C Sivasankaran is former Aircel Chief.Read Sivasankaran’s Profile and Biography here.
His early life is disputed, while some claim he was born to a school teacher, others say that his father was a businessman himself whose business Siva managed later on before he launched his own business plans in action.
Siva, as he is popularly known is 54 years old.He has a rockstar approach to life with private jets, yachts and American Rapper M.C. Hammer’s residence in California being his prized possessions.
Stepping Stone and Claim to Fame:
According to some accounts, he started out as a Fabrication contractor with MRL.He then acquired Sterling Computers from Robert Amritraj, Father of famous Tennis player, Vijay Amritraj.In 1987, he brought a revolution in Personal Computers by pricing them at a meagre sum of Rs.33000 (going by the price standard of that time).Siva PC, as they were known, got him President’s award twice in 1987 and 1988.He became fourth largest computer manufacturer and even started exporting them abroad.
Nothing describes his business strategy as best as Acquire>Earn>Exit.He being a maverick has a pencheant for acquiring businesses across the spectrum and then selling them at a premium.RPG Cellular, Barista, Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank and Best & Crompton are some of the brands, he acquired a stake in and sold them at a premium.
With the success of Siva PC, Sterling Computers became Siva group and telecom got a pioneer in Sivasankaran.He acquired telecom licenses for Delhi,Haryana,Rajasthan,UP (East) and Tamil Nadu in early 1990s and finally in 1997, Aircel was launched as a telephony brand based out of Chennai.With many firsts to his credit, he was the first to start Dishnet DSL service which he later sold to VSNL.As the official website claims, Siva Group is today a “US$ 3 billion conglomerate, with operations in oil palm, commodities trading [minerals], agro exports, shipping and logistics, wind energy, realty & hospitality and education/e-learning.”
High Flying Sivasankaran
He is one of the only 50 members of Dragon Blaze, a luxary lifestyle Co. based in Malaysia which has given him right to use their fleet of private jets at his back and call.This is in addition to three private jets worth USD 80 millions he himself owns.In response to a question by ‘The New paper’, pointing out his high flying ways, he said, “There’s also the fancy factor. If I invite someone to my jet, I’m sure he or she will cancel all appointments to meet me.”Thus one of the reasons he maintains private jets for his service is to better his business prospects.
Reportedly Aircel was sold to Maxis and Appolo Group at the behest of Maran brothers of Kalaignar TV who coerced Siva to sell it off to them.In return, Maran brothers got a kickback in the form of sale of their TV channel’s shares at a highly inflated price.CBI is looking into the matter.Sivasankaran has alleged that Dayanidhi Maran forced him to sell Aircel by denying him licences in 2006.
In a related case, ED has booked Sivasanakarn in 2G Spectrum case for allegedly funding S Tel through backdoor channels and later buying it when it the telco got licenses to operate.