Meet Sanjay Kirloskar, a name synonymous with leadership and success in the Indian business landscape. Born on the 22nd of March 1957, Sanjay currently holds the prestigious position of Chairman at Kirloskar Brothers Ltd, a key player in the $3.5 Billion Kirloskar Group, renowned for its diversified ventures in India and abroad.
As the Chairman, Sanjay commands a salary of a whopping INR 275 Million and boasts a net worth market value of $1.5 billion – a testament to his astute business acumen.
Sanjay’s academic journey took him to the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, where he completed his graduation. Married to Pratima Kirloskar, he is a proud father of two children – Alok Kirloskar, now the Managing Director of ‘Kirloskar Brothers Limited’s SPP Pumps (UK),’ and daughter Rama Kirloskar.
The Kirloskar family stands as one of India’s oldest and most esteemed, contributing significantly to shaping the Indian corporate structure. The family tree extends its roots deep into history, portraying a legacy of resilience and innovation.
Professionally, Sanjay has been at the helm of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd and other group companies since 1983. Under his leadership, the company has achieved significant milestones, including the acquisition of SPP Pumps (UK), Aban Constructions, The Kolhapur Steels Limited, and Braybar Pumps Ltd (South Africa). Notably, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd. has showcased an average Return on Net Worth (RONW) of 32% for the last five consecutive years.
Today, Kirloskar Brothers has earned the distinction of being India’s largest Pump & Valve manufacturer and one of the world’s most prestigious Pump manufacturers by market capitalization.
Beyond business success, Sanjay Kirloskar’s commitment to social responsibility is evident. Kirloskar Brothers Ltd operates one of the first pump manufacturing plants in India, completely operated and managed by women in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Early Life: Genesis of a Conglomerate
The saga of the Kirloskar conglomerate traces its roots back to 1888. Beginning as a small bicycle repair shop, the brothers Laxmanrao and Ramchandrarao Kirloskar laid the foundation of Kirloskar Brothers Limited in Belgaum. Laxmanrao’s vision led to the manufacturing of iron ploughs, the first Kirloskar product.
In 1910, Laxmanrao initiated Kirloskar Brothers Limited’s factory in Kirloskarwadi, setting the stage for the group’s expansion into various industries. Over the years, the Kirloskar group diversified into pumps, engines, compressors, machine tools, and more.
During World War II, the Kirloskars, true to their principles, contributed by manufacturing machine tools instead of weapons. This marked their entry into the machine tools sector.
Under Shantanurao Laxmanrao (S. L.) Kirloskar, the group achieved remarkable growth, with a 32,401% increase in assets from 1950 to 1991. In 1974, the Kirloskars ventured into manufacturing tractors in collaboration with Deutz-Fahr of Germany.
In 1988, the Kirloskar name gained national recognition, with the release of a stamp by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, celebrating the Kirloskar Group’s 100th anniversary.
In 2003, Kirloskar Brothers acquired the British company SPP Pumps, fulfilling a historic connection. Kirloskarwadi, the township established by the group in 1910, became India’s second oldest township in 2010.
In 2011, Alok Kirloskar took on the role of Managing Director, steering Kirloskar Brothers Ltd towards becoming the most profitable pump manufacturer globally.
Challenges and Triumphs
The Kirloskar Group faced challenges during World War I and the economic downturn in 2000. However, the family’s resilience and strategic decisions led to a resurgence. In 2000, the group underwent a strategic split to improve fortunes. The separation focused on management and control based on shareholding rather than geography.
Post-split, the group witnessed a remarkable turnaround, with stocks trading at a more respectable rate of INR 151.50 from a low of INR 6.
Achievements: A Legacy of Innovation
Sanjay Kirloskar, along with the Kirloskar Group, achieved significant milestones:
- Developed the manufacture of diesel.
- Commissioned the world’s largest irrigation project in March 2007 (Sardar Sarovar Dam project for the Gujarat Government).
- Commissioned the world’s second-largest water supply system in Andhra Pradesh in March 2008.
- Associated with India’s nuclear program, manufacturing canned motor pumps for pumping heavy water for Indian Nuclear Power Plants.
- Kirloskar Brothers Ltd is the first Indian company to receive FM certification for its valves.
- Operates one of the first pump companies in India with an all-women-operated and managed manufacturing plant at Coimbatore.
- Recognized as one of the country’s top ten wealth creators in 2007.
The Kirloskar Group’s legacy, rooted in innovation and resilience, continues to thrive under the leadership of Sanjay Kirloskar. From a small bicycle repair shop in 1888 to a global conglomerate, the Kirloskars have crafted a tale of success that transcends generations.