Image: Vikas Khot
The winds of change are blowing slowly but surely at the consumer goods-to-real estate Godrej Group as the next generation of one of the oldest business families in the country assume roles of greater significance within the conglomerate.
In a span of four days, Pirojsha Godrej has assumed two important roles at two different companies within the 119-year-old business house. The $4 billion-conglomerate announced on Thursday that Godrej Group chairman and family patriarch Adi Godrej’s 35-year-old son will take over as executive chairman of Godrej Properties Ltd (GPL) from his father, with effect from April 1.
Pirojsha holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton Business School, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and an MBA from Columbia Business School and had joined GPL in 2004. While Adi Godrej, 74, remained chairman, Pirojsha was driving operations at GPL since taking over as its managing director and chief executive in 2012. Adi Godrej will now become the company’s chairman emeritus.
Under Pirojsha’s leadership, GPL’s operating turnover has doubled from Rs 1,037 crore in FY13 to Rs 2,728 crore in FY16. The company’s net profit has also risen by 47 percent in this period to Rs 289 crore. The company currently has commercial, residential and township projects under development, spread across 11.98 million sq ft in 12 cities.
Simultaneously, Mohit Malhotra, currently an executive director at GPL will take over as the realty firm’s new managing director and chief executive officer. Malhotra, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, joined GPL in 2010 and was leading pan-India operations.
“Pirojsha, Mohit and the Godrej Properties team has delivered tremendous results in a difficult market environment and I am sure will lead the company to new heights,” Adi Godrej said in a statement issued on Thursday. “There will be many new exciting opportunities in the Indian real estate space in the coming decades and the leadership team at Godrej Properties is well placed to capture these opportunities and successfully build an outstanding company.”
In a signal that Pirojsha, the youngest of Adi Godrej’s three children and a member of the fourth generation of the business family, is slated to play a larger role within the group, he was also appointed a director on the board of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL). Adi Godrej is still the chairman of GCPL. Pirojsha’s elder siblings, Tanya Dubash and Nisaba Godrej are also active in the family business. Nisaba is an executive director at GCPL leading innovation strategy, and also oversees the corporate strategy and human capital functions at a group level. Tanya is an executive director and chief brand officer of the Godrej Group.
Adi Godrej’s brothers also play an important role in the family business. His cousin Jamshyd Godrej, chairman of Godrej & Boyce, looks after the group’s businesses, including consumer durables, home furniture, and industrial equipment while his own brother Nadir Godrej, chairman of Godrej Agrovet, looks after businesses such as animal feed, agricultural input and chemicals.
Over the years, the Godrej Group has brought in some professionals from outside the family to lead certain crucial business functions as well, and work along with professionals from within the family. Apart from Mohit, who will now become the MD and CEO of GPL, other external professionals include Vivek Gambhir, MD of GCPL, and Balram Yadav, MD of Godrej Agrovet.