Chennai''s low profile but well-knit Murugappa
group is restructuring. The group, whose companies include EID Parry, Tube Investments
India, Parry Agro, Carborundum Universal, and Cholamandalam Finance is entrusting the
management of frontline companies to non-family professionals.
Family members are not going into
hibernation. They will be part of a supervisory board that will link the family with the
professional chief executive officers and statutory boards of the group companies. Each
senior family member will be designated vice-chairman of one or more company and will have
defined functional responsibilities. The patriarch of the family, M.V. Subbiah, will be
chairman of EID Parry, Tube Investments India, and Parrys Confectionery.
Explaining the proposals, Mr Subbiah says
the supervisory board will have three external professionals as non-wholetime directors.
They will be men of eminence with proven professional records and leadership qualities.
Two such people have already been identified one a professor of Indian origin
abroad and the other the chief executive officer of a multinational company.
The supervisory board will have nine
members. Five of them are senior family members. Mr Subbiah will be chairman of the board
and M.A. Alagappan vice-chairman. The other family members are A. Vellayan, M.M.
Murugappan and M.M. Venkatachalam. Partho S. Datta, now president, group finance, will be
a director. The board will take off from the new year and meet once a quarter.
Mr Alagappan will steer the groups
overall strategy, while providing mentorship services to group companies Tube Investments
and TI Diamond Chain, and the marketing services businesses. Mr Vellayan will be
addressing the groups marketing thrusts, brand building, skills and systems while
acting as mentor for EID Parry and Coromandel Fertilisers. Mr Murugappan will be in charge
of technology, including information technology and research functions and will be in
charge for Carborundum Universal and the plantations business. Mr Venkatachalam will be in
charge of the groups human resources functions and will be the mentor for the
groups financial services (Cholamandalam Finance) besides Parry Confectionery. Mr
Datta will focus on finance and financial restructuring.
According to Mr Subbiah, the group is in search of senior
professional managers to be placed at strategic positions. It will prefer to appoint chief
executive officers from among existing managers of group companies as they are familiar
with the group culture. The mentor directors will
be vice-chairmen and will provide inputs and suggestions to the professional teams.