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Discriminatory treatment a setback for gender equality: Valli Arunachalam

Discriminatory treatment a setback for gender equality: Valli Arunachalam

Nuclear engineer Valli Arunachalam, eldest daughter of the late MV Murugappan, former executive chairman of the Rs 38,100-crore Murugappa Group, said she was prepared to wage a ‘long battle‘ to secure the rightful share due to her mother, sister and herself after the shareholders’ unanimously rejected her induction into the board of holding company Ambadi Investment. In an interview with ET, the 59-year old said she and her advisors are “weighing several options, including legal ones.”

It has been more than a week since the shareholders voted against your appointment onto the board of AIL. Has there been any communication from the Murugappa family?
No, there has been no communication from the family after the Ambadi AGM.

Have you tried to reach out to any members of the family?
No, I have not contacted any member of the extended family after the Ambadi AGM.

The family had said they were looking to settle the issue amicably. Do you see that happening now?
My appointment to the board would have been the first step to seek an amicable resolution, but once again, the family has lured us into thinking that a board seat was a possibility, only to unanimously vote against me. Coincidentally, it was also the first time that the Ambadi board has voted against a nominated board member. By denying me a board seat, they have discriminated against my family branch and denied us the visibility and control in the business which we had during my father’s lifetime. We will see if any communication is received from the family, and if they wish to discuss or attempt to resolve the issues. Until now, we have not even been told why they did not vote in my favour, so I do not have any expectations. I am not even waiting or expecting to receive any communication from the family. I am focused on taking all possible measures to secure my rights and justice.

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