Women rated better leaders than men by those who worked with them: Valli Arunachalam

By: |
June 10, 2021 3:05 AM

In an exclusive chat with FE, Valli said the Covid -19 crisis had fundamentally changed the way businesses had been operating and there was a need to embrace the new normal.

Valli ArunachalamWomen outscored men in 13 of the 19 competencies that comprised overall leadership effectiveness, Valli Arunachalam said.

Valli Arunachalam, ‘karta’ of MV Murugappan Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) who has dragged the Murugappa family members to NCLT over the denial of a board seat in the holding company Ambadi Investments (AIL) to her, has said businesses need to adapt to the new normal of incorporating women’s voices in dealing with crisis in the Covid pandemic era, as they are capable of handling it more efficiently than their male counterparts.

In an exclusive chat with FE, Valli said the Covid -19 crisis had fundamentally changed the way businesses had been operating and there was a need to embrace the new normal.

She said, according to a study published in the December 2020 Harvard Business Review, women were rated significantly better leaders than men by those who worked with them. The gap widened in the pandemic, possibly indicating that women tend to perform better in a crisis.

Women outscored men in 13 of the 19 competencies that comprised overall leadership effectiveness, she said.

Valli, fighting the gender bias at the over `38,000-crore Murugappa Group’s holding company AIL, said she came to India in the beginning of the second Covid wave and though her case at the Chennai NCLT was still pending, she was in ‘action mode’ dealing with women and girls empowerment issues.

She said data had shown that women had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, their livelihood had been hit badly and many had been thrown into disarray.

She is working to empower women impacted by the pandemic under her father’s foundation. “ I am fighting for equality, passionate about it, and 100% committed to the cause,” she said.She is reaching out to them and also looking for partnership with other foundations to help the women in distress.

About the update on the NCLT case, she said: “As far as the matter was concerned, it is in the NCLT and it is sub-judice. I won’t be able to tell you anything, except those facts that are already in the public domain. There was a hearing scheduled on April 23, but it was re-posted to July 1, due to Covid pandemic.”

The MVM family — comprising Valli, her sister and their mother — moved the Chennai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), seeking waiver of the minimum 10% shareholding required to ensure the alleged oppression and mismanagement case against AIL. It also sought board representation or alternately that its 8.21% stake in AIL be bought out.

Referring to her moving NCLT, she said legal battles are not new to her as she has been fighting the issue for almost two years now. “Our preference was to settle the matter amicably, and we ensured that no stone is unturned to resolve it, but unfortunately the family was unwilling to come to the table and settle the issue. In the course, we made several proposals, but at the end of the day, we had no choice but to move NCLT, ” she said.

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