Board of Directors
Sri G M Rao
Sri Sanjaya Baru
Sri B V N Rao
Sri Tatwamasi Dixit
Dr. Kavitha Gudapati
Mrs. Ramadevi Bommidala
Sri Aniruddha Ganguly
Mrs. Smitha Raju Grandhi
Mrs. Ragini Kiran Grandhi
Sri Chakka Srinivasa Rao
GM Rao, a Mechanical Engineer, is the Founder Chairman of the GMR Group, the global infrastructure developer.
Born in Rajam in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh in India, GM Rao ventured into business starting with a single jute mill in 1978. Since then, till before India's economic liberalization, circumstances compelled him for opportunity driven business building.
He entered 28 businesses as a serial entrepreneur and exited most of them with the opportunities thrown up by the opening up of the Indian economy in the early 1990s. As a part of the post-liberalization generation of entrepreneurs, his moves became entirely strategy driven and focused on long term objectives. Eventually, his single-minded focus on the core infrastructure sector resulted in GMR Group exiting some of the highly attractive businesses of banking, insurance, software, breweries, jute and sugar.
In his long journey, GM Rao evolved from a student leader, to a trader, to a manufacturer, to a banker, to an infrastructure developer.
Over the last 4 decades he has successfully established GMR Group, as one of the most recognized brands in the country, creating national infrastructure assets of global scale and world-class quality, creating new benchmarks. The Group is now well diversified and professionally managed infrastructure developer with focus on Airports, Energy, Transportation and Urban Infrastructure including SEZs.
While business grew rapidly, GM Rao laid special emphasis on long term prosperity by focusing on institution building as well. The GMR Group Vision states "GMR Group will be an institution in perpetuity that will build entrepreneurial organizations making a difference to society through creation of value." A set of seven core Values & Beliefs was arrived at, to define the GMR Group's distinct organization culture. This was further strengthened by a Code of Conduct for all employees, emphasizing on ethical and professional behaviour.
Rao believes that "Family must be run like Business and Business must be run like Family". He made the pioneering effort in formulating a Family Constitution taking expert opinion from world renowned consultants. This is now formalized into a legal document, with all immediate family members including spouses as signatories.
He says "Strong family governance ensures strong corporate governance". He believes that this will ensure a smooth transition of business from generation to generation, and at the same time, enable professionals to discharge their rightful roles in the growth and development of the Group.
GM Rao's vision in 3 dimensions of business building, institution building and family governance had a 4th dimension built into it, that of giving back to society. This, he started very early on, in his career. Eventually, he set up an independent, professionally run, company, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, to channelize funds for social causes for the benefit of the under-served in society. Today, the Foundation is active in 18 locations in India and 2 locations in Nepal and its 4 areas of activity are education, healthcare, livelihood and community development and it has received wide national recognition for its impact in the sections of society it serves.
To ensure that his legacy lives on beyond his lifetime, he made an endowment of the entire portion of his personal wealth to the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation in March 2011.
He was conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws by York University, Toronto, Canada in 2011, the honorary Doctor of Letters by the Andhra University, India in 2010 and honorary Doctor of Letters by the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India in 2005. He received the award for the 'First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year' from CNBC TV18 in 2009. In the same year, he received the Infrastructure Person of the Year award at the Infrastructure Journal Award Ceremony held in London. He was also chosen as the 'Entrepreneur of the year' at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence 2006 - 07, apart from numerous other awards and public recognition throughout his career. He has served on the very prestigious Central Board of Directors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from year 2011 to 2015.
For his considerable achievements, he insistsAll the credit goes to my GMR colleagues and my family for their understanding, shared vision, hard work and dedication.
Dr. Sanjaya Baru is M.A. (Centre for Economic Studies & Planning, M. Phil and Ph.D. (Centre for Development Studies) from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Dr. Baru is presently a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (Ministry of Defence, GOI). He was Secretary-General FICCI and Media Advisor to Prime Minister of India (2004-09).
He has also been Chief Editor, The Financial Express and Business Standard and Associate Editor, Times of India and The Economic Times. Dr Baru was Director for Geo-economics and Strategy at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, and Visiting Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, Indian School of Business and Indian School of Public Policy. He was a Member of the National Security Adisory Board of India and has lectured at the National Defence College. He is on the board of Wockhardt Limited & Artemis Medicare Services Limited. He is the author of several books and academic publications.
B V N Rao is currently serving as the Business Chairman - Transportation & Urban Infrastructure.
He is responsible for the Group's Businesses - Transportation, EPC, Special Investment Region and In addition, he also oversees Corporate Relations and Legal.
A Graduate Engineer, B V N Rao has nearly 40 years of rich experience, of which 12 years have been in the banking sector with specific experience in Industrial Finance and Foreign Exchange.
He is one of the founder Directors of the Group since 1988, associated with all the businesses promoted by the group like Ferro Alloys, Sugar, Brewery, Power, Transportation and Airport businesses and currently, he is the Group Director on the Board of Directors of the Company (GIL).
Prior to his current role, B V N Rao served as chairman of Energy and Corporate sector of the Group.
Our journey as a Company has been synchronous with building national assets and also building an institution that gives back to the society. My personal belief is that every day is a journey of learning and caring about all those who help in realizing the larger dream.
Sri Tatwamasi Dixit is a successful consultant and coach specializing in family businesses.
He founded FABRIC (Family Business Research International Centre), offering family business advisory services and coaching to family business entrepreneurs and next generation leaders.
He is internationally recognized for his knowledge and application of the wisdom of the Vedas. He has uniquely mastered the integration of Vedic principles with contemporary psychology and business management.
Sri Dixit draws on his extensive experience in commercial and management practices to help family businesses work on balancing and blending family and business priorities. This unusual combination of his experiences, exceptional insight and intuition has helped him become a successful family business advisor helping families and businesses to manage growth, change and transitions. Depending on the underlying complexity of the relationships and the various family business challenges, he crafts an appropriately unique solution for transformation and harmony.
He has successfully worked with Indian, Arab, and English families across the globe for more than a decade in multi-cultural environments. He has worked in India, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, Oman, South Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, and the United Kingdom. He has worked with family businesses in a wide spectrum of industries including: infrastructure, real estate, pharmaceutical, chemical, shipping, mining, trading, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, hospitality, and FMCG. Sri Dixit is a talented natural mediator and facilitator. His intensive studies and training have enabled him to develop deep understanding of people, relationships and structure. He uses this to help individuals explore their identity. He weaves a fabric of togetherness between family members and business professionals allowing renewal and regeneration of emotional bonds.
He acts as an Independent Director on various Family Business Boards and Corporate Boards. He firmly believes that 'The foundation of any successful family business is a successful family'. He also coaches founders and entrepreneurs, working with them in what can often be a lonely space to overcome obstacles and work more effectively with their business and their family.
In particular, his outstanding talent and contribution was recognized when he was awarded the "Maharishi Badrayan Vyas Samman", the highest civilian award in 2007, by the President of India for his work on the 'synergy between modernity and tradition'. He is often invited to speak at conferences and institutions around the world on Vedas and Family Business Management.
He is co-authoring a book on Indian family business with Peter Leach, a leading family business advisor in the UK. Tatwamasi, currently serves as one of the Directors of Parampara Family Business Institute.
Dr. Kavitha is a Family Business advisor who is an Organizational Psychologist and an Associate Certified Coach.
She has a Doctorate in Management, specializing in Organizational behavior and has an MA in Psychology along with a Post Graduate diploma in counseling skills. She is an Associate Certified Coach recognized by the ICF (International Coach Federation). She has undergone executive education Programs offered by ISB - Indian School of Business, and has been certified by the institute on a family business training lead my John Ward.
While working with small groups and families she uses the fundamentals of the process work and has herself undergone Basic Human processes lab and Advanced Human processes lab under ISABS. She believes in looking at individuals and groups as a system and diagnosing 'what is working' rather than 'what is not working'. She is trained and certified in this method of "Appreciative Coaching" by Fielding Graduate University.
This academic background and the international training exposure give her the backdrop to work with the complex and challenging demands of family business advising. Dr. Kavitha has worked with Indian families and has been able to facilitate the building of the family governance structures. She is an empaneled facilitator who is advising and helping operationalize the family constitution. She has a decade's experience of family business advising working with different family businesses. Having in depth exposure in the business arena gives her an added advantage while she is advising and facilitation in the family business. She has over seventeen years of work experience in the business world covering a wide range of industries and projects. She has consulted and trained with several organizations such as Bharath Dynamics Limited, VOLVO, DRDL, Deloitte, GE- Money, PWC, GMR, Dr. Reddy's, Airtel, BSNL, BAAN, Intelle Group, BSNL, Cyberabad Police,Neospark etc.,
She is passionate about working with both the executive and non executive members of the family in a manner that they can contribute with more energy, talent and a sense of purpose, fostering an ability towards loving and fulfilling relationships, creating each one's deep purpose, dream career, more energy, more balance and more fun! Her education in psychology, doctorate in management and the cross industrial experience gives her a unique leverage in grasping and helping individuals transform their Family Business 'platform' into 'purpose'.
She is able to work at two levels at the intrapersonal space and interpersonal space. This can then translate into positive change that benefits the individual in their personal as well as the family business. She meets the family business space as a sacred space that needs to be revered. She begins with bringing in five basic spiritual qualities to this space - 'mindful-ness' , 'openness', 'trust' , 'authenticity' and 'reverence'. She has a firm grasp of the ethical and practical issues of working with a family business group and the individuals in it.
She has the ability to put into simple, jargon-less language what is observed and the stature to raise any issue with the family or its members at the right moment. She knows six languages that is an added advantage - English, Hindi, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada and Marathi. She works with the knowing that to be a 'contributor' in the family business space meets her own sense of expression, meaning and life purpose.
Mrs. Ramadevi Bommidala, spouse of Mr. Srinivas Bommidala (Chairman - Energy & International Airports Sector, GMR Group), is a graduate in B.Sc. Home Science from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.
Mrs. Bommidala was on the Board of various GMR Group Companies. Between 1998 and 2004, she was the Director - Administration in GMR Power Corporation Private Limited, Chennai.
In June 2004, Mrs. Bommidala was inducted as Director in GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. GMR Varalakshmi Foundation is GMR Group's non-profit arm working for society in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility. The foundation is actively engaged in the areas of Education, Health, Hygiene & Sanitation, Community Development and Empowerment.
Mrs. Bommidala is also a Director in Parampara Family Business Institute (PFBI) since November 2014. PFBI is a non-profit Company which serves as an educational, engagement and research platform for business families to enable them to sustain, grow and perpetuate their family businesses through generations.
Mrs. Rama Devi Bommidala has also served as Whole Time Director in GMR Bannerghatta Properties Private Limited (GBPPL) from March 30, 2007 to March 31, 2016 and GMR Airport Developers Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited from May 04, 2016 to May 31, 2019. She is presently serving GMR Energy Trading Limited, a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited, as Whole Time Director since June 01, 2019.
Mrs. Bommidala possesses strong leadership and entrepreneur skills and has rich and vast experience in the areas of Business management and Administration and has played pivotal role in the areas of business planning and development, strengthening of governance practices, setting up and monitoring of policies and procedures etc.
Sri Aniruddha Ganguly, independent management consultant
Aniruddha Ganguly specializes in the areas of business strategy formulation & implementation, enterprise risk management (ERM), organization design, leadership development, succession planning and large organizational change management.
He has interest in business family advisory, mentoring start-ups, MSMEs and business verticals of large companies. He is highly experienced in leadership coaching of senior people in India and abroad.
With 38+ years of professional career with NTPC, Alstom - now GE, Wipro and GMR, Aniruddha possesses a rare combination of experiences - he led large businesses with P & L responsibility and led large functions like HR as well.
After a decade in GMR Group, Aniruddha retired in Dec 2019 as Executive Director in charge of Group HR, Group Corp Comm, Group Audit, Group Ethics and Group Facilities, being on the Board of 8 GMR Group companies at various times. He is now associated with Human Endeavour, a boutique family business advisory firm and is Governance Board member of InnovationQore, that invests funds and helps startup founders and entrepreneurs to validate, scale and grow their business seamlessly.
Aniruddha is a certified executive & life coach under the ICF framework. He is an Electronics Engineer, MBA in Finance and alumnus of Fielding Graduate University, California.
Mrs. Smitha Raju Grandhi is a graduate in Electronics and Communication Engineering from University of Madras and Masters in Software Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago) U.S.A.
Smitha is a voracious reader and holds MA in Special Education & Inclusion, primarily focusing on various initiatives for underprivileged children.
Smitha is a Director on the Board of GMR Energy Trading Ltd. (A GMR Group Company) and GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF) - the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm of the Group. The foundation is actively engaged in the areas of Education, Health, Hygiene & Sanitation, Community Development and Empowerment.
Smitha is very passionate about community services and has initiated and participated in many GMRV Foundation activities across the country. She is dynamically involved in activities that make a difference to society through education. She is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization.
Smitha Raju is a participative leader who actively engages her team in strategy, design and execution of the projects she leads.
She is currently the Secretary for the Family Council, the apex policy framing body of the GMR Family. She held this position earlier as well for over 4 years. She is one of the chief architects of the design of Family Constitution, the one-of-its-kind in the Indian Family Business history. She had also served on the Board of the Family Business Forum.
She also serves on the board of Parampara Family Business Institute (PFBI), an independent social initiative for dissemination of awareness and knowledge among small and medium family businesses in India. Smitha has keen interest in family business governance, and an inspiration behind revitalization of the PFBI initiative.
Mrs. Ragini Kiran Grandhi is the Director on the Board of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation – Corporate Social Responsibility wing of GMR Group.
Community involvement runs deep in the GMR family and she is committed to this cause and is passionate about the many community Service initiatives of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation.
She holds the Secretary's chair for the Non - Business Family Forum for the last 8 years. This forum is a unique committee of the GMR family and formed to aid its family governance. She has been instrumental in developing and functioning of this Forum. She also serves as Whole-time Director of GMR Pochanpalli Expressways Limited., a 412 lane Km Public Private Partnership highway project on BOT Annuity based for 20 years.
A patron of fine arts and passionate artist herself, she founded Anahata Creations - a noble undertaking for promoting and reviving the dying art Silver Filigree which is a unique ancient art form of India. Filigree is an exquisite handicraft that represents delicate metal work. Through her initiative, she envisions a bright future for this rare art form and its dwindling artisan community.
Growing up in a family business herself, she saw regularly the value of proactive women, and understood how vitally important they were to the success of both the family and the business. She strongly believes that women in family owned Business have a very pivotal role to play and strives to create possibilities to balance work, family and community commitments for herself and her family.
A keenly spiritual person she also has many artistic endeavours and enjoys creating paintings, experimenting with variety of mediums. She likes reading, has an artistic bent of mind and works with different mediums like bonsai, terrarium, miniature landscapes etc. She enjoys traveling and shows a keen interest in learning about different cultures.
Ragini, currently serves as one of the Directors of Parampara Family Business Institute.
Chakka Srinivasa Rao is a Post graduate in both Business Management and Commerce and has a rich experience of about 23 years.
He started his career with teaching in a Management School and moved to Finance and Planning function in a Power Sector company and then into Banking. He has been honoured with Gold Medal for outstanding performance in Accountancy subject in B.Com.
He is qualified MBA, M.Com., and DFM. He began his career as an Assistant Professor in 1987, served for 5 years in AP State Electricity Board Finance & Accounts division and then he served ING Vysya Bank for 11 years in various roles like Assistant Manager, Manager, Assistant Vice President, RM, Associate Vice President. Currently he is working with GMR Infrastructure Limited for the past 11 years.
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