Nisa Godrej, the 35-yearold daughter of Adi Godrej, has emerged as a favourite for the top job at Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), the group flagship company that makes the Cinthol range of personal care products and the Hit brand of home insecticides. The contract of current managing director A Mahendran ends in a year and he is unlikely to extend it, said a top official close to the development.
Tanya Dubhash, 45, Nisa’s elder sister and head of the marketing council in the group for the past 10 years, is not keen to lead the company, added the official. Chairman Adi Godrej’s other option may be to replace Mahendran with a professional – either from outside or within the group – but he does point out that Nisa is being groomed for a leadership role.
“She could head the business,” Adi Godrej told ET in a recent interview. “She has also repositioned the company for the future rather than for just the next few quarters, and selected top-notch people to lead various parts of the group.” Nisa Godrej and Mahendran declined to comment when contacted.
Board Discussing Matter
Those close to the matter say the board of GCPL has had some intense discussions about who will succeed Mahendran once he moves out of his current role. In case Nisa is unwilling to take charge immediately, the board may request Mahendran to continue for another year, or may consider another professional for the role.
“With Nisa it is not a question of whether she will get the top job or not, but when will she get it,” says a company insider on the condition of anonymity. He adds that her designation – be it MD or CEO or something else – is just a technicality; that she will be the one calling the shots is pretty much certain.
Says Dalip Sehgal, a former managing director of GCPL: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Nisa takes charge of GCPL. She is already involved in all the big plans, and has a sound understanding of the business.”
Nisa’s imminent elevation at GCPL appears a logical part of the succession plan at the Godrej group. In April, Adi Godrej’s 31-year-old son Pirojsha picked up the reins at Godrej Properties; he replaced a professional, Milind Korde, as MD & CEO.
Nisa, who has a BSc degree from The Wharton School and an MBA from Harvard, is currently designated as president, human capital & innovation, at the group level, and is also on the board of GCPL.
After engineering a turnaround at Godrej Agrovet (the group’s agri-business arm), Nisa began working on an innovation game plan at GCPL.
She created a five-year road map that included a focus on inorganic growth, which led to eight acquisitions between 2009 and 2011.
“She has been instrumental in leading the strategic change at GCPL and repositioning Godrej Agrovet,” Adi Godrej told ET.
(curtsey: economic times)
Rupesh Yatesh Dalal
Head Research Department
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