Bimlendra Jha (born September 8, 1967) is a corporate leader, turnaround specialist and now an entrepreneur with nearly 3 decades spent with the Tata Group. Most recently, he served as MD/CEO of Ambuja Cement. Prior to which he was CEO of Tata Steel UK. During the course of his tenure in Europe, Bimlendra was responsible for re-structuring several under-performing assets using his expertise in Theory of Constraints to turn them to profitability and eventually sell them off.
Bimlendra came into the limelight in the U.K with several high-profile restructuring deals such as rescue and sale of British Steel (erstwhile Long Products Europe business of TSE) to Greybull Capital. The deal saved an estimated 5000 direct jobs for the struggling entity.
Bimlendra was chosen to lead Tata Steel UK as its CEO in April 2016 to further restructure the business and stop it from bleeding a million pounds per day. In a £100-million deal, Bimlendra hived off the specialty steel business to Liberty House and launched a transformation program called Delivering our Future for performance improvement in Port Talbort and its linked supply chain in the U.K. Even as the business stopped bleeding and turned positive on EBIDTA, Bimlendra was famously quoted by BBC Wales, “whether you drown one feet in water or ten feet, you still drown”. This is when he helped negotiate with the unions, a change in Britain’s largest private pension scheme from defined benefits to defined contributions to de-risk the business, in a deal with the British Government that grabbed major headlines.
In March 2020, Bimlendra founded IgnitingMinds Guru Pvt. Ltd and Mechi Enterprise.
Bimlendra began his career at Tata Steel Limited as a Graduate Trainee in 1990. Early in his career, he held some key roles such as Chief of ASPIRE, Executive in Charge Tata Growth Shop, and Principle Executive officer to M.D. Tata Steel.
Tata Steel Europe
In 2013, Bimlendra moved to Europe and was appointed to the Executive Committee of the TSE to bring in fresh thinking at a strategic and tactical level by creating a role that combined Group Strategy and Supply Chain. The legacy of British Steel and Corus was a non-synergistic portfolio of products and businesses. Here, Bimlendra worked with Exco to shape portfolio restructuring options leading to possible strip focused JV with Thyssen Krupp Steel.
In mid-2015, with mounting losses tata steel was faced with a tough decision of closing down the long products business in Europe putting at rick 5000 Jobs. Bimlendra volunteered to turn around the business and find a buyer by the end of the year. He was subsequently appointed, Executive Chairman of Longs Steel Europe. He turned around the business, taking some tough calls such as closing down the Plate operations and Coke ovens. In a mere seven months, the business returned to profitability. It was then successfully transferred to Greybull Capital in a £1 deal and re-branded under the iconic British Steel name.
In the summer of 2016, the steel industry in the UK faced a major existential crisis with insolvency announced by two major steel players and Tata Steel in the UK losing more than a million pounds a day. This threatened more than 18000 jobs in the UK subsidiary (circa £4.5Bn turnover) and put a £15Bn pension fund at risk. Following the successful turnaround of British Steel, in April 2016, Bimlendra was offered the role of CEO TS-UK, to save the business from insolvency. Here, he worked with Employees, Trade Unions, Government and suppliers to execute a massive turn around and portfolio restructuring program without losing a single customer, in a process that saved over 8000 jobs. He also de-risked the UK business from the valuation vagaries of a pension fund that has been restructured without hurting employees or the scheme’s 130,000 pensioners.
Bimlendra returned to India in February 2019 as MD & CEO Ambuja Cements Ltd. In a short span of 1 year, it turned around the business to have the second-highest EBITDA in a decade. Bimlendra also Launched 6 new products, introduced a new project management technique to initiate and speed up a new greenfield integrated plant site, and reduce the shutdown time below industry standards by a significant margin. He also introduced a highly successful influence management program and sales force incentive scheme, during the course of which some Ambuja plants broke their own record several times over.
Training and Education
Bachelor of Technology (Glass & Ceramics) from Institute of Technology, BHU Varanasi 1990
Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, XLRI Jamshedpur 1995
General Management Program/Challenge of Leadership Program, CEDEP/INSEAD Fontainebleau 2002/2018
Certified Expert Supply Chain, Theory of Constraints 2005
Certified Master Black Belt Six Sigma, TPM, EVA 2004
Certified Assessor Tata Business Excellence Model (Also a Team Leader and Mentor) 1995 to date
Certified Assessor and Team Leader CII EXIM model based on EFQM
Board Member of Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization 2018 to date
Board member of Ambuja Cement Foundation March 2019-20 and One India BSC 2019-20
Chairman Mechi Foundation Trust 2013 to date
Past Chairman Kantilal Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Jamshedpur 2008-2013
Past Chairman Value Engineering Society, Jamshedpur 2010-2013
Past President Jamshedpur Chess Association 2011-2013
Past Board Member: Dhamra Port; Jamipol; Indian Steel Wire Products 2010-2013
Past Chairman Bearings Division 2010-2013