A S Bhathena - Committed to the richness of diversity
The foundations of Thermax were originally laid by the late A S Bhathena, who started Wanson (India) in 1966. The company was renamed Thermax in 1980, after A S Bhathena retired, and his son-in-law, the late Rohinton D Aga took over as Chairman & Managing Director.
A S Bathena began his career as a ‘worker-entrepreneur' in 1947, with the founding of a partnership firm - National Steel, manufacturing sterilizers, autoclaves and other hospital equipment. In 1966, he founded Wanson (India) along with Rohinton, which began manufacturing small coil-type industrial boilers.
From the early years, A S Bhathena was a keen practitioner of ‘Management by wandering about,' through which he kept in constant touch with his staff and workers.
A S Bhathena was a passionate advocate of achieving success through merit and hard work. His favorite quote was: ‘Deserve and then desire.' He also believed in the social purpose of business, viz. that the objective of a business house is, ‘to serve the society they live in.' He also was convinced of the need to accept diversity in people, ‘just as you need almonds, raisins and walnuts to make a rich fruitcake, you need different types of people to make a rich organisation.'
A S Bhathena passed away in 1991.
Rohinton D Aga - Living a mission
Rohinton Aga joined Wanson (India) to work with A S Bhathena. The company became Thermax India in 1980 following Bhathena's retirement, and Rohinton took over as the Chairman & Managing Director.
Born in 1935, Rohinton hailed from a Parsi family in Bombay. A graduate in economics from Cambridge, he also was an alumni of the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Rohinton was a seer, a dreamer and above all a great doer. His leadership transformed Thermax from a small boiler company, to a multi-divisional engineering force, with a focused vision to provide solutions that conserving energy and preserve the environment.
He gained recognition as a visionary entrepreneur and a management thinker.
Rohinton believed that businesses need to be built on foundations of enduring values. ‘Profit is not only a set of figures, but of values,' he often reminded his teams. These values help business fulfill its obligations to the customer:
He believed that, ‘Understanding the market in depth, stretching it to the fullest potential, creating new unfulfilled needs, being obsessed in the process and emerging as a leader,' was living a mission.
According to Rohinton, ‘this is the role and the heritage of a value-added society. It is exciting, rewarding and never ending.'
Rohinton Aga passed away in 1996.
Anu Aga - Director
Anu Aga began her career in Thermax in 1985 and later was in charge of the company's human resources function from 1991 to 1996. After her husband Rohinton Aga passed away, she took over as executive Chairperson of the Thermax Group in February 1996, and two years later became non-executive Chairperson.
After stepping down from this position in October 2004, she continues as Director on the Thermax Board.
As Chairperson, Anu turned around the company and helped transform it into a high performance organisation with a bigger presence in international markets, and a turnkey player in energy/environment projects.
Anu Aga served as Chairperson of the Confederation of Indian Industry's Western Region. She has written extensively and given talks on corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, the role of women and education, etc.
Anu is a BA in Economics and holds a post-graduate degree in medical and psychiatric social work from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). She was selected for a Fullbright Scholarship, that enabled social workers study in the US.
Since her retirement in 2004, Anu has been involved with the social sector, deeply concerned about promoting communal harmony and nurturing education. She supports Akanksha, an organisation that promotes education for the underprivileged children in Mumbai and Pune. She is also closely associated with the Thermax Social Initiative Foundation (TSIS). The foundation in partnership with the Municipal Corporation and Akanksha, manages two schools for lower income groups.
Meher Pudumjee - Chairperson
Meher Pudumjee took over as Chairperson of Thermax Limited on October 5, 2004, after the retirement of her mother Anu Aga.
A Postgraduate in Chemical Engineering from the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, Meher joined Thermax as a trainee engineer in August 1990.
She managed Thermax's subsidiary company in UK before joining the Board of Directors in 1996. She worked closely with the company's treasury and working capital management functions.
In January 2001, Meher became a non-executive director and was appointed Vice Chairperson in 2002. During this period she played an active role in the turnaround of the company, looking at divesting of non-core activities and restructuring of business portfolios.
Meher is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) Family Business Forum and the Young Indians (Yi). She has a keen interest in music, especially western classical, and is a member of a choir. She lives in Pune, India with her husband Pheroz and two children.
Pheroz Pudumjee - Director
Pheroz Pudumjee, husband of Meher, has a Masters in Business Administration and a diploma in Automobile Technology from Stanford University, USA.
Pheroz is experienced in international marketing of industrial products and also managed Thermax's overseas venture in UK. He was appointed Director in 1997.
Pheroz is member of the Overseas Investment Committee and the Strategic Business Development Committee, which reviews and monitors strategic business initiatives of the group.