K. Pandiarajan in Soosaiya Nagar, Chennai on 71st Independence Day of India.
|Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture (Government of Tamil Nadu)|
|Chief Minister||J. Jayalalithaa
|Preceded by||P. Benjamin|
|Succeeded by||K. A. Sengottaiyan|
26 April 1959 |
Villampatti, Sivakasi, India
|Political party||All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam|
|Bharatiya Janata Party
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
|Children||Suhaas (son) Sunila (daughter)|
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Alma mater||PSG College of Technology (BE)
XLRI Jamshedpur (MBA)
|Occupation||Businessman, Politician, Spokesperson|
K. Pandiarajan (born 26 April 1959) known as Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan is an Indian businessman and politician. He is the founder of Ma Foi Management Consultants Ltd, a human resource management company, and CIEL HR Services, another talent acquisition firm. He contested in the 2011 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election as a Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) candidate and won from his Virdhunagar constituency.Again he contested in the 2016 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election as a All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) candidate and won from his Avadi constituency.
Pandiarajan was appointed as Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare by Jayalalithaa on 29 August 2016. He remained in her cabinet until her death on 5 December 2016. He was immediately sworn into the same office by the new Chief Minister, O. Paneerselvam. He half-heartedly supported the appointment of V. K. Sasikala as General Secretary of AIADMK before deciding to support the Pannerselvam faction when Pannerselvam turned against Sasikala. He was relieved of his ministerial office when Edappadi K. Palanisamy became Chief Minister.
Early life and education
K. Pandiarajan was born on 26 April 1959 in a village near Sivakasi, Virudhunagar district. When Pandiarajan was three months old, he lost his father, a worker in a local match factory. He was brought up by his maternal grandparents.
He finished his schooling from the Sivakasi Hindu Nadar Victoria School, Sivakasi and in 1976, joined PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore for an undergraduate course in Engineering. After earning his BE (Hons) degree, Pandia Rajan enrolled for an MBA programme in Industrial Relations at Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, which he completed in 1984.
After graduating from XLRI in 1984, he joined the Indian operations of an industrial gas multi-national BOC Group and later Deutsche Babcock. In 1992, he co-founded Ma Foi Management Consultants along with his wife, to tap into opportunities arising out of the 1991 economic liberalisation policy in India. The initial focus of Ma Foi was placing middle-level and managerial people overseas, especially in the West Asia. In 2002, Ma Foi partnered with Editor, a Dutch head-hunter firm looking to expand their operations in West Asia and South-East Asia. He sold majority of his stake in Ma Foi to Vedior in 2004. In 2007, Dutch HR services firm Randstad acquired the operations of Ma Foi through its US$5.14 billion acquisition of Vedior. Pandiarajan became the Chairman of Randstad India.
On 5 April 2012, he announced the launch of a new venture focusing on management consulting and education space - Ma Foi Strategic Consultants Pvt. Ltd, with investments of over ₹ 25 crore in the first three years. The new company had got into an agreement with Randstad for using the brand Ma Foi for three years. Pandirajan, along with a few Ma Foi veterans, made his latest foray into the HR Services industry with the launch of CIEL HR Services in August 2015. CIEL HR focuses on talent acquisition for companies and flex staffing using modern analytical tools.
Political career: 2000 - till date
Pandiarajan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2000, but later shifted to DMDK party founded by actor turned politician Vijaykanth. He contested in the 2011 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election and won from his Virdhunagar constituency with a margin of 21,286. He switched loyalties to AIADMK in 2013 and won as a MLA from Avadi Constituency in 2016 Tamil Nadu assembly elections as an AIADMK candidate.
In February 2017, following the appointment of Edappadi K. Palaniswami as Chief Minister in place of O. Paneerselvam, K. A. Sengottaiyan replaced Pandiarajan as Minister for School Education. Pandiarajan was the only cabinet minister to have supported Paneerselvam during a party dispute in which V. K. Sasikala was being touted as a possible Chief Minister. The appointment of Sengottaiyan was the only change made to the cabinet by Palaniswami at that time.
On 21st August 2017, with the merger of AIADMK factions headed by Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam, Pandiarajan was again sworn in as a cabinet minister with portfolios of archaeology, Tamil language and Culture.
Pandiarajan lives in Chennai with his wife, Hemalatha. He was born near Sivakasi. He has two children.
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