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Manjushree gets key post in Kesoram

Calcutta, Feb. 5: Manjushree Khaitan has been elevated to the post of executive vice-chairman at Kesoram Industries Ltd.

The promotion may finally put to an end the suspense over succession at the BK Birla flagship.

The board of Kesoram, which manufactures cement and tyre among other things, has appointed Khaitan as the whole-time director. The younger daughter of nonagenarian patriarch Basant Kumar Birla was so far a non-executive director of Kesoram, while Birla was the chairman.

There had been speculation in the past, fuelled sometime by B.K. Birla himself, on whether Kesoram would finally be taken over by Kumar Mangalam Birla, BK’s grandson and the chairman of the AV Birla Group, the biggest corporate enterprise in the Birla clan.

While B.K. Birla had often hinted at a joint role for Kumar and Manjushree in running Kesoram, in 2009 he had made it clear that Kumar would inherit the crown jewel.

Though B.K. Birla wanted Kumar to take over, his grandson did not oblige saying that his grandfather should continue as long as he could. Kumar runs his enterprises from Mumbai.

However, in 2010, B.K. Birla had said Manjushree would actively manage Kesoram with help from Kumar.

Manjushree had been on the board of Kesoram for almost a decade now. She has been overseeing the day-to-day operations of the firm for the past two years, even though her father still goes to the corporate headquarters at Dalhousie if he is in the city.

Corporate observers said with Manjushree as vice-chairman, there would still be scope for Kumar to be chairman, in the future.

 
 
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