Group Holding Board
The GMR Holding board is the apex decision making body for the Group consisting of the Group Chairman, the Corporate Chairman and the Business Chairmen. It focuses and drives strategic initiatives, approves business and annual operating plans besides developing a pool of leaders for the future.
G M Rao
GM Rao, a Mechanical Engineer, is the Founder Chairman of the GMR Group, the global infrastructure developer.

Born in Rajam in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh in India, GM Rao ventured into business starting with a single jute mill in 1978. Since then, till before India’s economic liberalization, circumstances compelled him for opportunity driven business building.

He entered 28 businesses as a serial entrepreneur and exited most of them with the opportunities thrown up by the opening up of the Indian economy in the early 1990s. As a part of the post-liberalization generation of entrepreneurs, his moves became entirely strategy driven and focused on long term objectives. Eventually, his single-minded focus on the core infrastructure sector resulted in GMR Group exiting some of the highly attractive businesses of banking, insurance, software, breweries, jute and sugar.

In his long journey, GM Rao evolved from a student leader, to a trader, to a manufacturer, to a banker, to an infrastructure developer.

Over the last 4 decades he has successfully established GMR Group, as one of the most recognized brands in the country, creating national infrastructure assets of global scale and world-class quality, creating new benchmarks. The Group is now well diversified and professionally managed infrastructure developer with focus on Airports, Energy, Transportation and Urban Infrastructure including SEZs.

While business grew rapidly, GM Rao laid special emphasis on long term prosperity by focusing on institution building as well. The GMR Group Vision states “GMR Group will be an institution in perpetuity that will build entrepreneurial organizations making a difference to society through creation of value.” A set of seven core Values & Beliefs was arrived at, to define the GMR Group’s distinct organization culture. This was further strengthened by a Code of Conduct for all employees, emphasizing on ethical and professional behaviour.

Rao believes that “Family must be run like Business and Business must be run like Family”. He made the pioneering effort in formulating a Family Constitution taking expert opinion from world renowned consultants. This is now formalized into a legal document, with all immediate family members including spouses as signatories.

He says “Strong family governance ensures strong corporate governance”. He believes that this will ensure a smooth transition of business from generation to generation, and at the same time, enable professionals to discharge their rightful roles in the growth and development of the Group.

GM Rao’s vision in 3 dimensions of business building, institution building and family governance had a 4th dimension built into it, that of giving back to society. This, he started very early on, in his career. Eventually, he set up an independent, professionally run, company, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, to channelize funds for social causes for the benefit of the under-served in society. Today, the Foundation is active in 25 locations in India and Nepal and its 4 areas of activity are education, healthcare, livelihood and community development and it has received wide national recognition for its impact in the sections of society it serves.

To ensure that his legacy lives on beyond his lifetime, he made an endowment of the entire portion of his personal wealth to the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation in March 2011.

He was conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws by York University, Toronto, Canada in 2011, the honorary Doctor of Letters by the Andhra University, India in 2010 and honorary Doctor of Letters by the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, India in 2005. He received the award for the ‘First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year’ from CNBC TV18 in 2009. In the same year, he received the Infrastructure Person of the Year award at the Infrastructure Journal Award Ceremony held in London. He was also chosen as the ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence 2006 – 07, apart from numerous other awards and public recognition throughout his career. He has served on the very prestigious Central Board of Directors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from year 2011 to 2015.

For his considerable achievements, he insists “All the credit goes to my GMR colleagues and my family for their understanding, shared vision, hard work and dedication”.

One of the first directors of the Group and has been a member of the Board since 1996, Srinivas Bommidala entered his family tobacco export business in 1982 and led the diversification into new businesses such as Aerated water bottling plants, etc. He was also in charge of international marketing and management of the organization.

Subsequently, he led the team as the Managing Director of GMR Power Corporation Limited for setting up the first Independent Power Project. Situated at Chennai in southern part of India this 200 MW project with slow speed diesel technology is the world’s largest diesel engine power plant under one roof. He was also instrumental in implementing the 388 MW combined cycle gas turbine power project in Andhra Pradesh.

When the Government of India decided to modernize and restructure New Delhi airport under a Public Private Partnership in 2006, he became the first Managing Director of this venture and successfully managed the transition process from a public owned entity to a public private partnership enterprise.

In 2007 he took over as the Chairman of Transportation & Highways Sector consisting of Transportation, Special Economic Zone at Kakinada - Andhra Pradesh and Krishnagiri in Tamilnadu , Construction, Commercial Property Development at Delhi & Hyderabad Airports/ Aerotropolis and other Group Properties Businesses. Also he was the Chairman of GMR Sports which owns Delhi Dare Devils as IPL Franchisee.

In 2011 Srinivas Bommidala took over as the Chairman – Airports, which consists of Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi), Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (Hyderabad), Mactan Cebu International Airport, Republic of Philippines. GMR today is among the top five airport developers in the world. He will continue to spearhead Commercial Property Development / Aerotropolis at New Delhi and Hyderabad airports.
Mr. Raju entered the family business, GMR Group, in 1996 at the age of 22. Through these years, he has held key portfolios in various GMR Group companies. His proactive, personalized approach to the business and competitive spirit have helped towards the growth of the Group and its various businesses.

Initially he played a crucial role in shaping the overall strategy and positioning of the organisation. He then took on the development and implementation of various projects of the Group. He was instrumental in installing India’s first and the world’s largest floating barge mounted power plant - GMR Energy Ltd., Mangalore, now moved to Kakinada. He successfully steered the Group’s foray into the Roads Business and the Group is now one of the leading road developers in the country. Mr. Raju, as Group CFO, also led the Group through GMR Infrastructure’s maiden IPO in 2006. He successfully led one of the largest QIPs in the infrastructure space in the years 2007 & 2010. The Group was guided by his strategic vision in building major projects like, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul and a power project in Jurong island in Singapore.

Mr. Raju is currently Chairman – Energy. In this role, he is responsible for the Energy Business both within India and globally. He is also one of the Group Directors of GMR Infrastructure Limited and a member of the Group Holding Board, the apex decision making body of the Group.
Kiran Kumar Grandhi is the Corporate Chairman of GMR Group overseeing Group Finance and Corporate Strategy, Planning & Development. He is also Member of the Group Holding Board, GMR Group. Prior to this assignment, he was Chairman – Urban Infrastructure & Highways and Chairman – Airports. After completion of his studies, Mr. Grandhi joined family business in 1996 as Management Trainee in Agri-Business and has subsequently held several leadership positions.

In 1998, Mr. Grandhi became Director of the Infrastructure Business overseeing Corporate Finance, New Business Development and Organization Development. In this role, he spearheaded financial restructuring and fund raising for new projects like Tanir Bhavi Power Project – which was the world’s floating power plant at that time. He played key role in Group’s decision to divest in non-core business like Information Technology, Brewery and Banking (Vysya bank) to focus on Infrastructure development.

In early 2000, Kiran Kumar Grandhi initiated an organization restructuring programme and anchored the change management effort. As part of the process, he set-up the Shared Service Centers in Project Finance, Corporate Finance, Legal, HR, Business Development, Corporate Communication, Finance & Accounts Departments to provide expertise and services to various business of the Group.

Mr. Grandhi was instrumental in winning several successful infrastructure bids for the Group under Public Private Partnership route with the Central and State Governments in sectors like airport, highways, etc. He led the bidding team for Road Sector as a new business opportunity and won two road projects viz., Tuni - Anakapally and Tambaram – Tindivanam, which were part of NHAI Golden Quadrilateral Project.

From 2003 to 2011, Mr. Grandhi geared his focus towards GMR’s Airport Business and under his leadership GMR Airports has become world’s fourth largest private company in the sector.

He led the GMR Group’s successful bid for Hyderabad International Airport in the year 2000. Having led the bid effort successfully, in 2003 he took over the onerous task of heading the Design and Development of the Greenfield Airport project from concept to commissioning in March 2008.

In 2006, Mr. Grandhi also led the successful bid to modernize Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

In 2007, he led the team that successfully won the bid to reconstruct the Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey, through an International Competitive bidding process. GMR is the first ever private Group in India to develop an international airport abroad.

In June, 2010, under his leadership, GMR expanded its international footprint by a successful bid for the Male International Airport, Maldives. The bid attracted stiff competition from Indian as well as Global Competitors, but he led the team to submit a high quality and strategic bid to ensure winning over competition.

In July, 2010, the Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi was completed in a record time of 36 months and the Terminal was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in the august presence of UPA Chairperson. Spread over an area of nearly 5.5 million square feet, this is the single largest infrastructure project to come up in India since independence.

By 2011, Mr. Grandhi has built a portfolio of airports servicing more than 50 million passengers per annum and contributing significantly to the economies of the specific regions.

From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Grandhi led the Urban Infrastructure & Highways practice – where he managed a portfolio of approximately 1,200 kms of Highways across 10 projects. He was also instrumental in GMR Group’s foray into development of sports vertical through acquisition and management of the Delhi Daredevils IPL team.

An exceptional people leader, Mr. Grandhi spends substantial amount of time planning and reviewing development of the next generation of leaders for the Organization. He also takes active part in GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF) - the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Group.

Mr. Kiran Grandhi is on the Board of the following companies:

  1. GMR Holdings Private Limited,
  2. GMR Infrastructure Limited,
  3. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd,
  4. Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd and
  5. GMR Varalakshmi Foundation
  6. GMR Highways Limited

Mr. Grandhi is a Member of Young Global Leader Class of 2015 of World Economic Forum and Young Presidents Organization.

On family front, Mr. Kiran Kumar Grandhi is married to Mrs. Ragini Kiran Grandhi who is a Director of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation. Mr. Kiran Grandhi has two sons - Master GM Ruchir and Master GM Riddhiman.

An engineering graduate, B.V.N Rao has nearly 40 years of total experience, of which 12 years were in the banking sector with specific experience in Industrial Finance and Foreign Exchange.

He is one of the founder Directors of the group since 1988, associated with all the businesses promoted by the group like Ferro Alloys, Sugar, Brewery, Power, Transportation and Airport businesses and currently, he is the Group Director on the Board of Directors of the Company.

As Business Chairman – Transportation & Urban Infrastructure, he is responsible for the Group’s Transportation, EPC and SEZ Businesses. In addition, he also oversees Corporate Relations, Legal and Procurement functions of the Group along with GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility arm.

Prior to his current role, Mr. B.V.N Rao had served as the Corporate Chairman.

Prasad Kumar brings over 45 years of experience in Corporate Management & Organization Development.

He specializes in Family Business, Organization Behavior and Institution Building. He holds key international accreditations and has been ‘executive-in-residence’ at the Kellogg School of Management. As a Family Business Advisor, he has helped steer the development of many Family Businesses.

As a member of the GMR Group Holding Board, he is responsible for providing Strategic direction to Institution Building, Corporate Governance and Family Governance. He is also the Chairman of the Homeland Security Business of GMR.

Prasad Kumar serves as Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Parampara Family Business Institute (PFBI), a GMR Not-for-profit social initiative. The mission of the Institute is to spread awareness of good family governance in emerging business families.