Well, it’s not easy to take over the reigns of a family run business and then carry it ahead with similar sincerity and hard work. In an unfortunate incident, Anu Aga, Ex-Thermax Chairman, had lost her husband, son and mother-in-law within a tenure of 14 months. From then on, Aga had to take over the business from immediate effect. Driven by this event, the well-wishers of the family advised it would be better if Anu Aga joined the business, a private entity then. She joined the HR department as she felt that to be the best fit for her. The then HR head, Mr. Prasad Kumar took her under his wing and trained her for five years. When Mr. Kumar moved out to start something of his own, he recommended her for his post.
Aga began her career with Thermax in 1985, heading the human resource department for 5 years. Thereafter she got married to Rohinton Aga, a Harvard graduate. Post that they were blessed with a baby boy and an year after her husband’s demise due to heart-attack, she lost her son also. Under her leadership, Thermax is known to have grown many leaps and bounds.
Growing up Years
Being brought up in a conservative Parsi, Aga was warned at every step that her only aim in life was to get settled in a good family and rear kids. Inventiva caught her quoting to a famous publication that, “No one thought I could run the family business or have a career of my own, except my husband, Thermax chairperson Rohinton Aga, who had encouraged me to find meaningful occupation in the company’s human resources department where I eventually discovered my latent talent for people management.”
Aga has bbeautifully raised her own kids, son Kurush and daughter Meher-the latter is now non-executive chairperson of Thermax- in a gender- neutral home where each was encouraged to follow their individual passion. Candidly, Aga said that “I never told Meher to be ladylike and not to have boyfriends. Neither did I tell my Kurush that he could not play with dolls or that he could not cry because he was a boy.”
Aga has been known to be working closely with an NGO Akanksha and Teach For India, in order to bring about reform and social change. For her philanthropic works, she was also awarded the Padma Shri for Social Work and is also a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC).
Who says there are set limitations and a specific age to touch the sky? When sky is the limit and motivation goes hand-in-hand, nothing is impossible to be achieved. And the lady luck, Anu Aga is the perfect example for this saying. Born into the bourgeois, Aga has grown up idolizing the greats of her time and left no stone unturned in getting Thermax to where it is today. The ex-Chairperson of Thermax Ltd., and once India’s eighth richest woman, Aga had sincerely strived hard for Thermax to grow in size and profits under her leadership. Also, the devoted lady also trained her daughter Meher, instilling in her the same roots of making it better each day, before handing her the reigns of her baby organization.