Diversified conglomerate Aditya Birla Group has changed the role of Dev Bhattacharya, who is currently working as head of strategy, to head of its new businesses such as defence, new ventures, solar business, payment bank and also the group’s e-commerce venture Abof.com, as per the information available on its website.
As part of a top-level management reshuffle, Bhattacharya has been replaced by Saurabh Agarwal as head of strategy, The Times of India reported. Agarwal is an investment banker who was working with Standard Chartered Bank as managing director and regional head of corporate finance, South Asia.
The new ventures include businesses nurtured in the group’s incubator ‘Aditya Birla Biz Labs’.
Bhattacharya joined the group in 1996 as vice-president, corporate strategy and business development. Since then, he has played a pivotal role in acquisitions and joint ventures that have significantly broadened the portfolio of the Group.
“We wanted to free up Dev’s time and delink it from strategy and operations. Defence is getting evaluated and payment bank will come up for us too,” Santrupt Misra, director of group human resources at Aditya Birla and CEO of its carbon black business, told the newspaper.
Bhattacharya completed his degree in mechanical engineering from NIT, Rourkela, and a postgraduate degree in industrial engineering from NITIE, Mumbai.
Aditya Birla group is also looking to start the proposed payment bank by the middle of 2017, chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said.
An email query sent to the company’s spokesperson seeking further information on the aforesaid development did not elicit any response by the time of filing this article.
The $41 billion conglomerate has already initiated the exploratory talks with companies such as Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defence contractor, US helicopter maker Sikorsky and Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense System.
Other Indian business houses that have already started their defence businesses include the Tata Group, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharat Forge, L&T, Godrej and the Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Group.
Aditya Birla Group’s Grasim Industries Ltd and Ultratech Cement Ltd had revamped its top management with new appointments for managing director positions in April 2016.
KK Maheshwari is now managing director for Ultratech after the incumbent OP Puranmalka left in March. In turn, Ultratech’s deputy managing director Dilip Gaur had resigned and took charge as managing director for Grasim Industries with effect from April.
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