Kolkata: Industrialist B.K. Birla’s younger daughter Manjushree Khaitan has been appointed vice-chairperson and executive director of Kesoram Industries Ltd, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday. She was a non-executive director of the company until now. She joined its board in 2001.
Birla is the chairman of the eponymous group, which has interests in cement, tyre, textiles and plantations.
Because of his advanced age—Birla turned 92 on 12 January—his younger daughter has been looking after the day-to-day operations of Kesoram for the past few years. His elder daughter Jayashree Mohta runs Jayashree Tea and Industries Ltd, a plantation firm.
Khaitan’s elevation to the post of vice-chairperson is being seen as an indication that she is likely to succeed her father at Kesoram, which manufactures tyre and cement.
It has an installed capacity to produce 5.75 million tonnes of cement and 12 million tyres a year. In fiscal year 2011-12, tyre accounted for 62.6% and cement, 32.8% of Kesoram’s gross revenue of Rs.6,265 crore.
Birla had in several media interviews in the past said his grandson Kumar Mangalam Birla, who heads the AV Birla group, would inherit all the cement units of his group. But at the same time, B.K. Birla is known to have changed his will several times. Tuesday’s announcement is being read as indicative of a change in Birla’s succession plan, say veterans at Birla Building—the Kolkata head office of a large number of firms, including Kesoram, which are run by the extended Birla family. These people did not wish to be identified.
A spokesperson for Kesoram refused to comment over and above the regulatory statement made by the company.