Vinati Saraf Mutreja is an Indian businesswoman who joined her father’s business, Vinati Organic Ltd (VOL) (a chemical manufacturing company), in 2006. The earnings and profit revenues of VOL increased from Rs. 66 crores to Rs. 1,000 crores after Vinati took over her father’s business, and since then, she was in the limelight of the business world. Under the leadership of Vinati, VOL was listed as Asia’s 200 best under a Billion Dollar company by Forbes magazine. After 12 years of dedicated work at VOL, Vinati became the CEO & the Managing Director of the company.
Vinati Saraf Mutreja was born in 1984 (age 37 years; as of 2021). Vinati did executive education from IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland. She received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Finance, and General from The Wharton School, Pennsylvania in 2005. She did the Owner president Management program at Harvard Business School in 2019. Vinati Saraf Mutreja’s LinkedIn account
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Vinati’s father, Vinod Saraf, is the Chairman of Vinati Organics Ltd., and her mother is Kavita Saraf. Her sister Viral Saraf Mittal is a part of the management at Vinati Organics.
Husband & Children
Vinati Saraf Mutreja is a member of The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) & Young President Organization (YPO). According to Vinati, she joined her father’s business immediately after returning to India from Pennsylvania. Thereafter, she started learning the basic operations of her father’s business. In an interview, she said-
I started from the ground up spending time in different divisions and learning about different business functions.”
Vinati was given a challenging task by her father, Vinod Saraf, to convert an ATBS plant (a part of VOL company) from a loss-making to a world-class unit. This task was provided to Vinati to motivate her to work independently on the ATBS plant. In a conversation with a media house, Vinati narrated how ATBS turned into a profit-making unit in 2019 when she started working hard on it in 2002. She further stated that there were merely two organizations in the world that were manufacturing the same chemical product that the ATBS plant was manufacturing. She said-
We started the ATBS unit in 2002 and because we were not getting the right quality, we were thinking of shutting it down or selling it off. We were a small company then and had exhausted all our resources and expertise available. There are only two other companies making this product in the world. So we were in a fix since this was a niche market. But I managed to bring a consultant on board who helped streamline processes.”
When Vinati was working independently on the ATBS plant, she managed to connect and fasten long-term business relations and contracts with the global MNC’s. These MNC’s signed a long term sales contract with VOL company. Till 2006, ATBS was selling its products in the Indian market only, but now, about 75% of its sales dealings are derived from exports. In an interview, Vinati explained the reason how VOL had improved its productivity while cutting costs of production. She revealed that the best and most effective use of batch timings resulted in increased capacity with minimum funding. She said-
We focused on cutting costs and improving productivity by optimizing the batch timings. This resulted in increased capacity with minimal investment. There was also the considerable effort put in for improving the quality by engaging international R&D experts which paid off.”
In 2019, the ATBS unit became the biggest portion of the VOL company in manufacturing its products globally under the management policies of Vinati Saraf Mutreja. In an interview, Vinati indicated that the work capacity of the ATBS plant was boosted through improved and high-quality productivity and manufacturing strategies. She explained-
Better quality, higher productivity accompanied by annual contracts buoyed up sales and we started expanding capacity at regular intervals, usually pre-empting demand.”
In 2006, VOL had approximately RS. 20 Crores of market capitalization, which grew over Rs. 8000 Crores in 2019. In an interview, Vinati shared that she had the vision to increase the company’s turnover and to stretch its market potentiality globally. She said-
Our vision is to grow at 20-25 percent year-on-year, essentially double revenues in three years. We are still a very small company in the chemical space. Most mid-sized chemical companies have revenues of Rs 3,000/4,000 crore. We have better margins but need to increase our footprint since our existing products have limited market potential.”
On many renowned Indian Business TV News channels, Vinati has often seen giving investment advice to the investors.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 2019: Vinati Saraf Mutreja was chosen as the Outstanding Woman Business Leader for 2018 by the jury of The Economic Times Family Business Awards.
- 2019: She was also named in Forbes India W-Power Trailblazers in 2019, and in the same year, she was also listed on Economic Times Women ahead list.
- Vinati Saraf Mutreja had a normal middle-class upbringing. Focus on education was the primacy at her home.
- Vinati started accompanying her father to the companies meetings as a teenager. This exposure to the business world paved her way to pursue engineering in Applied Science and a Bachelor in Economics, Finance, Business studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Vinati joined her father’s business soon after returning to India in 2006 when she was just 22 years old.
- In 1991, Vinati’s family business held 26 per cent shares of VOL, which gradually increased to 74.01 per cent in 2019.
- According to Vinati, more Indian women should come forward to join the business world and contribute to the field of manufacturing in India and across the world. In a conversation with a media person, Vinati stated that we must motivate women to take up the engineering field and did not hesitate to join the business world. She said-
Women doesn’t see other women in this industry and are hence, hesitant to join. It is important to break this cycle so that when our daughters are in the workspace they don’t feel like a minority. Women bring in diversity and empathy and a different dimension to any discussion. We should encourage women to take up engineering and make our workspace environment more conducive for them to thrive.”
- In an interview, while talking about personal life issues, Vinati said that she was a lucky person that she had never faced the situation where she had to choose between family and career. She further added that she guided and directed the ATBS unit of the VOL company independently with the support of her family members. She said-
Most women I know give up work after having children. I enjoy my work and the faith our stakeholders have in me. This drives me to keep doing better.”
- In a conversation with a media house, Vinati was asked about the biggest hurdle and deterrent women faced in their career paths in India. She then replied that the self-inflicted bias was the biggest problem for women in pursuing their careers. She further added that it was the only reason many people in Indian society did not want to see women in senior leadership positions. She explained the facilities and equipment that her company was providing to its female employees. She said-
If we talk purely about the middle to upper-middle-class urban society most women take up a job after graduation. It is only at some point after starting a family that they succumb to the notion that they have chosen between having a career and having a family. This self-inflicted bias is the biggest deterrent to women rising in their careers and the reason why we don’t see many women in senior leadership. Apart from providing extended maternity leave, we provide flexible working hours to women in our organization. Simply by hiring more women than other factories we can make our environment more conducive to women. Finally, this can only change if men start taking more responsibility at home. This requires a cultural shift and our society will take some time to get there but we are moving in the right direction.”
- According to Vinati, she enjoys reading about green and clean chemistry. She takes pride in her excellent record in the environment, health, and safety works. She loves to come up with innovative processes to produce the chemicals at her manufacturing plants.
- According to Vinati, the most creative ideas came to her when she was in the office. She had learned to balance work and life through working experiences.
- In an interview, Vinati was asked how giant companies could improve gender diversity issues at the top-level management. Vinati explained that it was possible only through motivating and encouraging women to take up higher leadership positions and never quit their respective roles in the organization. However, quality time must be valued than quantity time in the companies. She said-
Most women leave the workforce at some point after having children. To encourage women to take higher leadership roles, companies need to demonstrate that quality time at work is more valued than quantity time. Providing flexible work hours and reduced emphasis on after-hours networking are some ways organizations can achieve this.”
- The success story of Vinati Saraf Mutreja in the business world has often covered by many renowned Indian magazines and tabloids.
- In her leisure time, Vinati adores reading books. Two of her favourites books are “Bottle of Lies: ‘Ranbaxy and the Dark Side of Indian Pharma’ by Dinesh Thakur and Katherine Eban and ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg.