The Rs 38,100-crore Murugappa Group’s restructuring announcement has no mention of daughters being groomed for leadership roles in business, thus making it a conglomerate that continues to marginalise daughters and mentor only sons for leadership roles, the 59-year-old nuclear engineer said.
Chennai: The Murugappa Group had an opportunity in its recently announced restructuring to “right some wrongs, but clearly they have chosen not to do so”, said Valli Arunachalam, the eldest daughter of the former family patriarch, the late MV Murugappan.
The Rs 38,100-crore Murugappa Group’s restructuring announcement has no mention of daughters being groomed for leadership roles in business, thus making it a conglomerate that continues to marginalise daughters and mentors only sons for leadership roles, the 59-year-old nuclear engineer said.
“The family has completely ignored us from the restructuring and we are the only family branch that has been left out. The family branches which are included, which is basically all of the other family branches, are all represented by the sons … And, in a major corporate restructuring in any business group such as this, it should be in keeping with the time,” she told ET.
Arunachalam said she was taken aback that in spite of being part of the larger family and also being promoter shareholders in the family business, her family had to learn of the group’s decision to do away with its corporate advisory board through the media.
The Murugappa Group did not respond to ET’s email seeking comment till press time Tuesday.
Along with her mother and a sister, Arunachalam owns about 8.15% in Ambadi Investments (AIL), which is the holding company of the Murugappa Group.
“The restructuring clearly seems to have been done to safeguard family interest and not shareholder interest,” she said. “It seems like the family has taken the least resistance method to make the office of the chairman of the Murugappa group redundant.”
She said it was “striking” that in today’s times, the group “refuses” to consider the inclusion of daughters in the business.
“Why should sons be entitled to the family business and not daughters,” Arunachalam asked. “We were waiting for the family to reach out to us but they have not. The family should have respected all major promoter-shareholders and exhibited integrity and responsibility by including us in the decision-making process. But clearly their actions don’t reflect this.”
In October, Arunachalam had sent legal notices to the Murugappa family members and management of AIL, after shareholders, with 91.37% of votes, rejected her proposed appointment to the board of AIL.