Murugappa Group scion Valli Arunachalam has alleged that the Group continues to marginalise daughters and mentor only sons for leadership roles, and the recent restructuring was in the best interests of certain family members and shareholders.

“From the media reports it appears that the group is looking to ensure family unity and accommodate interests of family members by giving them a voice in the future of the Group. However, despite our family branch being part of the larger family and being a significant promoter shareholder, none of us were informed about this restructuring, let alone given a role to play,” Arunachalam told BusinessLine .

“We don't exist for the family even though not too long ago my late father played an active role in the business. We understand that all the next generation leaders will be mentored, guided and handheld by senior members to take business to the next stage, its shocking that there is no mention of daughters in the family,” she added.

Earlier in January this year, Valli Arunachalam, the daughter of former executive chairman MV Murugappan, had sought a seat on the board of the holding company, Ambadi Investments Ltd (AIL). Tohe three-- Valli, her sister Vellachi Murugappan, and their mother MV Valli Murugappan, hold an 8.15 per cent stake in AIL, which entitles them at least one board seat.

Also Read: Woman heir seeks board seat in Murugappa holding company

“We fully do form part of the next generation family. We, my sister and I, are both able individuals with strong professional qualification, yet we are being kept out of the business. We are being disregarded once again,” Arunachalam said, adding, she was exploring “all options”.

She refrained from commenting on the options being pursued.

On November 11, MM Murugappan had stepped down as the Chairman and Director of Murugappa Group companies Tube Investments of India, Coromandel International Ltd and Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company.

Also Read: MM Murugappan steps down as Chairman of three group firms; to pursue philanthropy

“The restructuring is clearly been done to safeguard family interest, rather than shareholders’ interest. They certainly had an opportunity to right some wrongs as part of this re-organisation, but they have chosen not to do so, for example the inclusion of daughters in the business,” she said.

“This is a major reorganisation and in keeping with the spirit of the Murugappa Group the family should have respected all major promoter shareholders by including them in the decision-making process,” Arunachalam added.

The Murugapppa Group is a conglomerate with interests in bicycles, sugar, abrasives, fertilisers, financial services and manufacturing of clocks. Group companies include EID Parry India, Tube Investments of India, TI Financial Holdings, Shanthi Gears, Carborundum Universal, Cholamandalam Financial Holdings and Cholamandalam MS General Insurance.

“To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t come across a daughter who was given business role in AIL.”

She also refrained to comment on the earlier legal notice served to the family and management following rejection of a board seat on the group’s holding company Ambadi Investments Ltd.

Also Read: Valli Arunachalam serves legal notice to family, AIL management