The attractive taskmaster

By Venkatachari Jagannathan | 23 May 2006


Divya RamachandranChennai: She is a tough taskmaster. This is how a public relations professional describes 26-year old Divya Ramachandran, associate vice president, Helios & Matheson Information Technology Limited. Not only him, even her former students at Alliance Franchise, Chennai would vouch for that.

The bubbly young economics student at the Stella Maris College, Chennai would transform herself into a strict French language teacher at the Alliance Franchise. The youngest to qualify as the French professior, Ramachandran made senior IAS officers stay back to complete their homework.

Today at the Rs221-crore Helios & Matheson, she looks after the mergers and acquisitions (M&A), an area in which the software outfit is active these days.

Last April, Helios and Matheson signed a $19-million deal to acquire three units of vMoksha group. This April the company announced the acquisition of the $26.4 million revenue US company The A Consulting Team Inc.

While the first deal has landed in problems due to the differences between the two promoters of vMoksha, the second deal is expected to sail through smoothly. "The vMoksha deal was a learning experience for us. We will be doubly careful in the case of companies with multiple promoters who are related," she says.

Prior to joining Helios & Matheson she was at Lupin Laboratories for a brief period. What is more interesting about this management graduate from the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad is her multi faceted personality.

She learnt Bharatha Natyam and gave her first public performance at the age of 12. "It was my grandpa who convinced me to learn Bharatha Natyam." He grandfather Poornam Viswanathan is a very popular cine and drama artist with is a unique voice. She also learnt to dance the Salsa.

At the Church Park Convent, Chennai, where she did her schooling, she was awarded the Dr.J Jayalalithaa Best Outgoing Student Award. This is given to a student based on her achievements in the academic and non-academic domains. She was the school second in the X standard and a state ranker in the Commerce paper in the XII. During her college days at Stella Maris, Ramachandran won several inter-collegiate cultural trophies.

"Though I discuss theatre, cinema and dance with my grandfather, I am not interested in the first two professions," she adds.

Apart from French, Ramachandran is fluent in German and also knows a bit of Italian. According to her, union minister for panchayati raj, youth affairs and sports Mani Shankar Aiyar is related to her. "Actually I wanted to follow his foot steps and chose economics. Like him I wanted to study at St.Stephen's College, New Delhi. But destiny had something else for me," muses the 5.5-ft. lady.

Her other high profile relatives are R Nataraj, former Chennai police commissioner, V Balaraman, former executive director (exports), Hindustan Lever Limited and writer Uma Chandran. She is the daughter of the company chairman and one of the promoters V Ramachandran.

Key data

Name: Divya Ramachandran
Date of Birth: October 31, 1979
Education: B A economics, Madras University, MBA, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
Professional status: Associate vice president, Helios & Matheson Information Technology Limited
Marital Status: Married
Previous experience: Arthur Anderson and Lupin Laboratories
Hobbies: Bharatha Natyam, Salsa and languages - French, German and Italian

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