Air conditioning and commercial refrigeration major, Blue Star Limited, has announced several important Board level changes that were approved at the Meeting of the Board of Director.

The Board has unanimously approved the appointment of Mr Shailesh Haribhakti as the Chairman of Blue Star with effect from April 1, 2019. He will succeed Mr Suneel M Advani, who will be retiring from the Board on March 31, 2019 in accordance with the retirement policy for Non-Executive Directors.

Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements

In its 75 years of existence, Blue Star maintained the tradition of being ahead of the curve in terms of corporate governance, much before the very terminology came into vogue. In 2019, the Company completes 50 years of being a listed entity in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The Company is pleased to appoint an Independent Director as the Chairman of the Board

Much ahead of the April 1, 2020 deadline for complying with the SEBI’s revised Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements with regard to separation of roles of Chairman and Managing Director, and that the persons holding these responsibilities should not be related to each other, the Company is pleased to appoint an Independent Director as the Chairman of the Board. Mr Shailesh Haribhakti joined the Board of Blue Star in 2005 as an Independent Director and will be the first professional, Independent Chairman in the history of the Company.

Prominent financial institutions

He is a renowned Chartered Accountant, and among authorities on Audit and Tax related matters. He is actively involved with several prominent financial institutions and industry bodies, including the NSE, CII, IMC and ASSOCHAM. He is a certified public accountant, certified internal auditor, financial planner, cost accountant and fraud examiner.

He is an independent Board member/chairman of a number of Indian companies including L&T Finance Holdings Limited, Mahindra Lifespaces, Future Lifestyle and ACC Limited. In recent times, some prominent Boards and Board Committees led by him have been recognized with coveted awards, which speak of his penchant for excellence in the areas of corporate governance and sustainability initiatives. Mr Haribhakti has been the Chairman of the Company’s Audit Committee and has been instrumental in strengthening the Company’s corporate governance practices, and plays a key role in overseeing the financial affairs of the Company.

Culture of trust and empowerment

Mr Advani has immensely contributed to the culture of trust and empowerment

His detailed knowledge of the Company's business and strategy, and of the external market environment, coupled with his expertise, honed over four decades by heading his own business practice, have been invaluable for the Board and the Company. His elevation underlines the importance the Company and its Promoters have always given to professional management.  

After spending 50 years in Blue Star, including 36 years on the Board of Directors, Mr Suneel M Advani will be retiring from the Board. He has served the Company for the longest period that any individual has. Mr Advani has immensely contributed to the culture of trust and empowerment that define the Company’s core values and has been associated with Blue Star in various capacities over a period spanning three generations, eventually leading it as Chairman in its Platinum Jubilee year.

comprehensive Executive Management Program

The Board has appointed him Chairman Emeritus with effect from April 1, 2019. He will be an invitee to Board meetings, and will be available for consultation in an advisory capacity. Vice Chairman & Managing Director Mr Vir S Advani has been elevated to Vice Chairman, and re-designated Vice Chairman & Managing Director with effect from April 1, 2019.

Mr Vir S Advani holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Systems Engineering and in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also completed a comprehensive Executive Management Program at the Harvard Business School. After a 2-year working stint in private equity in New York, Vir joined Blue Star Infotech Ltd in 2000, and later founded Blue Star Design & Engineering Ltd in 2003, designated as its Chief Executive Officer.

Information Technology and Corporate Planning

Vir will be the primary interface between the Board and the Executive Management

In 2007, he moved to Blue Star as Vice President - Corporate Affairs. He was promoted as Executive Vice President in 2008; President - Corporate Affairs & Special Projects in 2009; Executive Director in 2010. In 2016, Vir was appointed Managing Director of the Company.

In his enhanced role, Vir will be the primary interface between the Board and the Executive Management, and will also directly oversee the Company’s subsidiary Blue Star Engineering & Electronics Limited, International Operations, Corporate Finance, Corporate Human Resources, Information Technology and Corporate Planning. Mr B Thiagarajan has been elevated to the position of Managing Director with effect from April 1, 2019. Mr Thiagarajan holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics from Madurai University.

Projects and Products businesses

He has also completed the Senior Executive Program of the London Business School. He has four decades of work experience, having worked for Larsen and Toubro Ltd, BPL Systems Ltd and Voltas Ltd, prior to joining Blue Star in 1998.

Over the last two decades in Blue Star, Mr Thiagarajan has handled a variety of assignments in the Service business, Corporate Communications & Marketing and Corporate Affairs & Planning, before being promoted to President - AC&R Products Group in 2009. He was elevated to the Board in 2013 and thereafter, was appointed Joint Managing Director in 2016. In his enhanced role, Mr Thiagarajan will now be responsible for the Projects and Products businesses, Manufacturing, R&D, Supply Chain, Customer Service, Corporate Communications and Corporate Marketing Services.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools
Pandemic Spotlights Need To Balance Costs While Improving Air Quality In Schools

Attitudes about indoor air quality need to change, especially given the current pandemic that forces people to spend most of their time indoors. But addressing the pandemic through increased ventilation and better indoor air quality can be expensive. For example, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the nation, has spent $6 million on HVAC upgrades and new air filters in response to the pandemic and expects to pay about $1.7 million a month for ongoing inspections and filter replacements. Updating & Improving HVAC Systems Updating HVAC systems to minimize virus spread has been an expensive proposition all around. Some school districts in California report the costs are insurmountable. Sometimes seeking to replace or update an HVAC system opens a can of worms: Electrical systems must be rewired, asbestos must be removed, and/or an expensive roof needs to be replaced. Schools in low-income areas are especially likely to be in poor condition, and unable to afford improvements. Some school districts have used money from the federal CARES Act – a $2 trillion federal economic package passed in March – to make ventilation improvements. Hope remains that additional state and/or federal money will be available, but funding is still likely to be inadequate. Airborne Transmission Study showed that some classrooms had air change rates below 0.5 changes per hour The airborne transmission was initially underplayed as a means of spreading the novel coronavirus. There was more emphasis on the dangers of touch during the early days of the pandemic. However, the airborne (aerosol) spread is now believed to make up about 75% of transmissions. A group of 239 scientists from around the world advocated more action to address aerosol spread in a July 2020 open letter to the World Health Organization (WHO). The concern is a global challenge. For example, a survey of 20 classrooms in the United Kingdom, carried out by National Air Quality Testing Services (NAQTS), revealed very low air change rates that could increase the risk of virus transmission. The study showed that some classrooms had air change rates below 0.5 changes per hour (3 to 5 changes per hour would be desirable). Even small increases in flow rate could reduce the risk of infection significantly. Raising airflows from zero to 100 cu m/hour cuts the risk by up to a third, according to NAQTS. Fresh Air Ventilation & Filtration The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advised the UK Government last fall of a need to ensure undisrupted education for children of all ages. A critical part of keeping children in school is clear guidance and support packages, including better ventilation and air filtration, particularly through winter. The German government advises schools to open their windows for at least five minutes every hour Other countries can learn a lot about the value of opening windows to allow in more fresh air from the Germans. For years, Germans have habitually opened their windows twice a day, even in winter. In fact, “lüften,” or airing a room, is among the cheapest and most effective ways of decreasing the spread of the coronavirus. The German government advises schools to open their windows for at least five minutes every hour; for example, when classes are changing. Improving Indoor Air Quality Airing of rooms is a likely factor in the lower number of coronavirus cases reported in Germany compared to, say, the United Kingdom. In the end, improving indoor air quality involves some combination of letting in more fresh air, upgrading air filtration systems, and installing technologies such as UV light to kill pathogens. However, implementing these measures only mitigates the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Some risk remains.

What Technologies And Trends Will Define HVAC In 2021?
What Technologies And Trends Will Define HVAC In 2021?

The pandemic of 2020 presented unique challenges to the HVAC market, and in many instances, responding to those challenges relied on technical innovation. It’s safe to say that the pandemic accelerated several technology trends, redirected others, and overall raised the stakes in the industry’s ongoing challenge to meet customer needs across a wide spectrum. But what comes now? We asked our Expert Panel Roundtable to weigh in on this question: What technologies and trends will define the HVAC industry in 2021?

Overcoming Engineering Challenges In Riser Design
Overcoming Engineering Challenges In Riser Design

How grooved solutions have been making contractors and engineers reimagine the way they construct risers in vertical buildings? Enter into the right pub, or head to a city’s museum or town hall, and you can often find a picture of how the surrounding area used to look. An image from twenty years ago and the difference isn’t too vast. Fifty years back and there’s a definite change. A picture from over a hundred years ago and it’s practically unrecognizable. And what’s the common theme running through these images? Cities are getting taller. As more people migrated to urban areas, developers saw the need to go higher. But with this comes its own unique set of challenges. How can the safety of ground floor be transferred to, in the most extreme case, level 163? Grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges for a piping engineer To find out how grooved mechanical pipe joining solutions are helping developers & engineers go higher, we spoke to Matthew Strohm, Director of Product Development (Piping System Design) at Victaulic. When it comes to high-rise buildings, there are a number of potential challenges that a piping engineer will need to take into consideration, most of which relate to thermal movement and the resulting forces on the building. Other issues such as seismic activity and building creep (the natural movement of a building due to settlement) also need to be taken into account. Compensating for thermal expansion and contraction Specifically related to piping systems and subsequently, pipe joining solutions, is the unique problem of having to compensate for thermal expansion and contraction, while at the same time, accommodating for higher pressure. Change in pipe diameter is not an uncommon concern for engineers, however, providing a solution which could operate at a pressure gauge of 25 bars, or the fluctuating temperature of water, presents its own challenges. It’s with these issues in mind that engineers choose their joining solutions, which is why these are the very criteria we set our Victaulic pipe joining solutions against. Grooved vs. Traditional Pipe Joining For decades, the traditional solutions for joining pipes have been welding, threading or flanging. These are good solutions to choose from, but there is a distinct lack of flexibility in a solution that fuses or flanges system components together. This is where flexible grooved couplings come in. They are solutions that allow controlled linear and angular movement at each joint to accommodate not only for thermal expansion and contraction, but also building sway and creep. So how do flexible grooved couplings manage this? It’s essentially down to the design of their components. The dimensions of the pipe coupling housing key is narrower than the pipe groove, allowing room for movement. Furthermore, the width of the pipe coupling housing allows for pipe end separation, which in turn allows the grooved pipe joint to accommodate movement. Benefits of Grooved couplings There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small There are many benefits of grooved couplings, with space-saving being a key advantage on projects, both large and small. As many project managers and engineers know, saving on space can be the key to unlocking extra value above initial planning. Additionally, grooved couplings are perfectly placed to accommodate for piping movement, whereas welded joints that in their very nature are designed to be fixed in place, need to have an area of space to allow for a welded expansion loop or alternatively, enough space to allow the star-pattern tightening of a flanged flex connector. Saving time, money and labor Besides the savings on space, grooved connections offer contractors savings in three key areas: time, money and labor. The installation-ready design of Victaulic’s grooved couplings allow for an easier installation, meaning a process which might take 30 minutes through a welded solution for instance, can now take just five minutes. As any contractor will testify to, this is valuable time that can be used for other parts of the project. With a reduction in time comes savings in cost and labor. Naturally, less labor is used for the same job and in the case of grooved couplings, less skilled labor is required (in comparison to the high skill level needed for welded joints). It’s these aspects that will ultimately deliver contractors with valuable project savings. Grooved connections offer savings in three key areas: time, money and labor Mechanical riser solutions There are 3 ways to accommodate for thermal movement within risers using a grooved mechanical system: The first method is called top of riser free-floating method and involves installing rigid couplings on the riser and two flexible couplings on the horizontal adjacent piping at the top of the riser, which can reduce the need for riser clamps or other structural during installation and allows the system to move freely within the design tolerances. The second method involves working with grooved expansion loops that help to save up as much as 2/3rd of the size of welded U-shaped expansion loops and avoids forced welded pipe deflection. While welded expansion loops require eight welded joints to assemble, the forces exerted on the joint are far greater than those applied on a grooved expansion loop, and generate greater stress, which ultimately requires larger anchors and guides in order to direct the movement. The third method is working with grooved expansion joints instead of traditional in-line expansion joints, which typically have wear parts and manufacturer-recommended maintenance cycles of five years, which also poses problems due to riser accessibility once the construction is complete. Grooved expansion joints like the Victaulic Style 155 are maintenance-free for the life of the system. Importance of anchors In a system using only flexible joints, risers are installed with anchors at the top and bottom and the piping guided every other length to prevent angular deflection at the joints within the piping run. Anchors distribute the movement forces across the structure and also provide the important task of directing pipe movement. At the pipe anchor location, there will be no differential movement between the piping and the building structure, which forces the pipe to thermally expand or contract from that location. This allows the design engineer to control how and where the movement in a system occurs and to provide the best solution to accommodate that movement. A10 Grooved Riser Anchors upgraded A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market A good manufacturer will always listen to customer demand, especially in an evolving market. Off the back of strong feedback from contractors, Victaulic recently upgraded its A10 Grooved Riser Anchors to a standard product. With the primary functions of carrying the weights and forces that act downward to the base of the riser and connecting the riser to the rest of the structure, the anchor has been providing sturdy support for some of the tallest buildings around the world. Future trends for high-rise buildings One trend already taking place, and I expect to continue, is contractors bringing riser experts into the project at an earlier stage. It just seems to make logistical sense to operate in this fashion. it’s a more efficient use of time to collaborate early in the process. I believe contractors and engineers will seek assistance from companies such as us to help design blueprints together, working in tandem to produce the right solution. Vertical buildings are on the rise. For generations, people have been moving to urban areas, putting greater demand on housing residents and employees. Through the use of grooved coupling solutions as an alternative to traditional methods, contractors can benefit from greater flexibility, reliability, ease of installation and ultimately and most importantly, speed of the installation process.