K. Pandiarajan

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K. Pandiarajan
K. Pandiarajan.jpg
K. Pandiarajan in Soosaiya Nagar, Chennai on 71st Independence Day of India.
Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture (Government of Tamil Nadu)
In office
Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa
O. Panneerselvam
Preceded by P. Benjamin
Succeeded by K. A. Sengottaiyan
Constituency Avadi
Personal details
Born (1959-04-26) 26 April 1959 (age 58)
Villampatti, Sivakasi, India
Political party Indian Election Symbol Two Leaves.png All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Other political
Bharatiya Janata Party
Indian Election Symbol Nagara.svg Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
Spouse(s) Hemalatha[1]
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[edit]

K. Pandiarajan was born on 26 April 1959 in a village near Sivakasi, Virudhunagar district.[2] 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.[citation needed]

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.[3]


After graduating from XLRI in 1984, he joined the Indian operations of an industrial gas multi-national BOC Group and later Deutsche Babcock.[3][4] In 1992,[3][5] 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.[6][7] In 2002, Ma Foi partnered with Editor, a Dutch head-hunter firm looking to expand their operations in West Asia and South-East Asia.[3] He sold majority of his stake in Ma Foi to Vedior in 2004.[8] 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.[9]

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.[1] The new company had got into an agreement with Randstad for using the brand Ma Foi for three years.[10] 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.[11] CIEL HR focuses on talent acquisition for companies and flex staffing using modern analytical tools.

Political career: 2000 - till date[edit]

Pandiarajan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2000, but later shifted to DMDK party founded by actor turned politician Vijaykanth.[12][13][14] He contested in the 2011 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly election and won from his Virdhunagar constituency with a margin of 21,286.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Pandiarajan lives in Chennai with his wife, Hemalatha. He was born near Sivakasi.[6] He has two children.


  1. ^ a b "Ma Foi To Diversy Its Business Beyond Staffing Solutions In India". sulekha.com. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  by Jayashankar Menon
  2. ^ "Thiru K. Pandiarajan Bio". hindustanpages.com. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Cover Story : Ma Foi SUCCESS". maduraimessenger.org. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  by Xavier Roderic Hoffman
  4. ^ "HR Conference 2011 - Speaker Bio K. Pandia Rajan". Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Competency Matrix as a tool for organisational development as a tool" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2012.  by J. Mathangi, Birla Institute of Management Technology
  6. ^ a b "An amazing story: From Rs 60,000 to Rs 435 crore!". Rediff. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "How Pandia Rajan built from scratch the country's largest human resource consulting firm--Ma Foi". Economic Times. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Vedior to use Ma Foi for Asian expansion". The Hindu. 10 July 2004. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Creating value is more important than playing a valuation game". The Hindu. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ma Foi founders start afresh". The Hindu. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Ma Foi founder return, launch analytics based HR services company". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "HR professional throws hat into poll ring". Sulekha News. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "MBA to MLA". financialexpress. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Ma Foi founder contests election". Expressbuzz. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "HR czar, corporate innovator, now a Tamil Nadu MLA". Indian Express. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  16. ^ Mariappan, Julie (16 February 2017). "31-member Palaniswami cabinet to be sworn in at 4.30pm". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  17. ^ http://www.ptinews.com/news/9000809_OPS-sworn-in-as-TN-deputy-CM--to-hold-finance-portfolio