The 17th meeting of BBG Chennai was held on 21st February at ITC Grand Chola.

Our Chairman, Christie Cherian welcomed the gathering and kickstarted the monthly meeting. Firstly, he thanked Mr. Philippe Charraudeau of ITC Grand Chola who had sponsored the meeting. Then he made announcements of the meetings and social initiatives and other initiatives that BBG is embarking upon.

The first part of the meeting was a members Presentation by Nitin Seth, Executive Director (LCV & Defence), Ashok Leyland. He shared the story of Ashok Leyland and how it has build a sustainable and profitable business over the years. This was followed by a preview of the BBG website by Vikas Chawla from Social Beat who have re-designed the website to give it a more professional user interface.

Our patron and British Deputy High Commissioner for South India, Mike Nithavrianakis updated the members on the recent initaitives including the visit by British PM David Cameroon and also the forthcoming visit of British Deputy High Commissioner in Trivandrum. He also graciously invited all the members to the Queens Birthday Celebrations on the 6th of March. Mike also took the opportunity to introduce the speaker of the evening, Ravi.

Ravi Viswanathan is the President of the TCS Growth Markets business. He also heads the Chennai Operations, which has an employee base of over 64000 employees. He has been in the Tata Group for over 25 years and has been an integral part of TCS strategy formulation and execution teams. Over the course of the evening he shared the success story of TCS with an emphasis on its UK operations and how local employees form 50% of the workforce.

The evening concluded with notices from Balajee and Vote of Thanks by Louise Dawson.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) recently launched a contest to identify and introduce India’s most promising innovative technology company to the best of UK. The company with the most compelling proposal gets to visit London for an extensive programme that includes receiving specialist advice, the chance to network with world-class inventors, incubators and companies in the UK. The contest is open until 31 March 2013 and more details can be found here. Have you got what it takes?

TVS Logistics acquires UK-based Rico LogisticsA prominent business group in Chennai, TVS Logistics Services has recently acquired 85% stake in UK-based Rico Logistics, a distribution and inventory management company. Going forward, both companies will operate under the brand, TVS Supply Chain Solutions.

The total cost of acquisition was Rs 100 crore, and has been funded through KKR fund (which invested Rs 265 crore in January 2012) and through internal accruals.

TVS Logistics currently has a turnover of Rs 2,500 crore and the acquisition of Rico Logistics would help the company add new service capabilities like ‘last mile connectivity’ and help TVS Logistics enter new service verticals like IT and telecom products service. Managing Director of TVS Logistics Services, R. Dinesh recently mentioned in a press note that there are three more acquisitions on the cards.

Our member, Abhaya Kumar, Founder and Managing Director of Shasun Chemicals and Drugs Limited, was recently awarded the Rasa Udyog Ratna Award instituted by Chemical Industries Association. He received the award for his achievement as successful businessmen, philanthropist and educationist.

Shasun Group is a $ 500 million company and Abhaya continues to be the visionary who was always one step ahead of others. Apart from his role in Shasun, he is the chief donor and promoter of Sri Shankarlal Sundar Bai Shasun Jain College for Women. He is also a Senate Member of Bharathiyar University, Member Academic Council, Anna University, and Member, Exnora International.