Anu Aga (born 1942) is an Indian billionaire businesswoman and social worker who led Thermax, an energy and environment engineering business, as its chairperson from 1996 to 2004. She had figured among the eight richest Indian women, and in 2007 was part of 40 Richest Indians by net worth according to Forbes magazine. She was awarded with the Mumbai Women of the Decade Achievers Award by ALL Ladies League, the all ladies wing of ASSOCHAM.
After retiring from Thermax, she took to social work, and in 2010 she was awarded the Padma Shri for Social Work by the Government of India. She is currently Chairperson of Teach For India. She was nominated to Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Indian Parliament on 26 April 2012, by President Pratibha Patil.
Early life and education
She graduated with a B.A. in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and with a post graduation in medical and psychiatric social work from the prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She had also been a Fulbright Scholar and studied in the United States for four months.
Anu started her career in Thermax in 1985 and later headed its human resources division from 1991 to 1996. After the death of husband, Rohinton Aga, she took over as Chairperson of Thermax, retiring in 2004 and succeeded by her daughter and company vice-chairperson, Meher Pudumjee. Anu has since remained on company’s board of directors, and involved with social work.
As a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha she served on the following committees
- Member, Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice (May 2012 – May 2014) and (Sept. 2014 – Present)
- Member, Parliamentary Forum on Children (Aug. 2012 – May 2014)
- Member, Committee on Empowerment of Women (Sept. 2012 – Sept. 2013)
- Member, Committee on Commerce (Aug. – Dec. 2012)
Mumbai Women of the Decade Achievers Award Anu Aga
Anu was married to Rohinton Aga, a graduate from the Harvard Business School and gave birth to daughter Meher and son Kurush. Rohinton died in 1996 of a massive stroke, and a little over a year later, her son Kurush died at the age of 25 years. Today, Arnavaz ‘Anu’ Aga lives in Pune, Maharashtra.
Her daughter, Meher Pudumjee is the current Chairperson of Thermax, taking over from her mother in 2004. She is a post-graduate in chemical engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London and joined Thermax in September 1990, and is also a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry‘s (CII) Family Business Forum and the Young Indians (YI).