Anand Kripalu is an Indian businessman who is known for being the Managing Director and Global CEO of Blackstone backed by the English Premier League.
Anand Kripalu was born on Thursday, 2 October 1958 (age 64 years; as of 2022) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. His zodiac sign is Libra. He did his initial schooling in London, because his father was posted there. When he was nine years old, he came to India with his father and took admission to St. Columba’s School, New Delhi. In an interview, he said that he found it difficult to get admission to a school in India because he could not speak Hindi properly. His classmates made fun of his accent in school. In 1970, he completed his 9th and 10th classes at the boarding school La Martiniere College, Lucknow because of his father’s posting there. He lived in the boarding school for one year, and later, shifted to his uncle’s house in Lucknow and completed his studies as a day scholar. In an interview, he talked about his boarding school and said,
It was a tough boarding school, run by a retired colonel from the army. Each of us was expected to behave like army cadets — marching for meals, the moment the person at the head table put down his knife and fork you had to put yours down too, even if you hadn’t finished.”
When he was a day scholar, he used to go to school on a cycle and travelled 13 km each way in the summers which taught him discipline and adaptability. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in electronics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras from 1975 to 1980. From 1981 to 1983, he pursued an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. In 2004, he pursued an Advanced Management Program at The Wharton School, Pennsylvania. Anand was born into a middle-class family where his family worked as government officials. His family was very strict which taught him two mantras— work extremely hard if you want to be successful and do it the right way.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Anand’s father’s name is not known, but he is a retired Brigadier.
Wife & Children
Anand is married to Sukanya Kripalu.
Anand Kripalu with his wife
In the initial days of his career, he worked in the sales department at DCM Data Products and sold computers there. He did not like working there, so he appeared in the Common Admission Test entrance exam and took admission to IIM Calcutta. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at IIM, Calcutta while he was pursuing an MBA. After he completed his studies at IIM Calcutta, he started working in the sales team at Ponds India. In 1983, he became part of the sales and marketing team at Hindustan Unilever, Mumbai. In 2004, he was appointed as the Managing director of Hindustan Unilever, Nairobi, Kenya. In 2005, he joined Cadbury, Mumbai as the Managing director. In 2008, he became the Asia President of Cadbury and left the company in 2010. In March 2010, he became the president of India and South East Asia of Mondelēz International, Mumbai. In 2007, he became the non-executive director of Marico Limited, Mumbai and worked there till 2017. In 2013, he was appointed as the Managing director and CEO of DIAGEO India. He was also a member of the Diageo Global Executive Committee. In 2014, he became the Chief Executive Officer of the liquor firm United Spirits. In March 2019, he was appointed as a member of the Board of Governors at the Indian Institute of Management Jammu and Kashmir. In October 2020, he was appointed as the Chairman of Royal Challengers Bangalore. In August 2021, he started working as the Managing Director and Global CEO of EPL Limited, Mumbai.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 2021: LifeTime Achievement Award at the IMA
Anand Kripalu wins LifeTime Achievement Award at the IMA
- In an interview, he said that when he was working in Hindustan Unilever, Mumbai, he used to travel by train to sell the products and drive by a cycle rickshaw to reach the station from the hotel.
- When he joined Hindustan Unilever, Nairobi, Kenya, he found it difficult to adjust to the company because people in the organization were not very comfortable working with him. They often said that why they needed an Indian to run the company because they thought Indians had taken over their business.
- He was responsible for the 25 per cent growth of Cadbury because before he joined, the growth of the company was very low. To save the company, he started to cut down promotional costs and after the company showed some improvement, the Cadbury dairy milk silk chocolate bar was released.
- In an interview, he said that when he was offered to work with DIAGEO, he was not fully convinced because it was a liquor company. He thought that if he worked with a liquor company after working with multi-national companies it would be a taint to his image. However, he joined the company because it was one of the leading companies at that time in India. While he was working in the company, he made some changes including appointing women to work in the alcohol business. According to him, there were no women working in the business when he joined. He faced some difficulties due to the government policies in the liquor business because he wanted to do a clean business and did not agree with the government rules that he felt were not right.
- In 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, his company Diageo India donated 5,00,000 litres of Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA) to the sanitiser industry. They also donated around 150,000 masks to five public health departments for doctors, nurses and caregivers, and Rs. 3 crore health insurance cover for bartenders in the Diageo World Class programme in India.
- In an interview, Kripalu said that he learned the importance of fitness after becoming the chairman of RCB. He said that learned a lot from Virat Kohli and never misses a workout. He also learned a lot about cricket from the cricketers. In an interview, he talked about his appointment as the chairman of RCB and said,
Royal Challengers Bangalore is an integral part of Diageo India and behind the scenes I have been part of the team’s journey for the past 6 years. As the new season starts, it’s going to be exciting new chapter to lead the team from the front along with Virat, Mike Hesson and Simon Katich and we look forward to playing bold. I would also like to thank Sanjeev for his tremendous contribution to RCB and Diageo and wish him luck for his new role.”
Anand Kripalu with Virat Kohli
- In an interview, he talked about his appointment as the Managing Director and Global CEO of EPL Limited and said,
I am excited to lead EPL, an extraordinary company with global leadership in its segments and a pioneer in innovation and sustainability. It is one of the most successful multi-national consumer companies headquartered out of India. I look forward to working closely with Blackstone, who have a strong record in the B2B2C space, the Board, and the talented and devoted employees of EPL. We are committed to creating value and delight for all our stakeholders – customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders.”
- According to a media report, he likes drinking Black Label whiskey and soda.