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GM Rao Founder of the Billion-Dollar GMR Group!

GM Rao Founder of the Billion-Dollar GMR Group!

GM Rao Founder of the Billion-Dollar GMR Group!

Born at the 14th of July 1950; Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao or higher known as GM Rao is the billionaire industrialist and the founding father of GMR Group.

GMR Group is a international infrastructure developer and operator which now holds presence in 7 countries, actively concerned in electricity, highways, massive city development and airports sectors, and is also recognized for building and working world elegance national property.

As per Forbes magazine, G M Rao is not only the richest Telugu man in phrases of wealth however on the identical time, he's widely known for his grounded nature and simplicity. To upload to that, GMR Group is also regarded to be certainly one of India’s maximum trusted and respect manufacturers.

Highly inspired with the aid of Warren Buffet; GM too has donated big amounts of his wealth for the betterment of the society and its people. His CSR wing, GMR Varalakshmi Foundation is present in more than 22 locations and allows the underserved sections of society. He donated had Rs.1540 Cr. In 2012 for charitable purposes and he also have become the 0.33 maximum generous donor of corporate India by way of donating Rs.740 Cr in 2013, reported by means of China’s Harun Report Inc.

Talking about his private life; he is a Mechanical Engineer by means of qualification and his commercial enterprise is currently controlled by way of his  sons – Kiran Kumar and GBS Raju.

How did he start his journey?

GM became born into an upper-center-class family inside the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. His family’s had became concerned in commodities buying and selling and a small scale jewelry business started out by way of his father in Rajam.

He was asked to depart his similarly studies and be a part of the family commercial enterprise, after he failed his 10th class examination. After doing as requested for the next  years, he asked his mom to let him join college another time, after which , went directly to pursue Mechanical Engineering from Andhra University.

He additionally came about to come to be the first graduate in his family in 1972. Soon after that, his father divided the circle of relatives assets and every of them got roughly Rs.3 lakhs and a house.

Once that changed into finished, his father desired him to get a job for himself, but he and his mom desired GM to do enterprise. He wasn’t genuinely positive of what commercial enterprise will be performed with simply Rs.3 lakhs; subsequently, he took up a job for the time being. But his other brothers, unlike him were given into trading.

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He joined AP (Andhra Pradesh) Paper Mills as a shift engineer. During this stint, he were given the opportunity to study enterprise first-hand from a tremendously skilled Marwari businessman. But in now not a great deal time, he left that and joined the Public Works Department as a Junior Engineer for some months as properly.

While he turned into at it, after receiving a steady push from his mom, and the truth that his entrepreneurial nature was making it tough for him to live content with a trifling day task, GM in the end determined to depart his job and get into the trading enterprise together with his brothers.

And from here onwards, started out the Saga of GMR Group!

The Saga of GMR Group!


While trading into commodities, step by step, the brothers had additionally started out their very own Oil Mill, Rice Mill and had additionally were given into the Transport Business.

In 1978; at some stage in the License Raj days, whilst it changed into subsequent to impossible to get a licence, they came about to come across a a person who was selling a jute mill licence in Chennai and the manufacturing facility became closed.

Quickly, they bought the licence and machinery, and after of lot of hassles and struggles which required getting all the permissions from the nation government and additionally the Jute Commissioner at Kolkata, they managed to shift the plant & and set-up the factory by way of making an investment round Rs.40 lakhs from their very own pocket.

Now, the commercial enterprise changed into together controlled by way of them, GM used to look after the jute mill, every other brother of his used to take care of the transport commercial enterprise, the eldest of them all became in buying and selling and the last brother become in charge of a rice mill and oil mill.

After running for a long term into his various business portfolio, GM determined to divest his stake in all of the companies he held, and got into Vysya Bank in collaboration with ING. The most important purpose he turned into roped in by using the Bank turned into because they wanted a person who become from the Vysya (trader) community in Andhra’s coastal belt and had deep connections, which obviously he did.

During the equal time, say round 1987-88, all of the brothers had distinctive views of using the coins that changed into earned from the corporations. They felt that it need to be divided and allotted in preference to redeployed into newer agencies, but GM had a distinctive view, he believed that it turned into usually better to begin new industries. Hence, they mutually agreed to separate the organizations and parted on an amazing word.

Soon after that, GM additionally in brief were given into the Cotton ear-buds commercial enterprise as properly. He had setup an export venture in Chennai and used to export the ear-buds to various nations. During that time, Johnson & Johnson became fantastically the best player on this commercial enterprise. But after not goodbye, he bought this commercial enterprise.

Over the time period, for the reason that time he pass into the entrepreneurial international, GM had given a shot & exited 28 companies, most effective to seize directly to the possibilities that had been about to be unveiled with the hole up of the Indian financial system within the early Nineteen Nineties.

This blessing un-disguised was The Turning Point of his profession!


The starting of the ninety’s turned into whilst India liberalized its marketplace and a huge storm of possibilities had come in.

In the 12 months 1991, GM had implemented and controlled to win the bid for the Hyderabad airport, out- beating competitors like L&T. But this time it become unique, building an airport changed into no longer his area of knowledge, he felt unsure approximately how to move about subsequent.

So he took a call, which he considers because the most important step that any entrepreneur must take — he called within the professionals in this flow of the business. He put in maximum of his time, power and money in learning, the technique from specialists in airport construction, management from Germany, Singapore and Malaysia, etc to train himself and his team participants.

At the equal time, as the commercial enterprise turned into developing unexpectedly, he additionally laid down the “Values & Beliefs” the organization functioned on and could comply with in the future.

Meanwhile, a Malaysian business enterprise and a Chicago-based totally company had were given 4 barge-boat licences for a barge-installed venture in Mangalore however due to the fact the Malaysian financial system become going via a hard time, they were now not able to put into effect them, and as a result GMR Group bought the licences from them and carried out the task.

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During the same time, GM also attempted his fingers at the Outsourcing Industry and commenced a BPO, but Information Technology being an altogether a one of a kind ball game, inside seven or 8 months, he sold it off at a very good rate to I-Gate.

After that, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had identified six roads which might should be built and financed by way of the private area via a roads annuity scheme, and in the first section, three roads were presented, beneath a BOT (construct, function, transfer) annuity model, wherein NHAI would pay an annuity (allowance) for 15 years. GMR Group bagged the settlement for all three roads.

The group managed excelled NHAI’s expectations and completed each the tasks earlier than time, and also received an early of completion bonus and made desirable cash too. This opened every other genre for them and, because of this success they also managed to win 4 greater avenue initiatives inside the near destiny.

While all this changed into on, his Vysya Bank was going thru a very hard phase. Cutting the lengthy story short – someway, GM had controlled to hold the display running for a totally long time, and to top that, he had at a factor even put in all of the money he had (along with his spouse’s jewelry).

But due to increasing competition, big capital necessities, and most importantly changing of times, he subsequently changed into forced to promote his 23.Ninety nine% stake to the ING Group for about Rs.340 Cr all through the overdue 90’s.

That is whilst GM took a call to restructure his complete commercial enterprise and diluted his stake in this business and decided to go into into the sector of power and infrastructure complete-fledgedly.

Another cause to get into the infrastructure asset development changed into that, their closest competitor become GVK, who came about to be 6 times smaller with the aid of market capitalization, as a result, making GMR Group a clear winner.

And from right here onwards started out The Grand Expansion!


After transferring his whole attention, in 1999, he saw that the Andhra Pradesh Government had referred to as for a global tender to set up a Greenfield international airport. While 26 groups confirmed interest, however subsequently one 3 placed their bids. GM tied up with the Malaysian Airport Authority and positioned his bid too and gained the task.

Around the equal time, the government additionally began thinking about the modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports in 2003. But this time it became specific, it changed into a far bigger recreation.

GM spent over Rs. 34 Cr. On the bidding process itself and put together a team that began to have a look at airports, and additionally protected 15 international consultants to bid for the Delhi and Mumbai airports. This gave them the higher-aspect amongst the other competition and additionally helped them bag the tasks.

In 2004, GM took place to wait a conference and heard MV Subbaiah talk of the Murugappa group on own family succession. Upon realisation that many circle of relatives companies have existed for more than three hundred years, he fast prepare a team, which covered senior bankers, HR consultants, and many others., to write down a circle of relatives constitution for his circle of relatives.

It literally took him greater than 570 hours to work on it over a 4-year duration. The charter become similar to how a rustic’s constitution is. It laid down everything from the selection of my successor which might be decided on through the next generation and no longer by means of GM, the gadget of suitable own family governance, a way to resolve a war and valuation of the enterprise, the method of inducting new circle of relatives contributors into the enterprise, their level of induction and qualifications required, etc!

In April 2009, in an unusual flow, GMR sold English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C for 500 million pounds.

And once more, in 2013, all of us turned into taken through a wonder whilst GM stepped back from the day-to-day functioning of the organisation and surpassed over the reins to his more youthful Kiran Kumar Grandhi by way of making him the Managing Director.

Now that the obligations had greatly reduced from his head, he moved closer to operating for the more desirable of the society, by using actively collaborating inside the functioning of his CSR Foundation. Furthermore, a 12 months later in 2014, he also were given appointed as the Chairman of AP (Andhra Pradesh) Skill Development Corporation, through N Chandrababu Naidu – Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.

More currently, the enterprise because the monetary downturn in India, had been going through a hard time, and had opted for ‘asset-mild and asset-proper’ approach. Under this method, they sold their 40% stake in Istanbul’s Sabiha Gocken airport for $285 million to their companion Malaysia Airports Holding.

In the same month itself they placed and gained a $320 million joint bid with Megawide Construction to expand the Mactan-Cebu International airport at Philippines along side a 25- yr concession. Additionally, GMR has also currently signed a $1.Four billion cope with Nepal’s Investment Board to build a hydropower mission.


Conferred with the honorary Doctor of Laws by using York University, Toronto, Canada (2011)

Awarded because the ‘First Generation Entrepreneur of the Year’ on the CNBC TV18 India Business Leader Awards (2009)

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Received the ‘Infrastructure Person (Infra Person) of the 12 months award’ on the Infrastructure Journal Award Ceremony held in London (2009)

Received the “Sir M. Visveswaraiah Award – 2008″ by using the Federation of Karnataka Chamber Of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI)

Awarded as the “Most Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year – 2008″ by way of National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai

Received the Entrepreneur of the yr Award by using Economic Times (2007)

Awarded because the “Most Promising Entrant to the Big League” by using CNBC TV18 at its “Indian Business Leader Awards (2007)


14 Mar, 2023




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