Ambuja Cements has named Neeraj Akhoury as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer with effect from 21 February, 2020, the company announced yesterday. Akhoury was previously working as MD and CEO of ACC Ltd and has over 27 years of experience across multiple roles including sales and marketing, logistics and corporate affairs.
Akhoury started his journey back in the 1990s with Tata Steel. Later on he progressed in his career to take on several leadership roles. He has worked with the Lafarge group for a long time and has worn many hats there. Besides India he has also worked in markets like Bangladesh and Nigeria. Now he gears on to take a new role at Ambuja Cement. At ACC Limited, where he worked as CEO & Managing Director for almost three years, he was instrumental in the expansion, distribution growth, market share and profitability amongst other aspects.
While announcing the appointment news N S Sekhsaria, Ambuja Cements’ Chairman, said: "We are pleased to have Neeraj take over the position of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. Neeraj is a cement industry veteran, and has years of experience in this business in India and abroad. We are confident that Neeraj will lead Ambuja further to higher levels.”
Akhoury replaced Bimlendra Jha, who resigned with effect from 20 February, 2020, to pursue other interests. In the same press note, the Chairman of the company shared his gratitude towards Jha for many years of great work at the company. He said, “We wish to respect Bimlendra's personal decision and thank him for his valuable contribution to the Company and wish him all the best for the future."
It was just last year tha Jha was appointed as CEO & MD. He had joined from Tata Steel Ltd. where he had spent nearly three decades of his career.
Where is Jha headed next remains uncertain, however, for Ambuja Cement the quarter saw reduction in key costs of power and fuel and logistics on account of low cost of fuel, operational efficiencies and optimisation in supply chain. With India as the second largest cement producer in the world and many players in the market, the new MD & CEO of Ambuja, Akhoury has several challenges to face and several opportunities to tap onto. The demand of the cement industry is expected to achieve 550-600 million tonnes per annum constantly by 2025. Let’s see how Akhoury ensures that Ambuja gains the maximum market share with a robust business and talent strategy.