Shailesh Haribhakti appointed as Chairman of Blue Star


Vir S Advani has been elevated to Blue Star’s Vice Chairman position while Suneel M Advani is retiring from the Board

Left to Right, B Thiagarajan, Suneel M Advani, Shailesh Haribhakti and Vir S Advani

Air conditioning and commercial refrigeration company, Blue Star, has announced several important board level changes in India. It is to be noted here that AC season is fast approaching in the Indian market.

An official statement released by the compnay read, “The Board has unanimously approved the appointment of Mr Shailesh Haribhakti as the Chairman of Blue Star with effect from April 1, 2019. He will succeed Mr Suneel M Advani, who will be retiring from the Board on March 31, 2019 in accordance with the retirement policy for Non-Executive Directors.”

It continued, “Much ahead of the April 1, 2020 deadline for complying with the SEBI’s revised Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements with regard to separation of roles of Chairman and Managing Director, and that the persons holding these responsibilities should not be related to each other, the Company is pleased to appoint an Independent Director as the Chairman of the Board.”

Shailesh Haribhakti with Blue Star since 2005

Shailesh Haribhakti joined the Board of Blue Star in 2005 as an Independent Director and will be the first professional, Independent Chairman in the history of the Company. He is a a Chartered Accountant, and among India’s leading authorities on Audit and Tax related matters. He is actively involved with several prominent financial institutions and industry bodies, including the NSE, CII, IMC and ASSOCHAM.

He is a certified public accountant, certified internal auditor, financial planner, cost accountant and fraud examiner. He is an independent Board member/chairman of a number of leading Indian companies including L&T Finance Holdings Limited, Mahindra Lifespaces, Future Lifestyle and ACC Limited. In recent times, some prominent Boards and Board Committees led by him have been recognised with coveted awards, which speak of his penchant for excellence in the areas of corporate governance and sustainability initiatives.

Chairman Emeritus

Suneel M Advani will be retiring from the Board. He has served Blue Star for the longest period that any individual has. The Board has appointed him Chairman Emeritus with effect from April 1, 2019. He will be an invitee to Board meetings, and will be available for consultation in an advisory capacity.

Vice Chairman and Managing Director

Vir S Advani has been elevated to Vice Chairman, and re-designated Vice Chairman and Managing Director with effect from April 1, 2019.

He holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Systems Engineering and in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also completed a comprehensive Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School. After a 2-year working stint in private equity in New York, Vir joined Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000, and later founded Blue Star Design & Engineering Ltd in 2003, designated as its Chief Executive Officer. In 2007, he moved to Blue Star as Vice President – Corporate Affairs. He was promoted as Executive Vice President in 2008; President – Corporate Affairs & Special Projects in 2009; Executive Director in 2010. In 2016, Vir was appointed Managing Director of the Company.

In his enhanced role, Vir will be the primary interface between the Board and the Executive Management, and will also directly oversee the Company’s subsidiary Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Limited, International Operations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Human Resources, Information Technology and Corporate Planning.

Managing Director

B Thiagarajan has been elevated to the position of Managing Director with effect from April 1, 2019. Thiagarajan holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics from Madurai University. He has also completed the Senior Executive Program of the London Business School. He has four decades of work experience, having worked for Larsen and Toubro Ltd, BPL Systems Ltd and Voltas Ltd, prior to joining Blue Star in 1998.

Over the last two decades in Blue Star, Thiagarajan has handled a variety of assignments in the Service business, Corporate Communications & Marketing and Corporate Affairs & Planning, before being promoted to President – AC&R Products Group in 2009. He was elevated to the Board in 2013 and thereafter, was appointed Joint Managing Director in 2016.

In his enhanced role, Thiagarajan will now be responsible for the Projects and Products businesses, Manufacturing, R&D, Supply Chain, Customer Service, Corporate Communications and Corporate Marketing Services.