June 17, 2021: Indian lead battery giant Amara Raja on June 14 announced a series of changes including a new chairman to replace the founder, who steps down after 36 years.
Ramachandra Galla is to hand over the reins to his son, Jayadav Galla, who is vice chairman of the board and will take over after the company’s annual general meeting in August.
The company has said it will also launch several ‘strategic initiatives’, including expanding its lead-acid battery business and setting up a new energy business unit that will encompass lithium cells and battery packs as well as EV chargers, energy storage systems and other services.
“While the board unanimously believes new energy will provide substantial thrust over the coming decade, there remains a strong conviction on the long-term potential of the lead-acid batteries business,” the company said.
“The vital role played by lead-acid technology across a variety of applications provides significant growth opportunity in both the domestic and international markets.”
The firm says it will expand lead-acid operations by tapping into sectors such as the home inverter and motive power areas.
“The company believes that the lead-acid batteries business will continue to grow in India owing to the buoyant demand from automotive, industrial, telecom and new emerging segments like data centres.
“On the other hand, the emergence of lithium as an alternative energy storage technology opens up new and exciting growth opportunities.”
Amara Raja in February said it would start working on developing lithium-ion cells in a new research hub at its headquarters. It has already worked with Swiss battery maker Leclanché to assemble the batteries, and appears to be strengthening its presence in that sector.
“The ARBL board has decided to future proof our business by repositioning ARBL as an energy and mobility player,” said chairman elect Galla.
“ARBL has to invest in a portfolio of businesses to maintain its technological and business leadership. Over the years, we have built an active distribution network, customer trust and relationship with clear emphasis on maximizing value within lead-acid technology.
“The company is well poised to build on these strengths and create multiple new growth engines in the new energy space.”