Dr. Rajashri Ajith, a dynamic and accomplished management professional in the Kerala public sector, has returned to the Kerala Transport Development Finance Corporation Limited (KTDFC) as its Managing Director. She officially assumed this pivotal role on November 29, 2023, succeeding Mr. Biju Prabhakaran, IAS Secretary (Transport), Government of Kerala, CMD of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), and Chairman of KTDFC.
Known for her vibrant and dynamic personality, Dr. Rajashree Ajith is recognized as a turnaround management professional with nearly 30 years of high-level management experience in government administration. This return to KTDFC holds special significance in her professional journey, presenting a heartfelt homecoming to an organization that played a crucial role in her career. However, this time, she faces the formidable challenge of revitalizing KTDFC to its former glory, akin to nursing her ‘baby’ back to health while it’s on ventilator support.
Dr. Rajashree Ajith, a postgraduate in Management, Computer Science, and Human Resource Management, holds a doctoral degree in Management from the University of Kerala. She is also a Civil Engineering (B Tech) graduate from the same university. Notably, she became the youngest Managing Director of a public sector unit under the Government of Kerala at 28 when she assumed leadership at KTDFC.
During her tenure at KTDFC, Dr. Rajashree Ajith successfully expanded the corporation’s activities, introduced innovative revenue-generation schemes, and facilitated loans for vehicles, homes, construction, and personal needs. Under her leadership, KTDFC became a consistently profitable corporation, earning accolades as one of the top 15 performing corporations in the state. She spearheaded the successful BOT project ‘TransTowers’ and collaborated with KSRTC for joint ventures in the commercial development of bus terminals.
Following her impactful stint at KTDFC, Dr. Rajashree Ajith served as the Managing Director of Kerala State Centre for Advanced Printing & Training (C-apt, previously known as the Kerala State Audio Visual and Reprographic Centre (KSAVRC) under the Higher Education Department ) from 2008 to 2012. Until 2008, KSAVRC experienced continuous losses, but under her leadership, Dr. Rajashree Ajith successfully orchestrated a turnaround within a year. During her tenure at C-apt, the center underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving into a vibrant, financially sound, business-oriented entity with the wholehearted support of stakeholders.
Dr. Rajashree Ajith initiated numerous new programs and systems aimed at enhancing the center’s efficiency and promoting the welfare of its employees. She played a key role in establishing the Centre for Braille Studies at Shangumugham, Thiruvananthapuram. She oversaw the installation of a Multi-color Sheet-fed Offset Printing Machine from Mitsubishi, Japan. Additionally, she undertook and executed the printing of lottery tickets under the Security Printing Unit, along with handling confidential printing works.
In 2012, after a decade of dedicated service, Dr. Rajashree Ajith concluded her assignment at C-apt. Following her departure, the organization attained the status of a prestigious enterprise under the government of Kerala. C-apt continues its winning streak as a profitable Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), particularly thriving with the Kerala State Lottery printing project initiated during her tenure, which is still ongoing successfully.
She orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, transforming the organization from continuous losses to financial stability and business-oriented growth. Her initiatives included establishing the Centre for Braille Studies and implementing sophisticated printing projects.
In 2012, Dr. Rajashree Ajith was the Director of the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), restructuring its functions and activities. Under her leadership, KITTS achieved affiliation with UNWTO and membership in the UNWTO Knowledge Network, solidifying its position as a leading international tourism educational institute. She successfully linked KITTS with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, making it a nodal agency for implementing various programs.
As she embarks on the challenge of revitalizing KTDFC, Dr. Rajashree Ajith expresses optimism about turning around this vital financial institution within the next two years. Particularly noteworthy is the support of another accomplished management professional with excellent credentials in the Indian Administrative Service, Mr. Biju Prabharakar IAS, who serves as the Managing Director of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Chairman of KTDFC. His collaboration is expected to fortify and lead the implementation of corrective measures and administrative reforms at KTDFC.
Dr. Rajashree Ajith’s proven track record as a turnaround management professional instills confidence in her ability to lead KTDFC to new heights. This mission is crucial for KSRTC, the public transport sector, and the stakeholders who have entrusted the organization for many years.
According to a well-known management expert, the successful turnaround of KTDFC alone may not be sufficient at this critical juncture. A robust comeback for KSRTC is equally imperative, and this can be achieved through a symbiotic relationship between these two mega Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Kerala government. Recently, the Kerala government has taken a proactive step by appointing four young Kerala Administrative Officers as regional heads of KSRTC, aiming to rescue the ailing public transport entity in the state.
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