as chairman and face a lot of scepticism, but instead of giving up, shouting at them, he handled the company passionately and like a true astute which impressed everyone and made company grew faster.