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The man behind Dabur's success

June 05, 2006 14:28 IST

In May 2006, changes in the top management of Punjab Tractors were quietly brought about. P D Narang who is known as the Man Friday of the Burman family, which controls FMCG company Dabur India, was made the non-executive chairman of Punjab Tractors. This was the second major step taken by the Burmans to move ahead and take control of what was happening in the boardroom of India's third-largest tractor maker.

The first was taken in December 2005, when the Burmans picked a minority stake in Punjab Tractors through market operations and by two investment companies. The Burmans later increased their stake to 12.5 per cent. Narang was made the Burmans' point man in Punjab Tractors and was appointed as a director.

In May 2006, he was made the non-executive chairman of Punjab Tractors, replacing Yash Mahajan, who was the chairman and managing director of the company at that point.

The tractor business is new to Narang. In his own words, he was not expected to run the show there. There were better people already in the company to do that. "I will do what a non-executive chairman of a company is expected to do," he had said.

This could mean, watch the game from the sidelines and step in only under extreme provocation. After all, the 12.5 per cent interest of the Burmans was not something that can be taken lightly.

P D Narang is a "triple", as fellow professionals would call people with his educational background. He is fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, company secretary and also a qualified cost accountant.

Born in 1954, Narang started his professional career in 1979 with his own practice. He started his stint in Dabur India in July 1983 as a management accountant and was later made director-- commercial and corporate affairs. He has played a pivotal role in taking Dabur public in 1993 and carrying forward the initiatives to professionalise Dabur over the last few years.

Narang rose rapidly in the management hierarchy and was appointed general manager-- finance and company secretary in 1990, and director-- corporate affairs in 1998. He was given the responsibility of heading the corporate and commercial affairs of the group in 2002. He was appointed group director, corporate affairs in 2003.

The brief given by his bosses as his responsibilities makes one wonder, when he finds time to sleep. "Corporate governance, direct taxation, investor relations, corporate communications, internal audit and controls, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances for the entire Dabur Group, including Dabur India Ltd, its subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates.

"He would be an important interface between the management committee, board and the family council representing the Burmans," says the press note sent out in 2003, when he was promoted to his current position of group director-- corporate affairs.

His profile on Dabur's website spares no word in acknowledging his work in the group. An avid yoga practitioner, he swims to stay fit. The little time that he is left with, outside Dabur, is used for listening to music, playing golf or traveling to new places with his wife and two children.
S Kalyana Ramanathan