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Group Chairman - GMR Group

G M Rao, a mechanical engineer, is the founder and Chairman of GMR Group, a Bangalore based global Infrastructure major. The Group is well diversified and professionally managed with focus on business verticals of Airports, Energy, Highways and Urban Infrastructure including SEZs.

Early Days:

Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao was born on December 14, 1950 in a small town of Rajam in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. He failed his 10th class examination, due to which his father asked him to leave his studies altogether, and instead assist him in the family business. But after two years he asked his mother to let him join school, once again. He completed his engineering. He landed a job in the Public Works Department on the Vamsadhara Project. He resigned his job and started out with Rs 300,000, one truck and two acres of land -- his share in the division of the family assets. In 1978, he set up a jute mill and went on to set up around 28 agro-based ventures - jute mill, rice mill, brewery etc. In 1985, he became the largest shareholder of the country's leading private sector Vysya Bank. When some senior executives left, Rao began to run the bank. With his visionary approach he was able to successfully transform it into a modern technology driven and hugely successful financial enterprise.

Birth of the Spark:

During the mid-1990s, it was very clear that infrastructure would be the next sunrise sector. Rao began to sell his assets in order to enter the capital-intensive infrastructure sector. He sold his brewery to Vijay Mallya, Vysya Bank to ING, and life insurance to Rajan Raheja. He owns the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket team Delhi Daredevils.

Energy Sector: G M Rao recognized the huge business potential in entering the infrastructure space, with the opening up of the power sector in the 90s in India. Within a decade, he successfully established three Greenfield power plants in the country. GMR Energy Ltd (GMRETL) was incorporated on 29th January'2008 with the objectives of optimizing the Group's energy assets and bridging the demand supply gap in India by trading power from other power generators/utilities. GMRETL is one of the few Licensed Power Trading Companies which has acquired Trading and Clearing Membership of both the operational Power Exchanges in the country i.e. IEX and PXIL.

Completed Projects

1)GMR Energy Limited:GMR's Barge mounted power plant is an environment friendly, natural gas based 220 MW generation plant. It was originally commissioned at Mangalore in 2001. After operating successfully with naphtha as fuel till April 2010, the barge was moved to Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh in July 2010, where it has been modified and commissioned to operate on Natural Gas. (Aero-derivative gas turbines, GE USA).
2)GMR Vemagiri Power Generation Ltd: A natural gas based thermal power plant with an installed capacity of 388.5 MW. It commenced operations in Feb 2008. It is located at Vemagiri, 12 kilometers away from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh. Power offtaker - Transmission Corporation of Andhra Pradesh. (Advanced Class Gas turbine technology from GE, USA).
3)GMR Power Corporation Limited: The 200 MW power plant in Chennai was commissioned in 1998. A distinguishing feature of this plant is a sophisticated sewage treatment unit, the first of its kind in India. The plant treats 7200 cubic metres of raw sewage per day from Chennai Metropolitan & Sewerage Board to produce 5400 cubic metres of clean water for its own use. It has received the renowned Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Award for Environmental Protection. This plant has received ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications from Det Norske Veritas. Power Offtaker -- Tamil Nadu State Electricity Board. (2 Stroke Diesel engine from MAN B&W, Germany).
Projects under Development:
-->2.1 MW wind project at Moti Sindodhi Village, Kutch District in Gujarat. Commissioned in July 2011 will generate 53 lacs units p.a. The Wind Turbine Generator (WTG), developed by Suzlon is designed to yield higher PLFs. Eligible for RECs (Renewable Energy Certificate); the plant has been registered with Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA).
-->1400 MW coal based thermal power project at Kamalanga, in Dhenkanal district of Orissa. The plant's coal requirement will be met from Rampia Coal Mines, Orissa. BOO for 25 years from COD (end 2012).
-->180 MW Bajoli Holi project in Himachal Pradesh. BOOT basis for a period of forty years from the commencement of commercial operations. Will provide portion of energy to the state on no cost basis. This project will supply power to the Northern region which has a high supply and meager supply of power. COD 2016.
-->900 MW Upper Karnali Hydro electric Project, in Nepal. BOOT for 30 years from COD (2016). A consortium comprising GMR Energy Limited, GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) and Italian-Thai Development Project Co. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Govt. of Nepal for the project.
-->140 MW Alaknanda Hydro Electric Power Project in Uttarakhand. Free Power Royalty of 12% of the energy generated to the State of Uttarakhand for the PPA term. COD (21011-12).
-->Acquired 55.84% stake in Homeland Energy Group Ltd. (HEG), a listed company which owns coal properties in South Africa through its subsidiary the Homeland Mining and Energy (HMESA). HEG owns a controlling interest in the already operational Kendal mines, partially explored Eloff mines and other exploration sites with total mineable reserves of around 300 million tonnes.
-->25 MW Solar power project in Charanka-Santalpur Taluk, Patan District in Gujarat. Based on "PV - Crystalline Silicon on Fixed arrays" configuration. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL).
-->160 MW Talong Hydro Power Project on River Kemeng, in the State of Arunachal Pradesh. COD (end 2016).
-->1370 MW Coal based, thermal Power Plant in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. BOO for 40 years from COD (2014).
-->Acquired 80% stake in Himtal Hydropower Company Pvt. Ltd. which is developing the 600 MW Upper Marsyangdi Hydro Electric Project on the Marsyangdi River in Nepal. BOO for 30 years from COD (2016).
-->Acquired a 100% stake in PT Barasentosa Lestari (PT BSL), an Indonesian Greenfield coal mining company. Mining life of about 25 years. Reserve is about 110 million ton2 scaling upto 6 MTPA.
-->GMR EMCO Energy Ltd. is developing a 600 MW coal based power plant, in Warora, Maharashtra. The project is also ideally located in terms of the transportation infrastructure and connectivity. It is also close to critical infrastructure such as housing, education, and medical facilities. COD (end FY 2012).
Highways: G M Rao expanded the Group's presence in the infrastructure sector by leading the Group's foray into Highways. The Group has already completed six road projects and has recently won three road projects.
Completed Projects: Build, Own, Transfer (BOT)
-->Tambaram - Tindivanam, NH45, Tamil Nadu. Project Distance 93 kms. Contract Basis BOT Annuity Scheme. Partners United Engineers (Malaysia) Berhad and UE Development India Limited - Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC). Construction Period: 2.5 years, Operation Period: 15 years.
-->Ambala - Chandigarh, NH22-21, Haryana-Punjab, Project distance 35 kms, Contract Basis BOT Toll project, Partners GMR Projects Private Limited (GPPL) Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC). Concession Period 20 years.
-->Adloor - Gundla Pochanpalli, 102 Km stretch on NH-7 Hyderabad - Nagpur Highway, Contract Basis BOT annuity project, Partners GMR Projects Private Limited(GPPL) Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC), Concession Period 20 years.
-->Tuni-Anakappalli Annuity highway, 60 kms on NH 5, Andhra Pradesh; Contract Basis BOT Annuity Scheme; Partners United Engineers (Malaysia) Berhad and UE Development India Limited - Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC); Concession Period 17.5 years.
-->Farukhnagar-Jadcherla highway 58 km stretch, NH7 on Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway; Contract Basis BOT Toll project; Partners GMR Projects Private Limited (GPPL) Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC); Concession Period 20 years.
-->Tindivanam to Ulundurpet, 73 km on NH-45 on the Chennai - Dindigul National Highway commenced in July 2009. Contract Basis BOT Toll project; Partners GMR Projects Private Limited (GPPL) Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC); Concession Period 20 years.
Projects Under Development on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Basis:
-->Chennai Outer Ring Road; 29.65 kms; designing, constructing, developing, financing, operating and maintaining of the six lane and two service lanes from the Vandalur to Nemilicheri section; Concession period 20 years.
-->The Hungund-Hospet Highway; 99.05 Km stretch on NH 13; concession period of 19 years.
-->Four-six lane of the Hyderabad - Vijayawada section, Andhra Pradesh; 181 kms on NH-9. The project will be implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the Group for a concession period of 25 years.
Airports: Realizing that Airports will drive the economy in the 21st century, G M Rao spearheaded the Group's entry into the high profile airport business.
Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
DIAL is a joint venture consortium of GMR Group (54%), Airports Authority of India (26%), Fraport & Eraman Malaysia (10% each). GMR is the lead member of the consortium; Fraport AG is the airport operator, Eraman Malaysia - the retail advisors. Besides upgrading the existing terminals, DIAL has already commissioned a new runway 11-29 at IGI Airport on September 25, 2008. It has also inaugurated the new domestic departure terminal 1D (T1D) on 26th February, 2009. In March 2010, DIAL has completed the construction of integrated passenger terminal (Terminal 3). Terminal 3 has state-of-the-art complex that features Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and an advanced 5 level in-line baggage handling system with explosive detection technology for greater efficiency and security. The two tier terminal building feature the departure complex on the upper level and the arrivals on the lower level. Access to the new terminal would be via a 6 lane approach road. The Airport has been connected through dedicated high speed Metro line connecting to the city centre.
Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA), Turkey
Inaugurated on 31st October, 2009. Consortium partners Limak Holding, Turkey (LIMAK) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). Designed to handle 20 million passenger capacity for a concession period of 20 years. A four level car park for 4700 cars and a 128 room hotel, fully automated baggage handling system and latest security systems with over 1000 cameras. ISGIA is located on the Asian side of Istanbul which has two airports one each on the European and Asian sides. The airport is targeted to handle 35-40 million ppa by the end of the concession term. ISGIA is the fastest growing airport in Turkey and in Europe as of today.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Shamshabad, Hyderabad
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) is a joint venture company promoted by the GMR Group (63%) in partnership with government of India (13%), government of Andhra Pradesh (13%) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11%). Design, finance, build, operate and maintain a world class greenfield airport at Shamshabad, Hyderabad on PPP model. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) was inaugurated on March 14, 2008 by Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the UPA and commenced commercial operations with effect from 00:01 hrs on March 23, 2008. It has an initial capacity of 12 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and 100,000 tons of cargo handling capacity per annum. The airport provides world-class facilities and infrastructure, in accordance with ICAO standards and practices to handle large aircraft and international traffic. First Indian airport to have the Airport Operations Control Centre which acts as the nerve centre for all coordination within the airport. Geographically strategic location with a two hour flying time to all major cities in India and four hour radius from cities in Middle East and South East Asia. Two Animal Quarantine Stations. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) and Airports Council International, (ACI World) Geneva, have signed an agreement for the appointment of the GMR Aviation Academy as a Global Training Hub for the Asia Pacific region.
RGIA has been rated the best in the world by Airports Council International (ACI) in the 5-15 million passengers category for its Airport Service Quality for 2009.
Been awarded the Leadership Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver rating for its eco-friendly design. It has also won the 'Outstanding Concrete Structure of Andhra Pradesh' award from the Indian Concrete Institute. Awarded the 'Airport Environmental Performance of the Year 2009' by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport INIA, Hulhul, Maldives
GMR Male' International Airport Pvt. Ltd. is a joint venture company promoted by GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) along with its sole consortium partner Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). INIA consortium would upgrade, maintain and operate existing Airport as well as build a new terminal by 2014. The current traffic at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is at 2.6 Million passengers per annum (Mppa). The first stage of the project will include increasing the traffic at the Airport to 3 Mppa by way of constructing a new terminal and thereby increasing the traffic to 5 Mppa.
Urban Infrastructure: The Group has also ventured into the new business sector of Urban Infrastructure and is in the process of setting up a 3300 acre multi-product SEZ in Krishnagiri District of Tamil
GMR Krishnagiri SEZ Limited is developing an area of approximately 3000 acres jointly with Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) in the Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu. The Krishnagiri SEZ is advantageously located in close proximity to Bangalore. This multi product SEZ will focus on a variety of industries ranging from Bio Technology, Renewable Energy and other emerging industries besides the traditional electronics, manufacturing and engineering areas.
Kakinada SEZ and Large Area Development: GMR group acquired a majority stake in Kakinada SEZ Pvt. Limited (KSEZ) in January 2011 and has initiated a number of activities. This SEZ has been conceived as a Captive Port based Multi Product Special Economic Zone. Situated strategically on the Eastern Coast in an area rich with oil and natural gas deposits, the SEZ has excellent logistical linkages to National Highways, Railway networks, Air and Sea Ports.
Corporate Social Responsibility
With a strong desire to serve the needs of the marginalized sections and the rural society, Rao set up the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, to raise their living standards. The GMR Varalakshmi Foundation is the CSR arm of the GMR Group and has presence in 22 locations in India and abroad. The Foundation is active in the areas of education, health and hygiene, community development and empowerment.
Education: Its objective is to make quality primary, secondary and tertiary education accessible to all. Foundation also facilitates scholarships and educational loans to ensure that deserving students, irrespective of their financial backgrounds, have access to these institutions.
Health, Hygiene and Sanitation: GMRVF, in collaboration with HelpAge India, is running 3 Mobile Medical Units dedicated to taking healthcare to the doorsteps of the elderly. The Foundation also runs ambulances in remote areas. The Foundation also runs regular clinics for identified communities which do not have qualified doctors. The Foundation has built and is maintaining 8 public toilets in villages and slums. In a Public-Private Partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad, the Foundation is building and operating “Pay and Use” toilets in the city. The Foundation also imparts education on sanitation and personal hygiene to the communities.
Empowerment & Livelihoods: The Foundation has set up and is running several institutes of Entrepreneurship Development. Three of these are in partnership with Andhra Bank, and two are being run independently. Great emphasis is also laid on developing their entrepreneurial spirit by strengthening confidence and motivation levels, improving communication skills etc. The Foundation goes beyond training by facilitating bank loans for those who want to set up micro-enterprises, and engaging with potential employers for placements. The Foundation has started Institutes of Rural Entrepreneurship Development at Jarjangi, Nellore, Rajam, Hyderabad and Kerala. The Foundation is currently facilitating 80 SHGs through motivation, training, workshops etc.
On 22nd March 2012, GM Rao, chairman of infrastructure group GMR group, committed Rs 1,540 crore ($340 million) towards the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. This endowment is equivalent to the entire portion of GM Rao's personal share of the entire business. Terming the charitable decision even more satisfying than winning the bid for the New Delhi international airport T-3 project, Rao said he would like to thank all those who had made it possible. “I deem it as god's greatness who has given my family and me this opportunity to give back to society,” Rao said.
Corporate Values: To face the challenges of tomorrow and meet the future needs of a fast developing country like India, G M Rao has laid a strong emphasis in building a transparent and system driven organization. The corporate policies of the Group are driven by a set of seven carefully drafted core values. The Group as a whole ensures that it adheres to all statutory regulations pertaining to Occupational Health, Safety and Environment along with gender and age specific issues of employment. Specifically in the context of Child Labor, the Group abides by the ILO guidelines and the Indian legislation which also ratifies this by not employing children and minors either directly in its establishments or through its contractors and vendors." The Group is also committed to environment protection. Corporate Governance at GMR is driven by a simple principle - 'Achieve right results by right means'. Corporate Governance is a journey and not a destination. 'GMR Group will be an Institution in Perpetuity that will build Entrepreneurial Organizations making a difference to society through Creation of Value'.
Personal Values: Rao has also spearheaded a "Family Constitution" model for the group. It lays down the family values, sets out a mechanism to resolve disputes, and specifies succession principles as well as the norms for media exposure. The aim of this is to ensure a smooth transition of business from generation to generation, and enable professionals to discharge their rightful roles in the growth and development of the Group. In line with this, over a period of time, the members of the family would provide only the strategic inputs and investment needs and counseling for all the businesses and activities of the Group.
In spite of all his wealth, Rao has a simple lifestyle. Those who know Rao well describe him as earthy man with no pretentions. Skills acquired during his early days serve him well to this day.
He has 3 children - a daughter and 2 sons. His sons and son-in-law are involved in his business. His sons, GBS Raju and Kiran Kumar Grandhi are Chairman, Corporate International Business and Business Chairman, Airports respectively. Srinivas Bommadilla is Business Chairman, Urban Infrastructure and Highways.
"He is an on-the-ground entrepreneur with high native intelligence," says Vinayak Chatterjee, the chairman of infrastructure consultancy Feedback Ventures.
Some others see a distinct pattern in all his ventures -- these are all in sectors with some amount of government regulation. The coincidence cannot be missed -- sugar, brewery to roads, power and airport are all regulated sectors. Rao started out in business during the licence raj.
Awards and Honors:
*ING Vysya, Chairman Emeritus, September 2006.
*Honorary Doctorate, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India.
*'Entrepreneur of the year' at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence 2006- 07 in recognition of his exemplary entrepreneurial spirit.
*`Most Promising Entrant to the Big League' by CNBC TV18 at its `Indian Business Leader Awards 2007'.
*The Infrastructure Person (Infra Person) of the year award at the Infrastructure Journal Award Ceremony held in London, 12th March, 2009.
*Sir. M. Visveswaraiah Award - 2008' instituted by the Federation of Karnataka Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI).
*'Most Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year 2008' award by National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai.
*'First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year' at the CNBC TV18 India Business Leader Awards 2009.
*ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance, 2001 for GMR group.
*Forbes last year put his net worth at $4.3 billion (over Rs 20,000 crore).
Hope viewers caught up the spark..