The story of G M Rao, the Founder Chairman of GMR Group is truly inspirational! He was born in a small town called Rajam in Andhra Pradesh to a small scale jeweller. The origins of his business empire can be traced back to a single Jute Mill which he invested in, in 1978. From then on till the 1990s, he indulged in opportunity driven business building, entering 28 businesses as a serial entrepreneur. He exited most of them when the economic reforms of the 90s allowed for newer opportunities.
As a part of the post liberalization baby boomer generation of entrepreneurs, his consequent moves were entirely driven by strategy and made with a long term horizon in mind. He eventually settled his focus on the core infrastructure sector. The result is a robust GMR group that is active in 7 countries and has business verticals in Energy, Roads, Airports and Urban Infrastructure including SEZs. He is also the owner of Delhi Daredevils!
Mr. Rao’s personal journey has been an interesting one. He has evolved from a student leader to a trader, to a manufacturer, to a banker and to an infrastructure developer. Over the last 35 years, his company has grown into the one of the most recognized brands in the country. G.M. Rao is India’s 15th richest person and a Forbes Billionaire having a net worth of $ 3.2 Billion (2010).
His management principles too are unique! He believes that “Family must be run like Business and Business must be run like Family”. The GMR Group Vision also states that the “GMR Group will be an institution in perpetuity that will build entrepreneurial organizations making a difference to society through creation of value”. Mr. Rao also has a strong belief in giving back to society, for which he has set up the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation to improve education, empowerment, healthcare, livelihood and community development in 22 locations in India and Nepal. To ensure that his legacy lives on, Mr. Rao made a significant endowment to his Foundation; namely his entire personal wealth!
G.M. Rao’ will be speaking to the members of EO New Delhi in a must attend event on 18th December 2013 at 7.30 pm at Ganga, Shangri-la, New Delhi. Please RSVP on Facebook or via SMS to Nishtha Bakshi (Chapter Admin).