AIL rejects board seat for Valli Arunachalam

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on September 22, 2020

Valli Arunachalam, the eldest daughter of MV Murugappan   -  Prashant Nakwe.

Setting the stage for a long legal battle, Ambadi Investments Ltd (AIL), the holding company of Chennai-based Murugappa Group, has rejected the appointment of Valli Arunachalam on its board.

The request for a board seat, which was put for vote at AIL’s AGM on Monday, was vetoed by 91 per cent of the shareholders. The move could result in further escalation of the family feud in the ₹40,000-crore Murugappa Group, with scion Valli likely to move courts.

“It is evident that the family cannot tolerate women in their boardrooms, and they have showcased their considered view in this regard. It is very unfortunate that the AIL shareholders, a overwhelming majority of whom are also board members, are not able to understand what contributions women can make on the board. It is a clear indication that gender bias exists at the highest levels of the Murugappa Group,” she said in an email reply.

“In any event, we would definitely pursue justice. It was always our wish that the family issues remain within and are settled at the family level, but clearly it seems the family is more concerned about protecting its draconian perspectives and practices, even if it means forcing us to take the battle to courts,” she added.

Valli, the eldest daughter of former executive chairman MV Murugappan, had been corresponding with family members since August 2019, seeking a board seat. She, her sister Vellachi Murugappan and their mother MV Valli Murugappan together hold an 8.15 per cent stake in AIL, which entitles them to at least one board seat.


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Published on September 22, 2020

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