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Murugappa Group – Path to success

Murugappa Group
Murugappa Group - A Vellayan

A Vellayan is the Chairman of the Murugappa Group. His strong business fundamentals and respect for traditional culture are combined with a belief in the Arthashastra (an ancient Sanskrit treatise) principles of wealth generation that says, ‘If no man you transact with loses, you shall never lose’.

Based in Chennai, the Murugappa Group, with a turnover of `29,470 crore (US $4.4 billion pproximately) is the market leader in several segments across agriculture, engineering and financial services including abrasives, auto components, cycles, sugar, farm inputs, fertilisers, plantations, bio-products and nutraceuticals. It has a 32,000-strong employee force spread across 13 states in the country and across six continents.

The history of the Group has roots in Burma (present-day Myanmar) back in 1900 when it was a British province. Fourteen-yearold Murugappa Chettiar, who had accompanied his uncle as an apprentice, set up his own flourishing banking practice, and diversified into textiles, rubber plantations and stock-broking, opening branches in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.

When winds of change began to blow, the family, with great foresight, strategically moved its operations to India in the 1930s. It set up a sandpaper plant, a steel safe-making factory and soon entered manufacturing, too. Murugappa Chettiar’s business acumen led to the colonial British government bestowing the title of Dewan Bahadur on him.

By 1950, the family set up a factory to manufacture cycles, and acquired a rubber plantation, laying the foundation for an ambitious dream of being a professionally-run, largest family business in South India.
After the death of Dewan Bahadur AM Murugappa Chettiar, his three sons, AMM Murugappa Chettiar, AMM Vellayan Chettiar and AMM Arunachalam Chettiar carried forward their father’s legacy. The fourth generation of the family steers the Group, and A Vellayan and MM Murugappan have been the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the Group respectively from 2006.

Today, the 115-year-old Murugappa Group is one of the country’s largest diversified business houses, with flagship companies like Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company, Carborundum Universal Ltd, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd, Coromandel International Ltd, Coromandel Engineering Company Ltd, EID Parry (India) Ltd, Parry Agro Industries Ltd, Shanthi Gears, Tube Investments of India Ltd and Wendt (India) Ltd.

Murugappa produces CTC, Orthodox, Organic and Green teas.

With plantations in the picturesque Anamallais and the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, the mountains of Sakleshpur in Karnataka, and on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Assam, Murugappa produces CTC, Orthodox, Organic and Green teas.

The Murugappa Group was the first to take India onto the path of industrialisation through joint ventures. TI Cycles was one of the first companies set up in the country, in 1949, to make bicycles in alliance with a UK major. In 1954, the company tied up with Carborundum Inc of the US and Universal Grinding Wheel Co Ltd of the UK to start the Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI), which manufactures abrasives, electro minerals and industrial ceramics. The other international companies that Murugappa is allied with include Groupe Chimique Tunisien, Foskor, Mitsui Sumitomo, Morgan Crucible and Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM).

CUMI, a Murugappa Group company, pioneered the manufacture of coated and bonded abrasives in India

CUMI, a Murugappa Group company, pioneered the manufacture of coated and bonded abrasives in India and manufactures over 20,000 different varieties of abrasives, refractory products and electro-minerals in ten locations across the country. It exports to 43 countries across North America, Europe, Australia, South Africa and Asia.

The Group leads in all its business verticals:
Coromandel International is the secondlargest producer of phosphatic fertilisers in the country, TI cycles  is the second-largest maker of cycles and EID Parry is one of the top five sugar companies in India.

The Group has manufacturing bases across the world:
in China and Russia for abrasives, in France for industrial class chains and in South Africa for fertiliser inputs. As part of its onward journey, the Group is concentrating on farm mechanisation and nutraceuticals.

The Group views corporate social responsibility not as a social obligation but as fulfillment of corporate dharma. From its inception, it has been investing a significant portion of its profit after tax in social activities.
The AMM Foundation was formed in 1953 to institutionalise this approach and runs four high schools, a polytechnic, four free hospitals and a rural research centre for the rural and urban poor. The TI school in Ambattur was the first to be awarded an ISO 9001 certification.

Innovation – Murugappa Group

TI Cycles was the first to introduce MTB (mountain bikes or all-terrain bikes), geared bikes, the first Shox model, the first girls’ bike, the first kids’ bike, the first light roadster and the first carbon-frame bike in India. TPI’s (Tube Products of India) application specialist engineers work with cutting-edge technology to build precision tubes with multi-engineering applications to enhance fuel efficiency, reduce weight and increase safety parameters for the auto industry. EID Parry leverages technology, right from improving soil health for better yields to packaging pure sugar in factories. Path-breaking research into bio-products for organic agriculture at EID Parry has led to the discovery and extraction of Azadirachtin (AZA) for use in bio-pesticides; this has been recognised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Awards – Murugappa Group

  • Wendt India Ltd was conferred the Silver Award in the India Green Manufacturing Challenge for Green Manufacturing by the International Research Institute for Manufacturing in 2014.
  • Coromandel International Ltd was awarded in the Green Business, Sustainable Business Practices and Best Rural Outreach categories during the Global Sustainability Conference organised by the World CSR Congress in 2013.
  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance’s ‘in-time claims settlement’ received the Best Insurance Company award from the Union Labour Ministry in 2011.
  • Cholamandalam MS Risk Services Ltd (CMSRSL) was awarded the Risk Manager of the Year at the 11th Asia Insurance Industry Awards in 2007.
  • The Murugappa Group was conferred the IMD Distinguished Family Business Award by The Management Development Institute (IMD) of Lausanne, Switzerland in 2001.

Tel: +91 44 2530 6789/6222
Coromandel International
EID Parry (India)

Murugappa Group.pdf