Anuj Poddar To Head Operations At Bajaj Electricals As Executive Director

Bajaj Electricals has appointed Anuj Poddar, 44, its executive director in charge of day-to-day operations at the Rs 47-billion company.

The appointment is with immediate effect and comes after the demise of company managing director (MD) Anant Bajaj in August. Bajaj had died of a heart attack. His wife Meena was recently inducted into the company’s board as non-executive director.

Poddar, on the other hand, transitions from being an independent director at the company to executive director, with all business heads reporting to him in his new role.

Shekhar Bajaj, chairman and MD, retains key portfolios such as finance, audit, legal and CSR. “Anuj has been associated with Bajaj Electricals as an independent director since May 2016 and brings with him a good understanding of the business. His experience and business acumen will help strengthen our position,” Bajaj said over telephone.

Poddar, who is a chartered accountant by qualification and has 25 years behind him in consulting (at Arthur Andersen and KPMG) and media and entertainment (at Viacom18 and MTV), said he looked forward to the new assignment.

“My agenda would be to drive growth, both in terms of top line and bottom line. The company has two key verticals — engineering procurement and construction (EPC) and consumer products and illumination. While we have a number of EPC orders and is an important business, giving the company half its turnover, it is the consumer products and illumination segment, the other half that is a high-growth area. My task would be to nurture all of this,” Podar said.

For the July-September period, Bajaj Electricals saw net sales jump nearly 71 percent to Rs 15.98 billion over the year-ago period, led by growth in its consumer products division as well as an increased push into rural areas. Net profit for the quarter increased nearly 80 per cent year-on-year to Rs 340 million as company operations stabilized following GST-related disruptions in earlier quarters.

Bajaj said on Thursday the priority would be to complete the rural electrification projects in Uttar Pradesh, which were bagged in April this year and where work has begun.

Almost Rs 60 billion worth of orders were bagged by the company as part of the UP government’s mandate to provide electricity to villages, swelling the firm’s order book by over three times its FY18 EPC revenues.

The company has begun marketing and distributing the Nirlep brand of cookware, acquired a few month ago, and is expected to push it aggressively in the future. — Business Standard

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