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Ajay Dhumal , is an Indian business magnate, who is the Chairman, and Managing Director of K.P. Group, a conglomerate based in Mumbai, India. K.P. Group is at present operating in industries such as wind energy, solar energy, cyber security, cement manufacturing, infrastructure development, real estate, warehousing, salt manufacturing, and aquaculture activities.
In 2016, Institute of Economic Studies, felicitated him at an event held in Dubai, and the Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates awarded him the Udyog Ratan Award. K.P. Power, received a gold medal at the Indo-UAE Economic Cooperation in 2016.
Early life[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]
Ajay Dhumal was born on 16 July 1957, in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra to Shankarrao Dhumal & Shevanta Dhumal. Ajay attended the preeminent The Bishop's School (Pune). He is an alumnus of 3 colleges namely - Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, Government Law College, Mumbai, Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, Mumbai.
Business career[edit | hide | edit source]
After completing his jurisprudence, Ajay S. Dhumal, after a brief stint in Mumbai's real estate, decided to participate in the Govt. of India initiative, which proposed to encourage agricultural export by promoting aquaculture in the country. He participated in the tender that was floated by a Govt. of Maharashtra corporation, for privatizing 1200 acres of coastal land bank near Mumbai.
King Prawns Ltd. (KPL), one of the companies of the conglomerate K.P. Group, was formed to undertake prawn farming and salt manufacturing activities and it was the successful bidder in the said tender. Despite having mobilized and invested huge resources in developing the entire 1200 acres of land, and just when the commercial production was to commence, the Supreme Court of India passed a judgment banning prawn production activities in the country. The company despite receiving a massive setback on account of the Supreme Court order, took up a leading position in not only getting the court order stayed, but also persuaded the Govt. to introduce a new legislation by an act of Parliament to permit this activity. The company could restart its activities after more than 15 years, in 2012.
Looking to the potential of producing international grade salt in terms of chemical purity, K.P. Acqua was formed. The company has set up salt works in Gujarat and is producing 100,000 tons (100 million kg) of International grade salt naturally, comparable to salt produced using vacuum evaporation, thus saving millions of tons of water pumping and evaporation cost. According to a premier Govt. research institute an efficient salt works should produce 40 tons/acre. The company's salt works broke all records and produced around 200 tons/acre, by introducing innovative techniques of salt production, which not only involved study of the wind flow, but also included harvesting salt in the monsoon months, when all other salt works are shut down.
In the intervening period, K.P. Group was faced with huge crises of utilizing its vast assets created by developing the lands allotted to it for aquaculture purposes. Mr. Dhumal then decided to use the said infrastructure for wind energy projects. The company conceived of a plan to develop a 100 MW state-of-the-art wind energy project. It partnered with Tacke, a leading wind turbine manufacturer and a wholly owned subsidiary of ENRON, (USA). Unfortunately, the wind study did not confirm that the site would be top class windy site. Tacke therefore requested that since the company was entering Maharashtra for the first time, a top class site be acquired. K.P. Power which was supposed to be the subsidiary of King Prawns, was formed, to develop the project on the land owned by King Prawns However, since the land owned by King Prawns Ltd. (KPL) could not be developed for the wind energy project, K.P. Power had to independently acquire 600 acres of land in the best windy site in Dhule district in Maharashtra from Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
A world class project which broke all power generation records of Maharashtra was established in 2001. However, before the site could be fully exploited ENRON, sold Tacke to General Electric (GE). GE, however, did not have plans to immediately start projects in India as they wanted to cater to the US market. GE issued K.P. Power a letter of first refusal, looking to the positive role played by K.P. Power in ensuring and completing the project, which was to be jointly put up with Tacke, supporting ENRON's in its financial difficulties in the intervening period, and completing all the closing formalities for GE. K.P. Power still continues to support GE in maintaining its machines. Since GE did not have any plans to put up projects in India, K.P. Power partnered with Vestas, (Denmark) and completed the remaining project in 2006 in pursuance to the State Govt. policy declared in 2005. After completing these projects and honoring all its commitments made to its partners, the company discontinued to work as a wind energy project developer. However, in 2010 the ex-Managing Director (MD) of Vestas joined as the MD at Gamesa, and he insisted that K.P. Power should partner with them to put up wind energy projects in Maharashtra. K.P. Power then set up evacuation infrastructure for 350 MW and has commissioned over 200 MW of wind energy projects using Gamesa wind turbines.
Family[edit | hide | edit source]
Ajay Dhumal is married to Surekha Deshmukh (1986). They have 2 children.
Awards & Honors[edit | hide | edit source]
|Year of Award or Honor||Name of Award or Honor||Awarding Organization|
|2016||Udyog Ratan Award||Institute of Economic Studies|