GFBA 2023 - IMD Business School
News Stories · Family Business - Sustainability

Thermax, from India, is the winner of the 2023 IMD Global Family Business Award

Thermax, an engineering company headquartered in Pune, India, has been voted as the winner of the 2023 IMD Global Family Business Award.
November 2023

With a corporate history that dates back to 1966, the conglomerate has grown to become a worldwide reference in providing sustainable solutions in energy and environment. 

First established as a small, family-owned, family run manufacturing company, called Wanson India – in collaboration with a Belgian company, Thermax was born when the collaboration ended in the 70’s. With its innovative application engineering and technological expertise, Thermax today stands as a trusted partner in energy transition with its customers. The solutions offered by the company include heating, cooling, power generation (including green power), water treatment and recycling, air pollution control, and chemicals with a focus on ensuring clean air, clean energy, and clean water. 

The conglomerate owns 17 domestic and 20 overseas subsidiaries. The group operates through 34 international offices and 14 manufacturing facilities – 10 in India and four overseas – with a presence that spans more than 90 countries around the world. 

“Thermax is not just an inspiration in India but also sets a gold standard for family enterprises globally,” says Peter Vogel, director of the IMD Global Family Business Center 

“This family business has absolutely thrived while devoting itself to the commendable and most necessary endeavor of creating a more sustainable future. They have been doing so with a truly pioneering spirit of embracing technological innovation and remarkable adaptability and resilience, particularly during leadership transitions. Not only that, across four generations, Thermax has never withdrawn from an unwavering commitment to social responsibility and philanthropic endeavors.” 

Besides the tangible contribution to society − illustrated by the focus on helping speed the transition toward renewable energies and greener technologies − the independent award jury of family business experts and previous award winners also praised Thermax for the level of engagement with its employees, as well as its ability to navigate the delicate balance between family values and shareholders’ interests. 

Chairperson of Thermax, Meher Pudumjee, on the occasion, said, “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award on behalf of our family business Thermax. Having seen the kind of business families that have won this award in the past, it is very humbling for us to be one amongst them. It’s a validation of our commitment to every stakeholder, to sustainability, ethical business practices, our vision, values, and a thriving culture that each person within Thermax has painstakingly invested in. This award is a collective achievement, and it inspires us to keep pushing the boundaries of what a family business can achieve in the modern world. Thank you to the distinguished jury, to IMD, and FBN for this honour.”  

“We are delighted to see Thermax wining this year’s edition of the IMD Global Family Business Award and celebrate them during the 32nd FBN Global Summit in Paris,” said Alexis du Roy de Blicquy, Chief Executive of The Family Business Network (FBN). “As a founding member of FBN Indian chapter two decades ago, their family business has been a driving force in developing the Family Business ecosystem in India and the South Asian region, inspiring many families on their governance and succession journeys. They epitomize the values of the FBN community, by families, for families, together across generations.”  

About the IMD Global Family Business Award 

The IMD Global Family Business Award was created in 1996. The aim of the award, which provides a unique platform for sharing best practices and analyzing the economic backdrop, is to promote family businesses by highlighting the exceptionally high standards they are capable of and the many forms they may take. 

About the award partners 

In 1999, the Scheufele Family from Chopard joined forces with IMD and has since contributed the beautifully crafted trophy. The Family Business Network (FBN) continues to provide the perfect platform to celebrate the worthy winners. 

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