We have crossed this milestone of 75 years today because of the invaluable contributions of our leaders who have steered Exide in the right direction. We continue on this journey of excellence under the guidance of our present leaders.
Exide’s continued market leadership over decades stands on two very strong pillars. On one hand is its manufacturing prowess hidden in its factories around the country. On the other hand is the marketing reach and communication of the company that keeps its products top of the mind and available in every corner of this vast country.
But behind the scenes of the highly visible Super Brand are those indomitable spirits who have worked hard to make these two pillars strong. Here, we try to feature some of them who have made significant contributions to the company over the years. The list is not full and if someone is not featured here it does not mean he or she is excluded from Exide's heart.
There is a saying in Exide and it holds true for every retired employee who has been part of this family: "You can take a man out of Exide. But you cannot take Exide out of him." Only those who have worked here know the significance and weight of this.
Exide, till 1960, was managed by the board from England. It diligently manufactured and sold batteries from its sole plant in Shamnagar. In 1960, Mr. Hugh Rankin Gregson took charge of the company in India and remained at the helm till 1977. He was replaced by Mr. Kenneth Reid Teophilus Hodgson who stayed as the head of the company till 1983.
Mr. Subir Chakraborty (2021 – Present) "Exide is a purely people driven company", says Subir Chakraborty, the current Managing Director and Chief Executive Office and a veteran at Exide for the last two decades and a half. He has been at the helm of both Automotive and Industrial SBUs as their director. "It’s not pay driven but achievement motivated. It is leader led, yet people focused. Dignity, faith and respect are visible at all levels of the organization", he adds.
Mr. Gautam Chatterjee (2016 – 2021) A man who started as the chief of Haldia factory, Chatterjee went on to become the MD & CEO. He had set up the industrial business of Exide from scratch, introducing pioneering products even for the home users – a new business segment then. A team man with hands on management style, Chatterjee revolutionized the company’s people culture with a strict eye on profitability.
Mr. Paban Kumar Kataky (2013 – 2016) He took over as the Managing Director and CEO of Exide Industries in 2013. As an old Exide hand — first as all-India head of sales and then as Director Automotive — with years of experience in selling automotive batteries, Kataky knew the business like no one else. As MD and CEO, he brought Brand Exide closer to the customer. As all-India head of sales, he transformed the company’s entire distribution network and injected efficiency into the system. From the earlier practice of selling through five or six distributors, he brought together all the dealers under the distributors without any major disruption.
Mr. T.V. Ramanathan (2006 – 2013) Mr. Ramanathan, a Chartered Accountant was a board member of Exide for eighteen long years (1995 to 2013), first as Director Finance and subsequently the last six years as the Chief Executive of the Company. During his time, the company also became a debt-free company, which it is till date.
Mr. Satya Brata Ganguly (1992 – 2006) Mr. Ganguly joined as a director on the board in 1986 when Jahar Sengupta was Chairman. After Bose, Ganguly led the company through a period of great growth and expansion phase despite stiff foreign competition from other global battery giants in a liberalized era. The host of foreign car makers who came to India during this period mostly chose Exide as their partner. He also successfully oversaw the integration of Standard Batteries into Exide – a significant takeover in the late 90s.
Mr. B.D. Bose (1986 – 1992) The legacy of Mr. Sengupta was carried forward by Mr. B.D. Bose when he, a long time Exide senior manager, took charge of the company. Mr. B.D. Bose was another competent leader who led the Exide team to greater heights during his stint as the head of the organization in the pre-liberalization era.
Mr. Jahar Sengupta (1983-1987) While Exide the brand of lead acid storage batteries was a well established name in the country’s automotive circles, it was under the leadership of Jahar Sengupta – the first Indian head of Exide - that the company established its own corporate identity as a leading industrial house. Despite being a finance person, he strengthened the company’s manufacturing prowess, established the Haldia plant and convinced the then British owners to establish their first overseas R&D Center here in Kolkata.