Ashwin Muthiah embodies the spirit of modern-day, borderless entrepreneurship. He serves as the Founder and Chairman of AM International. Headquartered in Singapore, it is a diversified multinational group of companies with a federated operating architecture. Trusted by millions of customers for over three decades, today, many of the group’s businesses are market leaders with footprints across India, South East Asia and UK.
Ashwin firmly believes in building businesses that are trusted by society. Today, all the businesses demonstrate a long-term, consistent strategy aimed at delivering business growth while building ethical stakeholder relationships. A firm yet principled businessman, his belief in building businesses that compete in a fair manner based on their superior strategy, products and services is paramount to creating long-term value.
Scion of a renowned family of philanthropists and industrialists, Ashwin is a third-generation business leader who has led the group since 2001. After completing his post-graduation in management studies he gained business knowledge in the family enterprise.The group launched India’s first motor scooter and today offers products ranging from soda ash to fertilizers to specialized medical instruments. However, Ashwin observed that the companies needed focus. He reckoned that consolidating the businesses under a single platform would help establish synergies, boost financial strength and bring accountability for promoting sustainable growth.Ashwin recognized that re-orienting the group businesses under AM International was the strategic way forward to preserve his family’s legacy in the new millennium. Ashwin’s passion and strategic business acumen acted as the catalyst for a phenomenal transformation.
Simple living and high thinking
Ashwin’s philosophy is best described as “sustainable growth with measured risk taking”. In his view, fiscal prudence and continuous innovation are the driving forces for sustainable growth in any industry. Thus, consolidating different businesses under the AM International platform has created a nimble and untangled holding structure that invests with conviction to unlock value.
Today, every company in the group is focused on creating sustainable business models that are agile and can adapt, change and grow in the long term in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.
Ashwin’s appointment as Consul General Ad Honorum for The Philippines in 1993 and earlier membership of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) recognizes his stature as a respected business leader.
Tradition and technology in co-existence
Ashwin started a new phase of globalization, working with strategic stakeholders, acquiring assets, building a professional leadership team and introducing technology. This led to significant value creation and business sustainability. He helped strike the perfect balance between traditional business practices and contemporary technology-driven growth.
As the culture of innovation and reinvention gets institutionalized within each business, AM International is emerging as a beacon of progressive management alongside ethical corporate governance.
A businessman with a heart
Targeted action has the potential to create massive impact. This philosophy permeates not only the corporate culture but also Ashwin’s philanthropic efforts under the AM Foundation. It has identified water scarcity and water contamination as two of the most critical challenges facing the world in general and India in particular. The foundation’s CSR initiatives are focused on providing clean drinking water, preventing water contamination and solving the sanitation crisis. It currently works with local communities in both urban and rural areas in South India to build, adopt and sustain ecological toilets.
Under Ashwin’s leadership, the AM Foundation works and explores partnerships with charitable institutions across the globe to bring clean drinking water and prevent contamination to remote parts of India, near to the company’s various manufacturing plants. Its active research collaborations with reputed global technology providers is helping in providing ecological toilets that turn what is normally seen as waste into a safe compost and fertiliser. With leading Indian scientific institutions, the AM Foundation is working on innovative solutions to address the water scarcity problem.
The foundation believes providing sanitation solutions are stepping-stones between education, health, security and wellbeing for entire families who come from underprivileged strata of the society.
Ashwin is a trustee of the Saigon Chettiars’ Temple Trust in Singapore that promotes ancient history, culture and traditions.
Embodying pragmatic thought leadership and robust corporate expansion, Ashwin has a unique management style of collaborative consensus. His deep knowledge blended with non-negotiable ethical behavior has underpinned the group’s success.
Ashwin lives in Singapore with his wife Valli and two daughters, Devaki and Alagu. He divides his time between Singapore, India, and UK for business. A travel and fitness enthusiast, he is also a connoisseur of good food. He enjoys listening to music and spending quality time with his family. An alumnus of the famous Loyola College, Chennai, he played league cricket and polo in his early days.
Today, Ashwin stands as a testament to the power of global entrepreneurial citizenship.