He is the MD & CEO of Manappuram Finance Ltd., one of India’s leading non-banking financial companies (NBFC) and the pioneer of the institutionalised model of the gold loans business. Mr. Nandakumar took over the reins of a single branch family business in 1986, and over the next three decades presided over its growth and transformation into a financial sector powerhouse. His vision, values and leadership were instrumental in scripting this story that today touches millions of lives in India.
Manappuram’s origins go back to 1949 when it was founded by the late V.C. Padmanabhan, father of Mr. Nandakumar. In those days, the firm was into money lending, and pawnbroking carried out on a modest scale at Valapad, a backward coastal village in Thrissur district of Kerala. After taking over in 1986 (the year his father expired), Mr. Nandakumar soon set about expanding the business in line with his ambitions and vision.
In 1992, he incorporated Manappuram Finance Ltd., and within three years (in 1995) managed to get the company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Since then, he has led from the front to transform Manappuram Finance Ltd. into a leading NBFC present across India with 4,637 branches in 28 states and UTs, with Assets under management (AUM) of about ₹27,224 crore, (nearly US$ 4 billion) and a workforce of over 30,000.
In recent years, Mr. Nandakumar has resolutely steered the company’s diversification into microfinance, home loans, vehicle finance, SME and personal lending to reshape the company into a full-spectrum NBFC. Today, about 30 per cent of the company’s total business comes from the non-gold side.
Mr. Nandakumar’s achievements in business have earned him national recognition. On May 26, 2018, a special issue of the Business World magazine profiled him as one among 40 of India’s most valuable CEOs. Besides, Manappuram Finance Ltd. has emerged as one of the leading wealth creators in the Indian stock market. In December 2019, the Economic Times newspaper published the ET500 list of Top Wealth Creators of 2019 with Manappuram Finance Ltd. as the chart topper.
Other than the focus on business, the cause of the wider community is central to his vision. He established the Manappuram Foundation at Valapad in 2009 to drive the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme of the Manappuram group, even before the Companies Act made it mandatory. Today, the Manappuram Foundation oversees a wide range of projects in education, health care, and overall development of the rural communities.
Mr. V.P. Nandakumar was born in 1954, holds a post-graduate degree in science and additional qualifications in Banking and Foreign Trade. He is a managing committee member of leading trade and industry associations such as FICCI, Assocham and FIDC. In January 2019, he was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. In July 2019, he was elected as an International Director of the Association of Lions Clubs International at its Milan (Italy) convention.