Babasaheb Neelkanth Kalyani is an Indian businessman who served as the chairman and managing director of Bharat Forge, the flagship company of the Kalyani Group and the world’s second-largest forgings manufacturer after ThyssenKrupp of Germany.
Early life and education
Babasaheb Kalyani was born in a Lingayat family on 7 January 1949 to Sulochana and Neelakanth Kalyani, a Pune-based technocrat and maker of auto components. He completed his high school from Rashtriya Military School Belgaum/Belgavi, formerly King George Royal Indian Military College. He attended BITS Pilani, from where he earned a BE(Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering in 1970, and later Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned an MS degree.
Baba Kalyani joined Bharat Forge in 1972 when the company’s annual turnover was about US $1.3 million; it was then a global company with 11 manufacturing facilities spread across India, USA, Germany, Sweden, and China.
Kalyani pioneered the export of automobile components from India to China in 2002. Bharat Forge was the country’s largest exporter of automotive components for eight consecutive years, with exports contributing almost 50% to total sales. Every second heavy truck manufactured in USA runs on a “Made by Bharat Forge, India” front axle beam. Bharat Forge’s global customer base comprises 38 automobile manufacturers besides several tier suppliers to the industry.
He is the Founder Chairman of Pratham Pune Education Foundation, an NGO that is engaged in providing primary education to children belonging to under-privileged sections of the local community. Since its inception in 2000, Pratham Pune has made a difference in the lives of over 100,000 children in Pune society. Kalyani is also providing free technical and vocational training to rural youth at a government Industrial Training Institute Taluka in Pune district that is being run as a Public-Private partnership, a model being replicated in other parts of the country. Kalyani also supports various other NGOs and charitable institutes engaged in education and assisting the disadvantaged and needy.
To contribute to a clean and emission-free environment, Kalyani set up Kenersys Limited to manufacture various energy-efficient wind turbines for domestic and international markets. The company also has its own wind turbines in Maharashtra which generate “green energy” for the group’s manufacturing operations. He is also engaged in developing solar energy equipment for the non-conventional energy sector. In a joint venture with KPIT Cummins, Bharat Forge is developing a hybrid solution that would contribute in the country being able to meet its vehicular emission targets.
In SKF board of directors member since 2011.
Kalyani received the Indian government’s Padma Bhushan award for contributions to Trade and Industry, and was made Commander First Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by the Swedish government in recognition of his contribution in furthering trade and business cooperation between Sweden and India. Other awards include Global Economy Prize 2009 for Business by Kiel Institute, German Businessman of the Year-2006 by Business India Magazine, Entrepreneur of the Year 2005 for Manufacturing by Ernst & Young, and CEO of the Year 2004 by the Business Standard group.
On February 19, 2015, The Kalyani Group has announced a joint venture with Rafael Advanced Defence System of Israel. This joint venture company will be based in India.
He is the founding chairman of Pratham Pune Education Foundation, a charity that provides primary education for underprivileged children.