One of India’s top garment exporters, Gokaldas Exports Ltd., has restructured its board of directors on October 27, inducting three high-profile independent directors, strengthening the professional management’s board presence, and reducing the number of promoter directors.
The three new independent directors, subject to approval by shareholders, are Rama Bijapurkar, wellrecognised thought leader on marketing strategy and consumer behaviour, George Varughese, New York- based private equity and investment banking veteran and Shiv Dalvie, private equity and technology professional with global experience.
The three new independent directors bring in years of experience and diverse knowledge to the board of the company. Bijapurkar is veteran of many top Indian boards, respected author and consultant, and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad. New York-based Varughese is currently managing director with global management consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal. He was earlier with Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, and Drexel Burnham Lambert and is an alumnus of both Harvard and Stanford universities. Dalvie, erstwhile partner of AEA Investors and veteran of Credit Suisse First Boston and Microsoft, is the founder of Cotton Tree Management that advises on India and Asia bound PE investments. He is an alumnus of Yale and Stanford universities.
Apart from adding heft to the board through these three independent directors, Gokaldas Exports is elevating Managing Director Sivaramakrishnan Ganapathi to Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director. Poorna Sreenivasan, Executive President leading business operations of the company is also joining the board as an executive director.
Ganapathi says, “The induction of independent professionals with deep experience and global reach will help the management as we chart an ambitious growth plan for the company, while transitioning Gokaldas Exports into truly professionally managed and board-run company.”
The promoter group of Gokaldas Exports has decided that they will henceforth have only one director on the board of the company. Mathew Cyriac from the promoter group will continue on the board, and take over as the non-executive chairman, after the current chairman and independent director Richard Saldanha retires in November. global corporate honcho who has led businesses in FMCG and petrochemicals, Richard Saldanha, has been on the board for over decade and guided the management through critical phase of the company.
The other promoter representative Gautam Madhavan, who was on the board for the last four years and was re-elected recently, has decided to step down. With deep understanding of the industry, Madhavan has guided the company having significant impact on growth and strategy of Gokaldas Exports.
While Cyriac will focus on institutionalising the company, Executive Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Sivaramakrishnan Ganapathi will continue to manage the company, chart the growth path and set strategic priorities. Poorna Sreenivasan will continue to lead the business operations ofthe company and drive customer engagement. To support further growth initiatives and expand operations in low cost geographies, the company has inducted Randeep Arora, an apparel industry veteran, as Head of New Business Initiatives. Randeep had served as President of the Company from 2010 to 2015.