The Murugappa Group

Founded 1760
Chennai, India

The Murugappa Group, headquartered in India has grown from humble beginnings as the dream of a driven entrepreneur in Burma in the early 1900s. The family traces its business history to 1760 when the great-great great – grandfather of the founder was active in trading and money lending.

The Murugappa Group and family also continue to build on the example of philanthropy. The family’s trust, the AMM Foundation, is sustained by a fixed percentage of annual business profits and family contributions. By 2001 it had built and nurtured four high schools of 8000 students, a polytechnic institute of 1000 students, four no-fee hospitals and a rural research center.

The Group included then seven substantial business units comprising 27 companies in a variety of industries. Their interests include abrasives, agro-chemicals, bicycles, chains, industrial tubes and roll forming, rubber, tea and coffee plantations, sugar mills, sanitary ware, confectionery, and financial services of brokerage, vehicle finance, insurance and mutual funds.

Best Family Business practices from the Murugrappa Group

  • Business Philosophy:  “The fundamental principle of economic activity is that no man you transact with will lose – then you shall not.”   The Founder’s philosophy that continues to guide the family today.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit:  Each new generation of the family has received the existing businesses and developed several new businesses.
  • Adaptability:  The Murugappas manage the evolution of their businesses and governance structures very deliberately.  The make up of their portfolio is very dynamic.  Governance adjusts to family and business circumstances.
  • Philanthropy:  The Murugappa Group and family continue to build on the example of philanthropy initiated by the founder.  Sisters and wives are the major sources of leadership and guidance in the family’s foundation and the institutions (schools and hospitals) it has founded and supports.
  • Family Development:  The older generations focus on developing the talents of the younger members, as professionals, through academic training, international experience, at least two years of work outside of the family business, family mentors, and a career path that provides broad experience.
  • Transitions and Re-organization:  They strive to introduce change without disrupting performance through an atmosphere of openness and support.  They draw strength during change from their heritage and values.
  • Succession:  Leadership roles change in a clear and unselfish way.