Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla

Chairman, Hindalco Industries

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla
Chairman, Hindalco Industries

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of the Indian multinational Aditya Birla Group, which operates in 36 countries across six continents. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA degree from the London Business School.

Mr. Birla chairs the Boards of all major Group companies in India and globally including Novelis Inc., Birla Carbon, Aditya Birla Chemicals, Domsjö Fabriker, Terrace Bay Pulp Mill, Hindalco Industries Ltd., Grasim Industries Ltd., UltraTech Cement Ltd., Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. and Aditya Birla Capital Ltd. In the 25 years, at the helm of the Group, he has accelerated growth, built meritocracy and enhanced stakeholder value. In the process he has raised the Group’s turnover by well over 20X to around $60 billion. The market cap of the Group’s listed entities at the close of FY21 was over $60 billion.

Business record

Mr. Birla has been the architect of over 40 successful acquisitions by the Group in India and abroad, the highest by any Indian multinational. Key acquisitions include Aleris Corporation, Novelis, the second largest acquisition ever by an Indian company, Columbian Chemicals, Domsjö Fabriker, CTP GmbH – Chemicals & Technologies, Jaypee Cement, Binani Cement, Larsen & Toubro's cement division, Indal from Alcan, Madura Garments, the Chlor Alkali division of Kanoria Chemicals and Solaris Chemtech Industries.

Mr. Birla has restructured the businesses to emerge as a global leader in the sectors in which the Group operates. Under his stewardship, the Aditya Birla Group enjoys a position of leadership in all the major sectors in which it operates— from cement to chemicals, metals to textiles and fashion to financial services. Anchored by an extraordinary force of 140,000 employees belonging to 100 different nationalities, over the years Mr. Birla has built a highly successful meritocratic organisation.

Under his leadership, in 2020, the Aditya Birla Group was recognised as among the Forbes World’s Best Employers 2020. In 2018, it was also recognised as ‘The Best Employers to work for in India’ by AON – Hewitt. The Group topped Nielsen's Corporate Image Monitor 2014-15 and emerged as the Number 1 corporate, the 'Best in Class', three times in a row.

In key responsible positions on various regulatory bodies

Outside the Group, Mr. Birla has held several key positions on various regulatory and professional Boards. He was a Director on the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India. He was Chairman of the Advisory Committee constituted by the Ministry of Company Affairs and also served on The Prime Minister of India’s Advisory Council on Trade and Industry.

As the Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Committee on Corporate Governance, he authored the First Report on Corporate Governance that crafted foundational principles of corporate governance. Its recommendations were path breaking and became the basis of corporate governance norms. Furthermore, as the Convener of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Administrative and Legal Simplifications, the extensive recommendations made by him in his report, have been implemented in totality.

Mr. Birla also served as the Chairman of SEBI’s committee on Insider Trading which formulated corporate governance principles for Indian corporates. Mr. Birla is also the first Industrialist to be conferred Honorary membership by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). He is on the National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Apex Advisory Council of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

On the board of educational institutions

Mr. Birla is deeply engaged with Educational Institutions. He is the Chancellor, of the renowned Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), with campuses in Pilani, Goa, Hyderabad and Dubai.

Mr. Birla is Chairman, Governing Council of BITSoM, a new age business school based in Mumbai.

He is the Chairman of The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Mr. Birla serves on the London Business School’s Asia Pacific Advisory Board and is an Honorary Fellow of the London Business School.

In 2019, Mr. Birla constituted a £15 million scholarship programme at the London Business School in memory of his grandfather, Mr. B.K. Birla, marking the largest ever endowed scholarship gift to a European Business School.

Accolades conferred on Mr. Birla

Mr. Birla has won recognition for his exemplary contribution to leadership processes and institution/systems building. A selective list:

  • Global Entrepreneur Award by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), 2021
  • ABLF Global Asian Award, 2019
  • Amity University, Haryana – ‘Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil.) Honoris Causa’, 2019
  • CNBC-TV18 – IBLA ‘Outstanding Businessman of the Year 2017’  
  • Frost & Sullivan’s ‘The GIL Visionary Leadership Award’ (Global Innovation Leader) 2017
  • International Advertising Association’s (IAA) ‘CEO of the Year Award 2016’
  • Hello Hall of Fame – Business Leader of the Year 2014 (November 2014)
  • US India Business Council (USIBC) '2014 Global Leadership Award'
  • 'Business Leader of the Year', the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence, 2012-13
  • ‘Ranked the 4th Most Powerful CEO (2013)’ in the Economic Times’ Corporate India’s Definitive Power listing of 100 CEOs
  • Forbes India Leadership Award – Flagship Award 'Entrepreneur of the Year, 2012'
  • NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards 2012 - 'Most Inspiring Leader'
  • The Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his role in 'Pioneering great Engineering products involving Multi-disciplinary Engineering thought processes in the Country' by the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka, 2012
  • NASSCOM’s ‘Global Business Leader Award’ 2012
  • CNBC-TV18 India Business Leader Award 2012 for 'Taking India Abroad'
  • 'GQ Business Leader of the Year Award - 2011' from Condé Nast India Pvt. Ltd., an affiliate of Condé Nast Global
  • 'CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2010 – Business', 'for being the most outstanding business person and making a success out of most businesses including the sunrise sector', 2010
  • The All India Management Association’s (AIMA), Managing India Awards 'Business Leader of the Year', 2010
  • The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in 'recognition of his invaluable contribution in the field of Business Administration' by the G. D. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, 2008
  • 'For the development of technology and also for the involvement in the field of Industries in bringing the country at par with other countries in the field of Industries', the SRM University in Tamil Nadu conferred the Degree of Doctor of Literature, 2008
  • The Asia Pacific Global HR Excellence – 'Exemplary Leader' Award, 2007
  • 'The Global Indian Leader of the Year' by NDTV Profit in their Business Leader Awards category, 2007
  • The Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM, Lucknow 'National Leadership Award, Business Leader', 2006
  • 'The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year' Award, 2005
  • 'Young Super Performer in the CEO Category' by Business Today, 2005
  • Chosen by the World Economic Forum (Davos) as one of the 'Young Global Leaders', 2004
  • 'The D. Litt (Honoris Causa) Degree' by The Banaras Hindu University, 2004
  • 'The Business Leader of the Year', The Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence, 2002-2003
  • 'Business Man of the Year-2003' by Business India
  • The National HRD Network, 'The Outstanding Business Man of the Year', 2001
  • The Institute of Directors’ 'Golden Peacock National Award for Business Leadership', 2001
  • Hindustan Times, 'The Businessman of the Year', 2001
  • 'Among the top 10 of India’s most admired and respected CEOs and the top CEO of the coming millennium', Business World, 1998
Beyond business: Reaching out to the marginalised sections of the society

A firm practitioner of the trusteeship concept, Mr. Birla has institutionalised the concept of caring and giving at the Aditya Birla Group. With his mandate, the Group is involved in meaningful welfare driven activities that distinctively impact the quality of life of weaker sections of society around the world.