Kumar Birla 101: Famous Indian Billionaire
Zatrun Published at March 27, 2024

In this article titled “Kumar Birla 101: Who is the Famous Indian Billionaire?” we will delve into everything you need to know about Kumar Birla, the renowned Indian billionaire, which has piqued the interest of our readers at

Who is Kumar Birla?

Kumar Mangalam Birla (born June 14, 1967) is an Indian billionaire industrialist, philanthropist, and the chairman of Aditya Birla Group, India’s largest global conglomerate. He is also the chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani and the former chairman of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. As of March 2023, his estimated net worth is $13.8 billion according to Forbes.

Kumar Birla

Birla took over as the chairman of Aditya Birla Group at the age of 28 after the death of his father Aditya Vikram Birla in 1995. During his tenure, the group’s annual revenue grew from $2 billion in 1995 to $45 billion in 2021. Today, the group operates in 36 countries across six continents, with over 50% of its revenues coming from its international operations.

Kumar Birla, the fourth-generation member of the Rajasthan-based Birla family, was born in Kolkata and grew up with his large family, including his sister Vasavadatta Birla, in Mumbai alongside his parents Aditya Vikram Birla and Rajashree Birla. He completed his high school education at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics and received his undergraduate degree from Mumbai University’s H.R. College of Commerce and Economics. He then studied at London Business School and earned a master’s degree in business from the University of London in 1992. He is an honorary fellow of LBS and a chartered accountant authorized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

Career Life:


In 1995, Kumar Birla took over the family business and consolidated all group companies under the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) umbrella. Birla acquired Indian Aluminum Company (INDAL) in 2000 and then Hindalco purchased Nifty Copper Mines in Australia in 2003, while Aditya Birla Group acquired Mount Gordon Copper mines. The following year, Birla acquired a majority stake in L&T Cement, which later became UltraTech Cement. In the same year, Hindalco Industries, the flagship company of the group led by Birla, announced the merger of all businesses of Indian Aluminum Company (Indal).

In 2007, Kumar Birla directed the acquisition of Atlanta-based Novelis Inc., the world’s leading producer of aluminum rolled products, by the Aditya Birla Group’s flagship company, Hindalco. Five years later, in 2012, Birla’s Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd. company purchased Pantaloon Retail Limited from Future Group in India. In 2013, Aditya Birla Chemicals, led by Birla, acquired the chlor-alkali and phosphoric acid divisions of Solaris Chemtech Industries in India.

Birla’s name came up in the Indian coal allocation scam from 2004-2009. In 2014, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a closure report against Birla. Since 2015, Aditya Birla Group has merged its branded apparel business under the lifestyle retail company, Pantaloons Fashion and Retail India Ltd., renamed Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, creating India’s largest branded apparel company in terms of revenue and sales points.

From 2016 to Present:

In 2016, Kumar Birla launched a new logo for the Aditya Birla Group. Under Birla’s leadership, UltraTech Cement completed the acquisition of six cement plants and five grinding units from Jaiprakash Associates in June 2017. That same year, Birla revived Applause Entertainment, a media, content, and IP creation studio focused on producing premium digital drama series as part of the Aditya Birla Group. Sameer Nair, the former CEO of Balaji Telefilms, heads this initiative. In 2018, Idea Cellular, owned by the Aditya Birla Group, merged with Vodafone India to create Vodafone Idea Ltd, the largest telecommunications service provider in India.

Also in 2018, under Birla’s leadership, UltraTech Cement acquired Century Textiles’ cement business, while Binani Cement became a wholly-owned subsidiary of UltraTech Cement. In 2018, Novelis, led by Birla, signed a deal to acquire Aleris Corporation. The deal was completed in 2020 for $2.8 billion. Under Birla’s leadership, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) acquired the Jaypore brand and bought a 51% stake in Finesse International Design, the owner of the designer clothing brand Shantanu & Nikhil, in 2019. In 2020, Flipkart, owned by Walmart, invested INR 1,500 crore in ABFRL, acquiring a 7.8% stake.

Kumar Birla

By 2021, Grasim Industries, the flagship company of the global conglomerate Aditya Birla Group, entered the paints business by investing INR 5,000 crore over three years. ABFRL signed a deal to acquire a 51% stake in designer brand Sabyasachi, while under Birla’s leadership, ABFRL formed a partnership with designer Tarun Tahiliani. ABFRL also partnered with Authentic Brands Group to take over Reebok’s operations in India and create India’s leading sports lifestyle brand.

Kumar Birla served as the unofficial chairman of telecommunications firm Vodafone Idea, formed by the merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India in 2018, until August 2021. However, he stepped down from this role. In January 2022, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) acquired a 51% stake in House of Masaba Lifestyle under Birla’s leadership.


Kumar Birla has won many awards, including the International Advertising Association’s “CEO of the Year Award” for 2016; the US-India Business Council’s “Global Leadership Award” in 2014; the Economic Times “Business Leader Award” in 2003 and 2013; Forbes India Leadership Award – “Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2012; NDTV Profit Business Leadership Awards 2012, “Most Inspirational Leader”; CNBCTV18 IBLA “Business Leader Taking India to the World Arena 2012”; CNN-IBN “Indian of the Year Award” in 2010; JRD Tata “Leadership Award” in 2008; and NDTV’s “Global Indian Leader of the Year 2007” award.

Kumar Birla is also an educator and serves as the Chancellor of Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) and BITS School of Management (BITSoM). He is also the Chairman of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad and heads the Rhodes India Scholarship Committee for Oxford University. He serves on the Asia Pacific Advisory Board of the London Business School and is an honorary member of the London Business School.

Charitable Contributions:

According to the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2021, Kumar Mangalam Birla and his family ranked fourth on the philanthropy list, largely due to their donations to the healthcare sector. In 2020, the Aditya Birla Group contributed 500 crore rupees to COVID relief measures, including a 400 crore rupee contribution to the PM-CARES fund.

Kumar Mangalam Birla has established a £15 million scholarship program at the London Business School to support ten full-time MBA candidates annually. The BK Birla Scholars Program is named after Birla’s late grandfather, Basant Kumar Birla. This scholarship program is the largest endowed gift to a business school in Europe. The Birla family has also built schools and temples in India, including BITS Pilani and Birla Mandirs.

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