Leading Viscose

Meet the leadership team behind the Birla Cellulose brand

Management

Board of Directors

Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla

Chairman

Mrs. Rajashree Birla

Mr. M. L. Apte

Mr. B. V. Bhargava

Mr. R. C. Bhargava

Mr. N. Mohan Raj

Mr. Shailendra K. Jain

Mr. D. D. Rathi

Mr. Cyril Shroff

Dr. Thomas M. Connelly

Mr. O. P. Rungta

Mr. Adesh Gupta
(Whole-Time Director)

Mr. Dilip Gaur
(Whole-Time Director)

Mr. Sushil Agarwal
(Whole-Time Director)


Managing Director

Mr. Dilip Gaur

Mr. K. K. Maheshwari

Managing Director – Grasim Industries
Business Director – Pulp & Fibre Business

Mr. K. K. Maheshwari is the Sector Head - Fibres & Textiles at the Aditya Birla Group, a USD 40 billion conglomerate. He is also the Managing Director of Grasim Industries Ltd., and serves as a Director of Aditya Birla Management Corporation Private Ltd., the Group’s apex decision-making body that provides strategic direction to the companies in its fold. He is a member of various other boards including:

  • AV Terrace Bay Inc., Canada
  • Domsjo Fabriker AB, Sweden
  • AV Cell Inc., Canada
  • AV Nackawic Inc., Canada
  • Birla Jingwei Fibers Co. Ltd., China
  • Thai Rayon Public Co. Ltd., Thailand
  • Thai Acrylic Fibre Co. Ltd., Thailand
  • Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) Ltd.
  • Thai Polyphosphate & Chemicals Co. Ltd.
  • Aditya Birla Science & Technology Co. Ltd.

In a distinguished career spanning over 28 years with the Aditya Birla Group, Mr. Maheshwari has held key leadership roles, including that of steering the Group’s Chemicals and Trading Business globally, and as a whole-time Director of the diversified conglomerate, Aditya Birla Nuvo. Under his leadership, these businesses have set global industry performance benchmarks.

As Sector Head of the Group’s Fibre and Textiles business today, Mr. Maheshwari’s key responsibilities include leading the Viscose Staple Fibre (VSF) business where the Group enjoys a dominant 21 per cent global market share.

Mr. Maheshwari is credited with scripting the growth of the VSF business towards a more competitive and sustainable model. The business has embarked on an ambitious growth plan in line with his focus on significantly ramping up pulp and fibre capacities from the current 770 KTPA to 1.1 million TPA in the next three years. Besides greenfield and brownfield expansions of the business in India and Indonesia, he oversaw the strategic acquisition of two pulp units in Terrace Bay, Canada, and DomsjöFabriker, Sweden, a move that assures a reliable supply of pulp — a key raw material in viscose production. The VSF operations are spread across India, China, Thailand and Indonesia, and include an upcoming greenfieldfibre plant in Turkey.

Mr. Maheshwari’s expanded role today includes the responsibility of providing robust oversight and steering the growth of the Group’s textiles business in India; overseas spinning business in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines; and the Acrylic Fibre Business across Thailand and Egypt. With this, Mr. Maheshwari now manages the Group’s textile business across the value chain – from plantations to pulp, fibre to yarn, and fabrics.

Mr. Maheshwari was elevated to the position of Managing Director of Grasim Industries Ltd. in March 2012, a post created for the first time in the company’s 65-year old history. Grasim, the flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group has operations straddling pulp and fibre, cement and chemicals. In this role, Mr. Maheshwari is responsible for guiding the growth plans of the company.

Mr. Maheshwari is a proven leader with deep expertise in strategy and finance, with a passion for building outstanding teams and a disciplined focus on innovation and excellence in operations.

Prior to joining the Aditya Birla Group, Mr. Maheshwari headed the finance, accounts, MIS, legal and secretarial functions of one of the fastest growing consumer product companies in India.

With a master’s degree in Commerce (business administration) and as a fellow member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, having topped the CA exam in 1976, Mr. Maheshwari began his career with a leading industrial product company where he gained significant experience in strategy formulation and implementation.

An erudite and inspirational speaker, Mr. Maheshwari has been invited to speak at the University of Michigan Business School, the Global Chemical Leaders Summit and the Global Trader Summit — both in Singapore, the SP Jain Institute of Management in Mumbai, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, among others.

He has been a trustee and member of the board of New International School of Thailand at Bangkok for four years.

Chief Human Resource
Officer

Mr Parag Paranjpe

Mr Parag Paranjpe

Chief Human Resource Officer, Pulp & Fibre Business

Mr Parag Paranjpe, the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) of the Pulp & Fibre Business, is responsible for leading the HR function of the Pulp & Fibre Business across India, South East Asia, China, Canada and Sweden. He assumed this role from 1st Feb, 2016.

Mr. Paranjpe started his career with Atlas Copco, Pune and thereafter he has led HR function in companies such as Cadbury, Thomas Cook, Bunge & ICICI Venture. Mr. Paranjpe has extensive experience in all facets of human resources function ranging from HR strategy, Industrial Relations, Organization Development, Training and Development and Compensation Management etc. Mr. Paranjpe has a Masters Degree in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations (PMIR) from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in 1988.

Mr. Paranjpe joined the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) in 2012 as the Group Head – Employee Relations & Talent Staffing and subsequently moved in as the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) for Mining & Mineral Resources Business before moving into the Pulp & Fibre business as the CHRO in Feb 2016.

Chief Marketing
Officer

Mr. Rajeev Gopal

Mr. Rajeev Gopal

Chief Marketing Officer, Pulp & Fibre Business

Mr. Rajeev Gopal is the Chief Marketing Officer of the Pulp & Fibre business. He assumed this role in 2011 and is responsible for leading the integrated global marketing organisation.

Prior to joining the Group, Mr. Gopal was the Managing Director of Wimco, and later became its CEO in 2002. He started the safety matches business for ITC and achieved a leadership position within three years. He has had nearly three decades of association with ITC Limited where he had joined as a Management Trainee.

Mr. Gopal has several accomplishments to his credit, including integration and turnaround of the safety matches business and development of a brand portfolio in keeping with the consumers’ needs. He has been a recipient of several accolades including CAPEXIL’s, a Government of India organisation and Top Export Award in 1997.

Mr. Gopal is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering from BITS, Pilani.

Chief Technology
Officer

Dr. Aspi Patel

Dr. Aspi Patel

Chief Technology Officer, Pulp & Fibre Business

Dr. Aspi N. Patel is the Chief Technology Officer of the Pulp & Fibre business, a role he assumed in December, 2011.

Dr. Patel is responsible for spearheading and synergising the research and development functions for the business.

Dr. Patel has over three decades of work experience in the technology and product development area. He joined the Aditya Birla Group from Invista, where he was a Global Technology Director, responsible for leading the technology division of Invista’s Performance Surfaces and Materials Business. His earlier assignments include working in various senior technology and marketing positions with DuPont and GE in the United States. Dr. Patel has a PhD in material science and engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Key Achievements:

  • Accomplished and proven leader with over 30 years of experience stewarding technical, manufacturing and marketing functions in global flooring, markets, apparel, construction materials, building products, filtration and packaging industries
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and mentor cross-functional teams with responsibility for research, development and commercialisation of new products and processes; manufacturing and sales. Has an established track record of working with multiple stakeholders
  • Proven ability to make decisions based on business and economic analysis to deliver winning results

Chief Financial
Officer

Mr Sushil Agarwal

Mr Sushil Agarwal

Whole-Time Director & Chief Financial Officer, Grasim Industries Limited

Mr Sushil Agarwal has been a part of the Group for 26 years. He made significant contributions to the Group through his superior financial acumen, ability to de-construct complexities and stimulate exceptional performance. He has worked closely with several businesses of the Group, including Financial Services, where he was the COO of Birla Global Finance and the CEO of Birla Insurance Advisory. He was also an Executive Assistants to the Chairman for a few years, and worked on multiple critical projects in that period. In his last role, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Aditya Birla Nuvo.

He was conferred the Chairman’s Outstanding Leader Award in the year 2013.

Chief Operating
Officer

Mr. H. K. Agarwal

Mr. Hari K. Agarwal

Chief Operating Officer - South East Asia and China

Mr. Agarwal joined the Aditya Birla Group in 1982 as a Management Trainee with Rajashree Cement, the Group’s first cement project. During his tenure with the cement business, Mr. Agarwal conceived the ‘Birla White’ project taking it to the implementation phase, before moving to Tanfac Industries as Chief Commercial Executive in 1985. Two years later, in 1987, he moved to Thailand as Vice President (Commercial) where he managed the Group’s joint venture with FMC, USA for the Hydrogen Peroxide project. He was promoted to the position of President of the company in 1995 at the age of 36.

In 2000, he was assigned the responsibility of managing the Group’s Epoxy business, with a special thrust on R&D and specialty products. Under his leadership, the business grew six fold in nine years. From 2004 onwards, he managed the Chlor Alkali and ECH business in addition to the Epoxy business. During this tenure, he conceived and led the re-structuring of the Group’s chemical business - from 4 separate entities to Aditya Birla Chemicals (Thailand) Ltd.

Mr. Agarwal joined the Pulp &Fibre Business in August, 2009 as Group Executive President at Thai Rayon, Thailand. In the following years, Birla Jingwei, China, Indo-Bharat Rayon and Indo Rama Kimiya, Indonesia operations were added to his portfolio. He has played a key role in bringing maturity to the business’s Modal production program, and improving operational excellence in general, and at Birla Jingwei, China in particular.

Mr. Agarwal is also “Country Head – Group Affairs, Thailand”.

In recognition of his contribution to the Aditya Birla Group, he was bestowed with the Chairman’s Outstanding Business Leader Award in December, 2012. He was also nominated for CNBC Asia’s Business Leader Award the same year.

Chief Operating
Officer

Mr. Vinod Tiwari

Mr. Vinod Tiwari

Chief Operating Officer - Pulp Operations

Mr. Tiwari is the Chief Operating Officer – Pulp Operations since July 2012, and leads the pulp operations in India, Canada and Sweden, along with the plantations at Laos.

His focus is on establishing and meeting stretch targets for operational and financial performance of all the pulp units, and building long-term competitiveness and sustainability of operations by establishing global benchmark quality, cost, environmental standards and wood security at all units. Mr. Tiwari supports the units in achieving consistency and stability in productivity, plant operations and product quality. He is also committed to helping build a strong organisation by developing talent within the Pulp Business.

In his three decades of well-rounded experience with different companies - Petronas (Malaysia) and IFFCO, JubilantOrganosys and DuPont (India), Mr. Tiwari has acquired knowledge and expertise in several businesses, including methanol, specialty chemicals, engineering plastics and automotive paints.

Prior to joining the Group, Mr. Tiwari was the General Manager - Country Operations for DuPont India, managing multi-site operations with revenues of approximately Rs.4,000 crore. He was also on the Board of Directors at DuPont India.