India’s Inspirational Leaders

Atul Ruia, Jt. Managing Director, The Pheonix Mills Limited

Atul Ruia was born to be a prodigy in the Indian Retail Industry. He is the chairman of The Phoenix Mills Limited which is one of the leading retail led real estate companies in India. The company has established its presence in 7 major cities with different kinds of projects such as residential projects, hospitality projects, commercial projects, and retail projects.

It is said that” Our hardest times often lead to our greatest moments of life.” Atul’s story can be related to this saying, his father Mr. Ashok kumar headed Phoenix in the 90s, he was a textile tycoon back then but due to the continuation of textile workers strike for a long time and increase in the cost of operating a mill inside the city, led to the business dissolution. But this was not the end of The Phoenix Mills Ltd, a decade later, Atul reconstructed the mill into a mall “High Street Phoenix” which is one of the Mumbai’s first mall. This transformation of the mill into a mall drove Atul’s name into the Forbes Billionaires List for the first time.

Sankey Prasad, FRICS, Chairman & Managing Director | India, Colliers International

With over 35 years of real estate experience, Sankey has played an instrumental role in delivering numerous landmark real-estate projects across India and abroad. He has worked in various capacities in the real estate sector across India, UK, Africa & the Middle East. Sankey is a highly respected industry leader and is an inspiration and a role model to many young entrepreneurs. He believes in leading from front and helped to create high-performing teams that delivered some of the most complex and challenging projects for investors, developers and occupiers of real estate.

A qualified civil engineer, Sankey has won numerous accolades, both in India and internationally, for his contribution to the real estate sector, including “Most Promising Entrepreneur India 2016” by the Economic Times to name a few.

A leader who inspires confidence, it is his integrity to do what’s right even at a personal cost that enables him to focus on people. A firm believer in empowering people and values relationship above business. His courage in surviving the challenges makes him a leader one can rely on to provide game changing solutions. Sankey attributes his success to his dynamic team of professionals and invests time and efforts in mentoring and creating future leaders.

Mandeep Singh, CEO and Executive Director, JSL Lifestyle Limited

Mandeep Singh is a C-level executive with an expertise of 28 years in providing strategic direction and disruptive business models for globally renowned companies and local brands in domestic and international markets. He is a Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of JSL Lifestyle Limited, a subsidiary of Jindal Stainless (Hisar) Limited.
At JSLL he oversees and plans strategic leadership to drive the business of various verticals of JSLL along with Home-ware & Home-spaces, SS Plumbing Solutions, Mobility Projects, Value Engineering solutions (OEM Solutions), and Infrastructure projects

Harsha Solanki, Managing Director Infobip India, Srilanka, Bangladesh and Nepal

Harsha Solanki is a proficient professional with an experience of over 16 years in the industry. She is the Managing Director at Infobip, supervising India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Harsha is an alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, from where she completed her PGDM in telecommunications & IT Management. She is a computer science graduate from Fergusson College. Harsha’s expertise in the Application to Person (A2P) messaging space has been proven by her eminent track record.

Harsha commenced her career as a manager of marketing & sales at Starcorp in 2005, she then joined Smart Wireless Pvt Ltd. as Senior Manager of marketing and sales in 2006 and before joining Infobip, her last venture was Bsmart Tech Pvt. Ltd as Country Head. Harsha joined as the Managing Director- India at Infobip in 2017. Her work at Infobip is noteworthy. She quadrupled the turnover of the enterprise in the last four years. She is an influential leader with a vision of building Infobip as an engineering mitochondrion with its benchmark-defining CPaaS infrastructure and an innovation-centric perspective. She is presently working on strengthening the company’s leadership position by channelizing the demand of the ‘New Normal’ which will contribute to the company’s growth making headway in being one of the largest IT companies in Europe.

Aalok Kumar, President and CEO, NEC Corporation India

Aalok Kumar is the President and CEO of NEC Corporation India. An alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad from where he pursued his MBA, Aalok graduated from St. Stephens College, Delhi University.

Aalok’s illustrious career spans over 26 years wherein he has provided strategic direction to globally renowned brands in Indian and international markets including Japan, APAC, and EMEA. He started his career as a sales manager at Castrol India Ltd back in 1995. He then joined the global conglomerate General Electric in 2000 and moved on to become Head – Products after freelancing for about a year. Following this, he joined ABN Amro Bank as a VP in the unsecured lending business. Aalok re-joined GE Capital in 2005 where he led several leadership positions ranging from VP – Marketing for Asian region to CEO for Singapore market and eventually taking up the role of CMO & Head, Strategic Initiatives, GE Capital International for EMEA and APAC and Chief Strategy Officer for Japan over the course of a decade.

Aalok’s journey with NEC began in March 2020 as he took up the mantle as the President and CEO at NEC Corporation India, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation, Japan. Aalok is responsible for leading and expanding NEC India’s business offerings in India and global markets.

Samir Modi, Founder & Managing Director, Modicare Limited

Samir Modi, Founder and Managing Director at Modicare Limited, is an intuitive entrepreneur, constantly striving to bring new and radical ideas to life. He is also the Executive Director of Modi Enterprises, a Rs 10,000 crore conglomerate, founded by his grandfather Rai Bahadur Gujarmal Modi in 1933.

An alumnus of the famed Harvard Business School, Mr. Samir Modi’s stint in US has given him a global perspective and a multicultural approach to work. During his tenure the success of Indians there and worldwide amazed him. Contrary to this he saw the Indians struggling in their own country. This led him to believe that the only way to replicate the success in India was through financial independence and that the major roadblock was capital investment. He recognised the immense potential of Direct Selling and decide to launch his own direct selling company.

Continuing his family’s tradition of nation building at the mere age of 25, Mr. Modi launched India’s first Direct Selling Company, Modicare in March 1996, with the vision of giving ‘Freedom’ to the every Indian. Today, Modicare is one of the leading direct selling companies in India and is changing the lives of lakhs of Indians. The Modicare Azadi Movement is creating a revolution and lakhs of people are joining Modicare every month.

K. E. Ranganathan, Managing Director Parryware Roca

K E Ranganathan, is a profound professional with an expertise of more than 35 years in finance, accounting, business planning and strategy marketing & sales. Mr. Ranganathan is the Managing Director of Roca Parryware India. He has held administrative position in various renowned companies, namely Murugappa Group & TVS Group.

Mr. Ranganathan started his journey at Murugappa Group in the year 1994 as the Head of Finance for Parryware division. He later started overseeing the operations of Sales & Distribution division. Under his leadership, he bought a new frame of mind by reconstructing and enhancing the prime processes and focusing on customer. His result-oriented style has led to the sales growth at CAGR of 25%. Mr. Ranganathan also led Parryware business as the Chief Executive Officer in 2005 and played a key role in transforming the business into a Joint Venture company with Roca Spain and the subsequent acquisition of Parryware by Roca Spain.

Co-Founder at Mamaearth

She is an artist, an entrepreneur, a corporate trainer, and a great mompreneur. She is Ghazal Alagh the co-founder and Chief Mama of Mamaearth, which is Asia’s 1st Brand with MadeSafe Certified Products. A brand that offers 100% toxin-free and natural baby care, skincare, and hair care products. Her motivation behind establishing Mamaearth was her passion for making early parenting, stress-free. At Mamaearth, she is also responsible for product development and community management. She works closely with a large number of consumers to create product lines that help them with the problem that they face on a regular daily basis. Ghazal’s prime objective is to provide everyone with toxin-free products, so this world can be a better and a safer place. She believes that toxin-free products benefit us in the long run to sustain a balanced lifestyle.

Ghazal is passionate about art and her work speaks about her unique style. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has also been recognized amongst Top 10 Women Artists in India. Ghazal’s unique and diversified skill set has helped Mamaearth to stand out of the crowd

Abhishek Goel, CEO and Co-founder at Cactus Communications

Abhishek Goel is an entrepreneur, a meditator, most importantly he is a visionary who redefined scholarly communication. He is the CEO and Co-founder of Cactus Communications. He started this company along with his brother, with a vision of providing high-quality English editing services in Japan in 2002. Today CACTUS is recognized globally and is connecting the researcher community around the globe.

Abhishek’s role at CACTUS is significant. He established, developed, and has been amplifying the impact of CACTUS globally. He built an organization that revolutionized global scientific communication. By collaborating with researchers, universities, publishers, societies, and life science organizations along with AI and hi-tech, he strives to make a difference for publishers and researchers. In 2017 he was recognized and received the “Entrepreneur of the year award” by Ascent foundation.

Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & MD, Uflex Ltd.

Ashok Chaturvedi is the Chairman and Managing Director of UFlex Ltd. UFlex is an industry marvel, which began as a very small manufacturing unit in 1983 and today has a gross turnover of USD 1 Billion with a bunch of successful business endeavors. It is a leading business conglomerate with its presence across the value chain of flexible packaging comprising of bi-axially oriented plastic films, chemicals, packaging machines, rotogravure printing cylinders, aseptic liquid packaging, converting, hi-tech brand protection, anti-counterfeiting solutions, and holography. Ashok is a first generation visionary entrepreneur and the founder of UFlex Group. Being the architect of the group’s vision and its business strategy, Ashok has built a global presence with manufacturing stations in India, Mexico, the USA, Poland, Egypt, and UAE. Today under his leadership, UFlex is making headway as India’s largest company and a global leader in flexible packaging materials and solutions, serving Fortune 500 companies; and its products are sold in over 150 countries worldwide.

Hadi Teherani, Principal, Hadi Teherani India

Hadi Teherani is a globally renowned architect and a product designer. Today, many iconic buildings around the world can be credited to his creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Most of these buildings are landmarks in the skylines of cities around the world including Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Moscow, Bangalore, Mumbai and more. To name a few like Dancing Towers-Hamburg, Swiss Re-Munich, Crane Houses – Cologne, Ice Train Station-Frankfurt Airport, Twin Towers-Dubai, Zayed University- Abu Dhabi, Lodha Altamount-Mumbai, Puravankara Atmosphere-Bangalore.

Born in Teheran, he studied in Braunschweig-Germany, taught at Aachen’s Technical University before setting up BRT Archtekten along with his partners Bothe and Ritcher in1990. Later he founded his own design company as Hadi Teherani, AG in 2003 headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Hadi Teherani has studios in multiple global locations – Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Abu Dhabi, Teheran and Bangalore.

Hadi’s designs have the dominance of modern and contemporary art and style that is diligently integrated with the site and local context. His versatility in building design and his flare as a product designer enables him to meticulously develop designs from inside out creating synergistic functional spaces within the dominant building form. The product catalog designed by him includes Mont Blanc Cuff Links, Thonet conference table, Water Knoll leather seating furniture, Poggenpohl modular kitchen, Zumtobel/Steng light fixtures, showrooms and flagship stores for Kiton and more

Sanjiv Puri- Managing Director of ITC

Sanjiv Puri is the Chairman and Managing Director of ITC Limited. He was appointed the CEO of ITC effective February 2017. He was then designated as ITC’s Managing Director with effect from May 2018 and the Chairman and Managing Director effective May 2019. Puri was designated as the President of FMCG Businesses in 2014 and an Executive Director in 2015. Sanjiv Puri was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He acquired his further qualification from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

At present, Puri is appointed on the National Executive Committees of CII and FICCI. He is also a Member of the Steering Committee of FICCI and serves as a Director on the Board of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

Salil Parekh-CEO of Infosys

Salil Parekh is the current CEO and MD of Infosys. Parekh took over from interim CEO U B Pravin Rao on 2 January 2018. He is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) in Aeronautical Engineering and holds a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. Parekh was member of the group management board at Capgemini, where he had worked since 2000, after Ernst and Young’s consultancy division, where he had been working before, was merged into the company. Most recently, he was member of the group executive board, and was appointed deputy CEO in March 2015.  He was responsible for overseeing a business cluster comprising Application Services and Cloud Infrastructure Services among others.

Dilip Shangvi- CEO of Sun Pharmaceuticals

Dilip Shanghvi is an Indian billionaire businessman and one of the country’s richest people. He founded Sun Pharmaceuticals. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2016. India Today magazine ranked him 8th in India’s most powerful people of 2017 list. Dilip Shanghvi hails from a Jain family who was born in the small town of Amreli in Gujarat to Shantilal Shanghvi and Kumud Shanghvi.

Shanghvi earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calcutta. He spent his childhood and college life with his parents in the Burrabazar locality of Calcutta. He is an alumnus of J. J. Ajmera High School and Bhawanipur Education Society College, where he did his schooling and graduation, respectively. He started by helping his father in his wholesale generic drugs business in Kolkata. It was during this work that he thought of manufacturing his own drugs instead of selling others’ products.

Anand Mahindra-Chairman of Mahindra Group

Anand Gopal Mahindra is an Indian billionaire businessman, and the chairman of Mahindra Group, a Mumbai-based business conglomerate. The group operates in aerospace, agribusiness, aftermarket, automotive, components, construction equipment, defence, energy, farm equipment, finance and insurance, industrial equipment, information technology, leisure and hospitality, logistics, real estate and retail.

As of January 2020, his net worth is estimated to be $1.6 billion. He is an alumnus of Harvard University and Harvard Business School. In 1996, he established Nanhi Kali, a non-government organisation that supports education for underprivileged girls in India. He is included by Fortune Magazine among the ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ and was in the magazine’s 2011 listing of Asia’s 25 most powerful businesspeople. Anand was noted by Forbes (India) as their ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for 2013. He was given the Padma Bhushan Award, the third Highest civilian award in India, in January 2020.

Roshini Nadar Malhotra- Executive Director and CEO of HCL

Roshini Nadar Malhotra earned an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, majoring in communication, with a focus on radio television and film. She worked for a brief period in the media and communications sector. She has experience working as news producer at Sky News UK and CNN America. Roshni later earned a masters in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, specializing in social enterprise, management and strategy. At Kellogg, she was felicitated the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award. At HCL Roshni’s major responsibility revolves around making strategic decisions regarding the overall direction of the company, including the key areas of determining its governance structures, treasury, risk and portfolio management. She also handles diversification plans of HCL. Apart from HCL, her major concern is running the Shiv Nadar Foundation. The foundation has been responsible for the formation of SSN Institutions in Chennai, Shiv Nadar University in NCR, VidyaGyan Schools in Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Nadar Schools and the iconic Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

Roshni appears to be in no immediate hurry to get roped into the core business of the group and its day-to-day operations. Philanthropy is at the top of her priorities at present. She was involved in a joint initiative with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation to promote education of dalit and Muslim girls in the backward districts of Uttar Pradesh. While the Foundation itself has invested INR 1,801 crore (as of March 2013), it aims at committing another INR 3,000 crore in the next five years. This is exclusive of the Nadar family’s target of investing a sum of INR 6,000 crore in various philanthropic initiatives under the Shiv Nadar Foundation.

Schauna Chauhan Saluja- CEO of Parle Agro

Leading Parle Agro’s charge is Schauna Chauhan, its CEO and the eldest daughter of Prakash Chauhan, its founder. Schauna has been associated with the business since 1999 when she joined the company’s board as a director at age 22. Since she took over as CEO in 2006, the group has diversified into areas like confectionery, pure fruit juices and baked snacks, and has rapidly expanded its global presence, with exports to over 20 countries. “We have doubled our international presence by stepping up exports and by entering new partnerships to create a strong international presence for our brands,” she adds. Chauhan, who is married to actor Bikram Saluja, looks up to her father and the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, as her role models. “In the past year, we have made additions to our portfolio by adding new brand extensions (like Hippo Round-Round, and Saint Apple juice),” says Chauhan, who runs the INR1,500-crore company with her sisters, Alisha and Nadia.

Irfan Razack- Chairman and Managing Director of Prestige Group

Irfan Razack founded the Prestige Group in 1986. Under his leadership, the group has flourished and is now considered a symbol of innovation and international offering. Most landmarks in Bangalore display the Prestige Group’s symbol – the iconic Falcon. Since its creation, the Prestige Group has completed world class real estate development over several million sq. ft. across the residential, hospitality, leisure, commercial, and retail sectors in Bangalore and other cities. Irfan Razack has also recorded successes in the hospitality sector. He was behind the introduction of leading hospitality brands into India such as the Hilton Group, Marriott International, the Banyan Tree, and Oakwood. Due to the world class nature of his projects, renowned clients such as Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Hewlett Packard and IBM have been attracted.

Mahesh Gupta- Chairman & Managing Director of Kent Healthcare Products

Dr. Mahesh Gupta, a 1st generation entrepreneur, is known worldwide for revolutionizing the water purification industry in India. He is the Founding Chairman of Kent RO Systems Ltd. Dr. Gupta, an IIT graduate from Kanpur in Mechanical Engineering and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, began his early career in 1978 with prestigious IOCL. In 1988 he bid goodbye to the oil sector giant and with a minimal seed capital at his disposal, ventured into the business of manufacturing instruments for oil testing and checking its pilferage. He went commercial under the brand name KENT OIL METERS which went on to be a successful business. In 1998, Dr. Mahesh Gupta entered the health care segment and launched the first domestic RO water purifier. He started the company from a scratch and competing with the leading national & international brands, Kent RO Systems Ltd. is today the leading and most dynamic water purifier company in India, commanding a market share of about 40% in RO water purifier segment.

Dr. Ramakanta Panda- Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Asian Heart Institute

Chief Consultant for Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery

India’s No. 1 heart surgeon, Padma Bhushan Awardee

Dr. Ramakanta Panda, world’s leading cardiac surgeon at the helm of the Asian Heart Institute (AHI) in Mumbai was recently listed amongst the top 25 living legends of the Indian healthcare industry by a leading healthcare publication. Recognised for pioneering many techniques in cardiac surgery, Dr Panda is also known for successfully operating high risk cardiac cases that are universally regarded as inoperable. In 2016, Dr Panda completed a landmark 3500 almost inoperable cases. Awarded the third highest civilian award – Padmabhushan – by the government of India, for his contribution in the field of medicine, this leading cardiac surgeon is internationally revered and celebrated in the same breath as Denton Cooley and Michael De Bakey.

Anshu Budhraja- CEO of Amway

An Accomplished Business Leader with 20 years of experience in FMCG Direct Selling, Manufacturing and Financial Services companies, Anshu has lead diversified team in both Indian and US based multi-national organizations. Anshu specializes in setting up and expanding Business Operations, Strategic Business Planning, Corporate Finance and Operations, Manufacturing Start Up, Managing – P and L Management and Business Excellence. Anshu has hands on approach in driving GTM strategy, Geography and Cluster management, development of infrastructure (stores / e com), sales operations and promotions, IT, Development and Cross Functional Talent Building.  Anshu’s mandate is to drive and accelerate growth of Amway India, as subsidiary of Global USD $9.5 Bn Amway Corporation.

Over the past 17 years, Anshu has grown up the corporate ladder handling different profiles including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director.

Anshu completed Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona – USA). He is a post-graduate in major in accounting from Delhi University.

Venu Srinivasan - Chairman and Managing Director of TVS Motor Company

Venu Srinivasan is the Chairman and Managing Director of Sundaram Clayton Ltd and TVS Motor Company, the third largest two wheeler manufacturer in India. He is the grandson of the TVS Group’s founder, T V SundaramIyengar. After graduating as an engineer from the College of Engineering, Guindy, he completed his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in the USA. He became the Managing Director of Sundaram Clayton in May 1979. He went on to become chairman of TVS Motor Company in July 2002. He holds many other significant positions. Armed with a wide knowledge base and a characteristic quality to take quick decisions, he has established a name for himself and the companies he serves. His service to the extension of national prestige overseas and promotion of friendship with other nations are well received and appreciated. His substantial contribution to the advancement of theories and practices of quality management within TVS Motor has been used for enhancing quality of products, services and processes. Venu was conferred the Padma Shri Award by the President Of India in 2010 for his contributions in the field of trade and industry. He is the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea, Chennai. In 2010, he was honored by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, with the distinguished civilian honor, ‘Order of Diplomatic Service Merit,’ in recognition of his contribution in promoting bilateral relations between South Korea and India.