Most Powerful CEOs of India Inc.

for the Year 2012
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Monday, July 16, 2012, 8:29 Feature Articles 1,149 views 16 comments

1. Ratan Naval Tata,Chairman,Tata Group
“I don’t believe in taking right decisions. I take decisions and then make them right“

Rank: 1 Also known as: India’s ‘most eligible bachelor’, even at 75 Theatre of Operations: IT, Communications, Engineering, Materials, Chemicals, Services, Consumer Products, Energy – all with global footprints Did you know that: Upon graduating, he turned down an offer from IBM on the advice of JRD Tata Started his career with: Tata Steel, on the shop floor Leadership style: Aloof and understated, but always on the ball Favourite Allies: His German Shepherds Thorn in his side: His connection with the 2G spectrum scam If he weren’t leading a $71 billion conglomerate, he’d be: Flying planes Family: Brother Jimmy, half-brother Noel and three half-sisters Latest project: Pouring $15 million into a project researching water as fuel Exit Strategy: Cyrus Pallonji Mistry will take charge from December 2012 Farewell Note: This will be RNT’s last appearance on CD’s ‘Most Powerful CEO’ list

2. Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries

the process will go on. the organization will go on. the $2billion home he’s built on Altamount Road. he heads the largest Indian private sector conglomerate. the late Dhirubhai Ambani Started his career with: Reliance Industries (RIL) Leadership style: Relationship-based. Also. Mumbai 3. “ Rank: 2 Theatre of Operations: Petroleum. Aditya Birla Group “Tough times don’t last. Kumar Mangalam Birla. owner of the second-richest sports club in the world (Mumbai Indians).“The organizational architecture is really that a centipede walks on hundred legs and one or two don’t count. So if I lose one or two legs. entrepreneurial Family: Husband to Nita. like his father. according to Forbes It’s in his genes: Thinks scale. textiles and retail Bragging rights: The second-richest man in Asia.Chairman. Anant and Isha Cool Friend: Anand Jain Big indulgence: Antilia. petrochemicals. father to Akash. tough people do“ . the growth will go on.

Wipro made hydrogenated cooking fat. ” Big bet that didn’t pay: Three years after appointing two CEOs to navigate Wipro. Bet that might pay: All recent announcements are headlined by his son and chief strategy officer Rishad Premji. It’s also an excellent way to get staff involved in the company’s operations” Rank: 4 Started his career with: Wipro. At that time.Rank: 3 Theatre of Operations: At 43.6% of his stake in the company worth about Rs 8. following the sudden demise of his father. Aditya Birla. Azim Hashim Premji . he took over as Chairman of the group after the sudden demise of his father. the Chairman of the $35 billion Aditya Birla Group. Wipro “As you get bigger. Ultratech Cement and Idea Cellular in his quiver First Steps: Scion of the Birla family. Sanjeev Goenka Preferred Gulp: Diet Coke Little Known Fact: He learnt how to shoot with a rifle three years ago and is now shooting with the camera When not working: Family and movies 4. the duo was suddenly removed and replaced. signaling a possible power shift Icon: JRD Tata Act of do-goodery: Transferred 8. .Chairman. has his hands full with a business that traverses almost every sector from retail to financial services and brands such as Hindalco. you have to delegate.646 crore to the Azim Premji Foundation. in 1995 Bragging Rights: At 28. but does not interfere with everyday operations of the various . whose reins he took after dropping out of Stanford at 21. This is the biggest act of individual philanthropy in India Leadership style: Knows every small detail of his businesses. he became the youngest Indian to chair a multi-billion dollar conglomerate and has successfully steered the highly diversified AV Birla ship through thick and thin Power Buddies: Ratan Tata.

Now reads it fortnightly because of time constraints. Often. straight out of B-school Bragging Rights: A regular fixture on Global ‘Most Powerful Women’ lists since 2005 Accolade: Conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2010 Leadership Style: Meticulous. Chairman. demands excellence As a child: Wanted to be an IAS Officer Little known fact: Used to read the Satyanarayan Katha every day. Stress buster: The latest Hindi movies with the family. children Aarti and Arjun 6. And the tone at the top must be integrity and value systems. father to Rishad and Tariq Little known fact: Wipro is the second-largest hydraulic cylinder company in the world When not working: Enjoys trekking and loves watching movies. Culture builds in an organization over a period of time. HDFC “You can’t manufacture culture. he often turns to his senior executives for recommendations Recent Accolade: Was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2011 5. you feel you are doing too much.“ . Deepak Parekh. Chanda Kochhar .“ Rank: 5 Started her career with: ICICI Bank. ICICI Bank “Demands do not go up or down – they are constantly there.independent business heads Family ties: Husband to Yasmeen. Family ties: Husband Deepak.Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

Larsen & Toubro “L&T is my hobby. AM Naik. bridge and Wimbledon Little known fact: Hosts one of Mumbai’s best-attended Christmas brunches 7. Peter Drucker Activism: Has been a vocal critic of the government. Chairman & Managing Director.“ Rank: 7 Theatre of Operations: A $11billion engineering and construction powerhouse that covers everything from nuclear power to switchgears . the rest is work.Rank: 6 Theatre of Operations: India’s leading home finance company First Job: Ernst & Young. writing two open letters on the governance deficit and policy paralysis in the past year itself Bitten By: Chocolate-covered biscuits Stress buster: Hindi music. New York Accolade: Padma Bhushan awardee in 2006 Personal Icons: Warren Buffet.

IT and timeshare resorts First Love: Mahindra majored in films and photography before getting his MBA from Harvard Bragging Rights: Turning around the scam-hit Satyam Computers after acquiring it three years ago Rocky Road: The company has had a less than successful track record with joint ventures over the years Culturally Connect: Behind India’s first Blues Festival and actively promotes theatre and sports as well Social Connect: One of India Inc’s most active CEOs on Twitter. with close to 5 lakh followers Notable Firsts: Mahindra Racing is the first Indian team to participate in the MotoGP Most likely to be seen: Training for the Mumbai marathon or indulging in his new hobby. Vice Chairman & Managing Director. Godrej Group . Been appointed director of IIM-A Hidden talent: Is a skilled artist Guilty pleasure: Desserts 8. Chairman. Mahindra Group “There is a degree of freedom that creates aspiration” Rank: 8 Theatre of Operations: A $12. a freedom fighter and schoolteacher Leadership Style: Works hard and expects everyone else to do so.First Job: Nestor Boilers Role model: His father.5 billion conglomerate spanning auto. sailing 9. Adi Godrej. Gujarat. Will not tolerate mediocrity Big Transition: Steps away from active management to overseeing long-term strategic initiatives Advocates: Meritocracy over seniority Diplomatic Coup: Honorary Consul General for Denmark Workaholic: Never took a day off for the first 21 years of his career Life outside L&T: Expanding his old school in Kharel. Anand G Mahindra.

They need to go out into the ecosystem. Chairman. also involved with several philanthropic activities Family Ties: Wife Parmeshwar. Kundapur Vaman Kamath.“ Rank: 9 Theatre of Operations: Has a footprint in almost all emerging economies Green Thumb: Developed a green business campus in Vikhroli. Mumbai covering 150 acres of mangroves. nurture the business and build it up“ . you have to be able to pick entrepreneurs very early and get them embedded into the business. two grandkids 10.“It is giving back to society and helping society get better so that your business ultimately flourishes even better in the long term. Nisa and Pirojsha. demonstrate their abilities. children Tanya. Set up the Soonabai Pirojsha Godrej Marine Ecology Center Cool Toys: A 60-foot Ferretti yacht Travel bug: Has been to over 70 countries and will try and fit in extensive sightseeing even if he’s on a work trip On weekends: Can be seen jet skiing or indulging in water sports with his grandchildren Powerful Friends: Anil Ambani Act of do-goodery: Key supporter of the World Wildlife Fund in India. Infosys Ltd. & Non-Executive Chairman of ICICI Bank “To build a successful business.

credit rating as well as handling general management positions Bragging Rights: In less than ten years. . venture capital. independent director of Houston-based oil services company Schlumberger Started his career with: In 1971 with ICICI in the Project Finance division and moved on to different departments to gather rich and varied experience. India’s largest private bank where he served as MD and CEO from 1996 to 2009. father to son Ajay and daughter Ajnya. also. KV Kamath has built so much trust around ICICI Bank that a large number of respondents in sundry banking-related surveys mistake it for a public sector undertaking. MD of Future Capital V Vaidyanathan and a host of others Power Buddies: Mukesh Ambani. NR Narayana Murty Family Ties: Husband to Rajalaxmi. KVK is known as a mentor par excellence having groomed the likes of the current MD & CEO of ICICI Bank Chanda Kocchar. which included setting up of new businesses. CEO of JP Morgan India Kalpana Morparia. grandfather to Nandan K Pai and Lakshman K Pai Preferred Gulp: The occasional single malt Little Known Fact: He’s a keen follower of Formula One Accolade: Conferred with Padma Bhushan in 2008. such as leasing. non-executive Chairman of ICICI Bank. MD & CEO of Axis Bank Shikha Sharma. the second-largest IT services company in India. Besides.Rank: 10 Theatre of Operations: KV Kamath wears many hats – Chairman of Infosys.