Governance Structure

CHAIRMAN EMERITUS

Ashok M Advani

Ashok M Advani is an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, an Electrical Engineer from MIT, USA and a BSc (Honours) from Mumbai University. His professional career with Blue Star spanned more than 47 years, including 33 years as Chairman. During this period, revenues multiplied more than 400 times and the Company established itself as a leader in the air conditioning and commercial refrigeration industry in India. He retired from the Board in November 2016.

In recognition of his long and distinguished leadership of Blue Star, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus and is an invitee at Board Meetings. He continues his association with the Company as an Advisor to the Board and the executive management.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Suneel M Advani - Chairman

Suneel M Advani is a double graduate in Electrical Engineering and Economics from MIT, USA. He also holds an LLB degree from Mumbai University.

Suneel spent his entire working career in Blue Star, joining as a Management Trainee in 1969 and moving up steadily to President and Vice Chairman in 1984. He retired from his executive position in 2014, and was designated as Vice Chairman of the Board. He has been elevated as the Chairman of the Board from December 2016. Suneel established Blue Star’s presence in computer software development and export, and when this division was spun off to become Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000, he assumed the position of Chairman there and later, Managing Director as well, in addition to his responsibilities in Blue Star.

In the span of his career, Suneel formed many joint ventures with global majors such as HP, Motorola and Stork-Comprimo in the hi-tech area, and with smaller Indian entities in the air conditioning field. For Blue Star and Blue Star Infotech, he conceived and completed several corporate acquisitions. Over the years, he served on the managing councils of several industry and trade bodies, such as CII, and is the founder and a Past President of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Manufacturers’ Association (RAMA).

Vir S Advani - Managing Director

Vir S Advani holds Bachelors Degrees in Systems Engineering and in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also completed a comprehensive Executive Management Program on Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

Vir, after a 2-year working stint in private equity in New York, joined Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000 and then founded Blue Star Design & Engineering Ltd in 2003, designated as its Chief Executive Officer. In 2007, he moved to Blue Star as Vice President - Corporate Affairs, where he made valuable contributions in a profit improvement programme as well as in electro-mechanical projects. He was promoted as Executive Vice President in 2008; President - Corporate Affairs & Special Projects in 2009 and Executive Director in 2010. In April 2016, Vir was appointed as the Managing Director of the Company, and currently oversees the Electro-Mechanical Projects business, the International Business Group, Corporate Financial Services, Corporate Planning and Investor Relations, apart from Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Ltd.

Vir is a Director of Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Ltd. He is a member of the CII International Council as well as a member of two CII National Committees; namely Exports as well as Real Estate and Building Technology.

B Thiagarajan - Joint Managing Director

B Thiagarajan is a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Electronics from Madurai University. He has also completed the Senior Executive Program of London Business School. He has over three decades of experience, having worked for reputed companies such as Larsen & Toubro Ltd, BPL Systems Ltd and Voltas Ltd, prior to joining Blue Star in 1998.

Thiagarajan has handled various assignments in the Service business, Corporate Communications & Marketing and Corporate Affairs & Planning before he was promoted as President - AC&R Products Group in 2009. Under his leadership, the AC&R products business of the Company grew significantly. In 2013, Thiagarajan was elevated as Executive Director & President - AC&R Products Business. He was appointed as Joint Managing Director in 2016, and currently oversees Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Service Operations pertaining to the Products Business; Manufacturing and R&D; Corporate Communications; Public Relations; Corporate Marketing Services as well as Human Resources.

Thiagarajan plays an active role in various industry forums, and is the Past President of RAMA. He is a nominated member of the CII National Council, Co-chairperson of the CII Agriculture Council, and Vice Chairman of CII Maharashtra State Council.

Sam Balsara - Independent Director

Sam Balsara is Chairman & Managing Director of Madison World, which is amongst India’s largest media buying and communication agencies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a post graduate diploma from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. He has over 45 years of extensive experience in marketing, advertising and media. Sam started his career at Sarabhai’s in 1972, and held various stints in Cadbury India Ltd, Contract Advertising Company (WPP) and Mudra Communications, before founding Madison World in 1988.

Sam has won many accolades such as ‘The Most Influential Person in Media’ by Economic Times-Brand Equity for the last 10 consecutive years; recipient of IAA Leadership Award for Media Agency Professional of the Year, 2013; recipient of ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2009 from Advertising Agencies Association of India; and jury member at the International Festival of Advertising in Cannes in 2005 as well as 2014; to name a few. He has held prestigious positions in several associations such as Past President of AAAI of which he continues to be an Executive Committee Member; Past Chairman of The Advertising Standards Council of India 2000-2001 and presently its Advisor; amongst several others. Sam joined the Blue Star Board in June 2017.

Shailesh Haribhakti - Independent Director

Shailesh Haribhakti is Chairman of Haribhakti & Co LLP (Chartered Accountants), New Haribhakti Business Services LLP, and Mentorcap Management Pvt Ltd. Evolving from a background in Audit, Tax and Consulting, Shailesh seeks to create enduring value for companies and organisations he is involved in by being a deeply-engaged Independent Director. His strong belief is that good governance creates a sustainable competitive advantage. He is a strong supporter of a clean and green environment, and is pioneering the concept of ‘innovating to zero’ in the social context.

Shailesh is currently Chairman & Trustee of the National Pension Scheme Trust; member of Pension Advisory Committee of Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority; Chairman of L&T Finance Holdings Ltd; and Chairman of Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd. He serves on several Boards of multinational as well as Indian companies, and is also a member of many Advisory Boards. He is an associate with IIM-Ahmedabad and several other management institutions as well as industry and professional forums.

Shobana Kamineni - Independent Director

Shobana Kamineni holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and has an Accelerated Diploma in Hospital Administration from Columbia University, New York. She is Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, and a member of its founding family. Shobana is at the helm of Apollo Global Projects Consultancy that steers the planning, design and execution of new projects. She spearheads Apollo Pharmacy - India’s largest pharmacy chain. She is the founder and a Whole-time Director on the Board of Apollo Munich Health Insurance.

Shobana joined the Board of Blue Star in 2014. She is Vice Chairperson of the KEI Group; an Independent Director on the Board of Hero MotoCorp Ltd; Advisor to the External Board of CISCO India; and on the Advisory Council of the National Cadet Corp. As an active member of CII, Shobana was elected as President for 2017-18. She has been a recipient of prestigious national awards for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

Rajiv R Lulla - Non-Executive Director

Rajiv R Lulla is a Senior Advisor at Voltaire Capital (UK), and the Founder of Voltaire Capital (India), a technology-enabled trading firm operating in the UK, US and recently in India. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with Electronics from King’s College, London, and an MBA from Imperial College, London.

Rajiv has nearly 25 years of experience primarily as an investment banker engaged in merger advisory and corporate finance, and has completed transactions representing a combined value in excess of USD 220 billion. He has held a variety of senior leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, the Credit Agricole Group and Deutsche Bank, based in New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong.

 

Pradeep Mallick - Independent Director

Pradeep Mallick is a B Tech from IIT Madras and Diploma holder in Business Management from UK. He is also a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology, London (CEng FIET). Pradeep is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Madras. He was conferred Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland. He joined the Board of Blue Star in 2003.

Pradeep was the Managing Director of Wartsila India Ltd from 1988 to 2003, prior to which he worked with several leading companies in the field of electrical power transmission and distribution. He is also on the Boards of Automotive Stampings & Assemblies Ltd, Foseco India Ltd, and Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd. Pradeep is a Past Chairman of CII Western Region and Past President of Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is also associated with social organisations like Population First.

Gurdeep Singh - Independent Director

Gurdeep Singh is a Chemical Engineering Graduate from IIT Delhi and has attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. After graduation, he joined Hindustan Unilever Ltd as a Management Trainee. He held various senior positions in the company, including Vice President - Technical, before he was expatriated to Brazil as Technical Director of the Unilever Detergents business.

Gurdeep returned to Hindustan Unilever Ltd in 1998 as Director - Human Resources, Corporate Affairs and Technology, and retired from the company in 2003. He joined the Board of Blue Star in 2003. He is also on the Boards of several leading companies including Kloeckner Pentaplast India Pvt Ltd, Tecnova India Ltd, and Gateway Rail Freight Ltd.

 

Dinesh N Vaswani - Non-Executive Director

Dinesh N Vaswani is the Founder and Managing Director of Acuitas Capital Advisors, a multi-family investment office focused on advising families on their investment portfolios in India. He has over three decades of experience in both investing in and operating companies in India and the US. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BBA cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dinesh was a Managing Director at Temasek Holdings, established Bessemer Venture Partners’ operations in India, and was CEO of Blue Star Infotech USA. He has served on a number of Boards of public and private companies including Firstsource, Mindtree, Venture Infotech, and Borosil.

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