With an overwhelming 91.36 per cent of the shareholders of the Murugappa Group voting against a board seat for Valli Arunachalam in the holding company, Ambadi Investments Ltd (AIL), the daughter of the former executive chairman MV Murugappan has said she will “pursue justice and take all steps for the same”. Post Murugappan’s death in 2017, Arunachalam, her sister and their mother hold an 8.15 per cent stake in AIL.
Arunachalam, karta of M V Murugappan HUF, said she would not shy away from taking the matter to court. “For more than a year now, I have been asking for a board seat, pending the settlement, to make sure our rights are preserved as a promoter and major shareholder. Finally, they agreed to allow my board nomination, but they did not appoint me in the interim, and asked me to wait for the next AGM, which was more than 9 months away. Now, yet again they have made clear their intent of continuing the oppressive and vexatious conduct against us,” she wrote in e-mailed response.
Arunachalam lashed out at the gender bias in the Murugappa Group and its inability appreciate contributions by women.
“The question remains as to why a female heir with a doctorate degree, 24 years work experience in fortune 500 multinational companies, and numerous patents and publications to her name, cannot be inducted to the board, even three years after her father’s death, despite being representative of the same shareholding whilst a 23-year old male heir with a master’s degree and no job-experience can be inducted to the board soon after his father’s passing”, Arunachalam wrote. —FE
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