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Sanjay KirloskarSuccessfully leading Kirloskar group companies since 1983 Published On: Friday, March 27, 2015 Views 6992

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Born on the 22nd of March 1957; Sanjay Kirloskar is presently the Chairman of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, and one of the key people in the $3.5 Billion Kirloskar Group, a group that is diversified into various sectors in India and abroad.

As a chairman; Sanjay draws a salary of whooping INR 275 Million and holds a net worth market value of $1.5 billion

Sanjay has completed his Graduation from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He is married to Pratima Kirloskar and has two children i.e. Alok Kirloskar, who completed his schooling from a private school near Los Angeles & is now the Managing Director of ‘Kirloskar Brothers Limited’s SPP Pumps (UK)’ and daughter Rama Kirloskar.

The Kirloskar family is one of the oldest and one of the most reputed family’s of India. They are also considered to be one the pioneers of the Indian Corporate Structure that we see today. Let’s show you how big, literally their family tree is:

Professionally; he has been successfully leading Kirloskar Brothers Ltd as well as other Kirloskar Group companies since 1983. Under his management, Kirloskar Brothers has acquired SPP Pumps (UK), Aban Constructions, The Kolhapur Steels limited and Braybar Pumps Ltd (South Africa). For the last 5 years consecutively; Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. has been showing an average RONW (Return on Net Worth) of 32%.

Today Kirloskar Brothers has become India’s largest Pump & Valve manufacturer and one of the World’s largest and most prestigious Pump manufacturers by market capitalization.

To add to that; Sanjay remains one of the integral reasons why Kirloskar Brothers Ltd has become India’s largest pump manufacturer, which produces centrifugal pumps and has also been accredited as the first Indian company in rotating equipment to receive the ASME N-STAMP in 2012.

Their fame and popularity globally, is such that once in the 90s; Sanjay has visited Egypt and the receptionist at a Cairo hotel asked – Is this really your name?” and kept grinning at him. When asked her, what was so funny? She explained that – “Here in Egypt, Kirloskar meant pump”; just like Xerox meant photo copier in India.

Now as much as shrewd of a businessman he is; Sanjay has never sidelined his bit of Social Responsibility! Kirloskar Brothers Ltd is considered to be one of the first pump companies in India to have a manufacturing plant that is completely operated and managed by women at their Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu plant.

EARLY LIFE

The saga of the $3.5 Billion Kirloskar conglomerate dates back to 1888!

At first the group was nothing but a small bicycle repair shop which was run by the older brother Ramchandrarao, while Laxmanrao (the younger one) lived in Bombay (Mumbai) and taught at the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute. While at it, he was denied his rightful promotion by the British authorities, which led him to quit his job and move to Belgaum to join his brother.

Together, the duo went on to launch their first ever Trading company under the banner ‘Kirloskar Brothers Limited’ in Belgaum itself.

Laxmanrao – a man of principles that he was; strongly believed that an understanding of one’s environment, agricultural implements and reality were highly essential to manufacture unique industrial implements. And hence, he manufactured iron ploughs, which was their first Kirloskar product!

During that time, he always dreamt to build his own industry and community for his employees. For that he knew that Kirloskarwadi was the place to be at! Hence, after slogging for almost 12 years, he moved there in 1910 and initiated Kirloskar Brothers Limited’s factory.

From here onwards, began a new era for the group and the makers themselves!

In the years to come, the Kirloskar group turned out to become one of the earliest industrial groups in the engineering world of India. Gradually they began producing pumps, engines, compressors, screw & centrifugal chillers, lathes and electrical equipments like electric motors, transformers, generators and almost anything or everything that they could think of!

Now evidently, the idea was initiated by Laxmanrao himself but his son i.e. S. L. Kirloskar had played a vital role in the leadership & expansion of the company.

During World War II i.e. from 1939 to 1945, the English insisted the Kirloskars to manufacture weapons for them.

Although, they weren’t even remotely keen to do so but as India was then under their rule; the brothers preferred to stay mum and instead of weaponry, they offered to make machine tools, which would eventually be used to make weapons.

And with that, began their entry into machine tools as well! And quite frankly, if you look at it – “The logic was pretty much simple,” they back then, were anyways searching for ways to enter into a manufacturing area that would continue its existence even after the war ended!

And obviously, history now speaks for itself; the company under Shantanurao Laxmanrao (S. L.) Kirloskar went on to achieve 32,401% growth of assets from 1950–1991, which is yet considered to be one of the highest growth rates in the history of our country.

In 1974, the Kirloskars began manufacturing tractors in collaboration with Deutz-Fahr of Germany.

By 1988; Kirloskar – the name itself became so huge that, Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India released a stamp marking the Kirloskar Group’s 100th anniversary.

Later in November 2003, more than a century later; Kirloskar Brothers also acquired a British company called SPP Pumps, thus settling their forefather’s historic score.

In 2010; a township their forefather’s or should we say ‘The Kirloskar Group’ had set up 100-years back, became India’s second oldest township Kirloskarwadi in Maharashtra.

In 2011; history repeated itself, when a father stepped down and his son stepped into his shoes. Alok the son of Sanjay Kirloskar was appointed as the new Managing Director of a key international subsidiary of Pune-based Kirloskar Brothers.

A well-prepared Alok, had entered the battlefield with a clear vision to make Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL) the most profitable pump manufacturer in the world.

The young visionary was very keen on taking control of the driver’s seat but Sanjay somehow felt that gathering international experience by managing their UK unit – SPP Pumps Ltd. would give him the desired exposure.

Also, what is less known to many is that, before Alok took over as the Managing Director’s position, he had spent roughly four years handling their India operations starting 2007. He worked in almost all their divisions and then become the Vice President of the industrial pumps unit, to cater to the needs of the processing industry.

Since then; there is no stone which has left remained untouched! Kirloskars manufacture almost everything from Pumps, pig iron, chillers, valves, engines, compressors, transmissions, automobiles (through a joint venture with Toyota), construction, infrastructure pumping projects, submarine pipelines, bridges & flyovers, and many more…

Today, the group makes revenues worth $3.5 Billion and directly employees more than 20,000 people. The company presently exports to more than 70 countries which compromises mostly all the African, Southeast Asian and European continents.

The list of companies listed under the group includes: –

  1. Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (Aban Construction Company, SPP Pumps (UK), Kirloskar Ebara Pumps Ltd, Braybar pumps Ltd, (South Africa) and The Kolhapur Steels Ltd)
  2. Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd
  3. Kirloskar Pneumatic Co. Ltd
  4. Kirloskar Systems Ltd
  5. Kirloskar Proprietary Ltd
  6. Kirloskar Kenya Ltd
  7. Kirloskar Ferrous Ind. Ltd
  8. Kirloskar Chillers Pvt. Ltd
  9. Kirloskar Middle East FZE
  10. Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (Society)
  11. Kirloskar Electric Company
  12. Kirloskar Integrated Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
  13. Kirloskar Brothers Investments Ltd
  14. Kirloskar Industries Ltd
  15. Kirloskar JLT
  16. Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Limited (Mysore Kirloskar)

And, to manage the functioning of the group well; the work has been strategically divided within the family wherein: – Sanjay Kirloskar runs Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL), Atul Kirloskar runs KOEL and Kirloskar Ferrous Industries Ltd, their younger brother Rahul Kirloskar takes care of Kirloskar Pneumatic Co Ltd. and their cousin Vikram manages their joint ventures such as TKM and TKAP in Bangalore.

CHALLENGES

Now during this journey of theirs; as much success they have received, they have been through an equal number of challenges as well, which have pushed the family to work even more harder, to reach to an even higher level than before!

This can best be explained with the first biggest challenge they faced during the days of World War I i.e. 1914 to 1918, when India was under the British regime! During that time, the Kirloskar brothers were hit badly by the war primarily because the supply of iron had stopped. There seemed to be no way out for them and the management was feeling completely helpless due to the whole situation. This is when the Maharaja of Solapur (southeast Maharashtra), came to their rescue. He sold them his cannons to melt them down and use that iron to continue making their ploughs.

If this seemed difficult then, the sudden economic downturn in the year 2000 had hit the group even harder.

Everyone including the Stock markets had written the Kirloskar group completely off! Again nothing seemed to be going in the right direction and they were barely able to meet the expenses. To make the situations even worse; there had been a huge slump in their capital and engineering industry, which directly affected the bottom lines of group companies.

The respect which the group once held clearly went down the drains, when their finance company ‘Kirloskar Finance & Investment’ defaulted on its deposits and was unable to pay off its depositors. The image further damaged when Vijay Kirloskar sold his stake in the finance company to an Ahmedabad-based businessman Hari Singh Champawat. And their inabilities to pump in investments into the joint venture with Toyota also, added nothing but fuel to the heavily lit fire!

Finally, the family decided to come together and figure a solution out! And as much as hard it was for them to accept, it had to be done. The group in 2000, took a decision to split the family business into multiple halves.

Atul, who has mapped out a restructuring plan for the new group, made sure that there was no change in the holding patterns of the companies. This was also because there is a highly complex cross-holding between the Kirloskar group companies and dividing everything would have only made things worse. Hence, the separation was happening of the management and the control and that, this separation was based on the basis of shareholding and not on geography.

According to Atul, this reshuffle would do nothing but help improve the fortunes of the group on the long run.

And figures since then have been screaming success! Everyone is back to the group and the stocks that used to trade at INR 6 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, now trades at a more respectable rate of INR151.50 approximately.

ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • Sanjay Kirloskar has been credited with developing the manufacture of diesel
  • Kirloskar Brothers Ltd created the world’s largest irrigation project, commissioned in March 2007 (Sardar Sarovar Dam project for the Gujarat Government.)
  • Kirloskar Brothers Ltd commissioned the world’s second largest water supply system with the world’s highest head in Andhra Pradesh in March 2008.
  • They are associated with India’s nuclear program and have manufactured canned motor pumps for pumping heavy water for the Indian Nuclear Power Plants
  • Kirloskar Brothers Limited is the first Indian company to get FM certification for its valves.
  • They are one of the first pump companies to have an all women operated and managed manufacturing plant at Coimbatore.
  • The company was one of the country’s top ten wealth creators in 2007

 

  • Kirloskar Brothers won the first “Best of All” Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award in 1992

Author:

YoChef puts the spotlight on emerging businesses and reputed personalities to help young entrepreneurs learn from their experiences. Watch out for posts published under YoChef to discover entrepreneurial journeys and life lessons.

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