Top 10 CMOs in India
The Indian startup ecosystem has produced excellent IT talent for many years. From developing consumer apps to developing robust B2B commercial software products employing cutting-edge technology, Indian technologists have consistently provided additional comfort to users. While India has the world’s largest reservoir of technical talent, their work can now be seen all over the world, with nearly all of the major US technology corporations employing technology pioneers of Indian heritage. A CMO (chief marketing officer) is a C-level corporate executive responsible for activities in an organization that have to do with creating, communicating and delivering offerings that have value for customers, clients or business partners. A CMO’s primary mission is to facilitate growth and increase sales by developing a comprehensive marketing plan that will promote brand recognition and help the organization gain a competitive advantage. In order to achieve their own goals and effectively shape their companies’ public profile, CMOs must be exceptional leaders and assume the voice of the customer across the company. Chief marketing officers typically report to the CEO or chief operating officer (COO) and hold advanced degrees in both business and marketing. A CMO who has a strong background in information technology may also hold the job title chief marketing technologist (CMT). In some larger organizations, however, those positions are separate and the CMT reports to the CMO.
Here is a list of CMOs who have created an impact in their field.
01. Gunjan Sharma
Company – Reliance Industries Ltd
Gunjan Sharma is the Chief Marketing Officer of Reliance Industries Ltd. Sales & Marketing professional with over 25 years rich experience in B2B, B2B2C segments in textile and apparel categories. Key strengths establishing new brands/business, driving growth and complete P&L management. Astute leader with excellent communication skills. At Reliance Industries Limited, the concept of circular economy is embedded in our DNA and our actions and processes are governed by this concept. Our organisation is committed to help conserve the planet and build a strong society. Being an industry leader, we are focusing our efforts to make the Indian textiles industry a leader in adopting circularity and sustainability concepts. To achieve this, we have undertaken series of initiatives. Reliance is a leader in India in recycling post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, converts 2.05 billion used PET bottles into high-quality polyester that is being used in making high fashion, performance enhancement apparels. Reliance undertakes this activity through 120 PET bottle collection centres, spread across India and this initiative provides livelihood to around 3 lakh people, largely from the lower strata of the society.
We have branded the recycled next generation innovative polyester fibre as Recron GreenGold, one of the greenest fibres in the world. Manufactured by recycling post-consumer PET bottles, Recron GreenGold, uses energy from renewable sources and adopts efficient manufacturing practices at our plant in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh. Recron GreenGold is made using bio-fuels instead of fossil fuels, thus making the manufacturing process greener. Further, we follow a zero-waste concept at our plants. Hence, the entire material is either used in the process or sold in market. The plant has a state-of-the-art effluent treatment process system that recycles 90 per cent of used water in manufacturing and horticulture.
02. Rajashree R
Company – Tata Consultancy Services Ltd
Rajashree R is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. Before starting in this role on Feb 1, 2020, she led the Retail Practice at TCS for 15 years engaging with leading global retailers driving their transformation and innovation programs. Under Rajashree’s leadership, TCS’ brand value grew by $1.4 billion over the prior year in 2021 and was ranked among the Top 3 most valuable brands in the IT Services sector globally, according to the Brand Finance 2021 report. She is passionate about the art of storytelling and is a proud custodian of the global TCS brand.
03. Ravi Santhanam
Company – HDFC Bank Ltd
Ravi Santhanam is the Chief Marketing Officer of HDFC Bank Ltd. A highly effective senior executive with wide and rich experience across Industries in the areas of change management, driving business results, business strategy, P&L management, developing consumer propositions and GTM strategy. Demonstrable success in a variety of business and functional leadership roles across both metro and rural markets, traditional and new age technology driven businesses. Proven ability to adapt to fast paced highly dynamic market environments, with a focus on thought to execution leadership, delivering results and creating high performing teams. Possess effective cross functional skills with experience in driving revenue growth while improving results through a focus on customer centricity, operational excellence, process improvement and outstanding leadership. Highly self driven and motivated Individual with excellent analytical skills and an ability to work from a macro to micro perspective. Strong sense of commitment to organization building and institutionalization.
04. Priya Nair
Company – Hindustan Unilever Ltd
Priya Nair is the Chief Marketing Officer of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. While Madhusudhan Rao will be appointed as Executive Director, Beauty & Wellbeing and Personal Care, HUL, Deepak Subramanian has been named Executive Director, Home Care, HUL. Madhusudhan takes over from Priya Nair who will move into her new global role as Beauty & Wellbeing, Chief Marketing Officer. Deepak will take over from Prabha Narasimhan, who has decided to leave the Company to pursue an external opportunity. Madhusudhan is currently Executive Vice President – Home and Hygiene, Unilever. He joined HUL in 1991. In his 30+ years in the company, he demonstrated a strong performance track record in Marketing, Customer Development and Brand Development roles across geographies. In his current role, Madhusudhan helped shape the Home & Hygiene category as a successful business with a distinctive high-performance culture. Deepak, currently Vice President Home Care, South-East Asia / ANZ (SEAA) & Global Head, Fabric Enhancers, joined HUL in 1995 as a management trainee. From being the Marketing Manager for Kissan in India and the Regional Brand Director for Vitality Foods, Deepak moved on to become the Vice President for Foods & Refreshment for Central & Eastern Europe. In his current role leading Home Care for SEAA, Deepak significantly improved the profitability of the business, whilst strengthening top-line growth. In his global role, Deepak helped transform the Fabric Enhancers category by driving innovations and re-positioning the brands to have more social impact.
05. Sumit Virmani
Company – Infosys Ltd
Sumit Virmani is the Chief Marketing Officer of Infosys Ltd. Experienced Chief Marketing Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Market Research, Direct Marketing, Business Alliances, Business Development, and Marketing Strategy. Strong marketing professional graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
06. Karthi Kumar Marshan
Company – Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd
Karthi Kumar Marshan is the Chief Marketing Officer of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. Specialties: brand launches, marketing problem solving, usability engineering, marketing partner developmnent, marketing strategy development.
07. Shyam Ananthnarayan
Company – ITC Infotech
Shyam Ananthnarayan is the Chief Marketing Officer of ITC Infotech. Experienced General Manager/VP with global experience in B2B sales, marketing, business development, executive (CXO) relationship management and operations. Recognized in Fast100 by Oracle and Paul Writer in top 100 progressive marketers. Recognized by Adobe and Paul Writer as one of India’s top 100 digital marketers.
08. Jill Kouri
Company – HCL Technologies Ltd
Jill Kouri is the Chief Marketing Officer of HCL Technologies Ltd. She is responsible for developing and building the brand and driving growth across its broadening suite of technology services and products. Jill leads all marketing functions across the global business, including corporate marketing, vertical and horizontal marketing, recruitment marketing, corporate communications, and digital marketing. Jill has over 30 years of experience in B2B services marketing, with a sales-oriented mindset and a passion for developing best-in-class customer experience. Previously, Jill served for seven years as the Chief Marketing Officer, Americas, for JLL. Prior to her time at JLL, she spent 14 years at Accenture in various leadership roles, most recently as the global head of marketing for the $10 billion Products Operating Group. There she gained deep expertise in industry marketing, M&A and post-merger integration, and building and leveraging shared services operations.
09. Laura Langdon
Company – Wipro Ltd
Laura Langdon is the Chief Marketing Officer of Wipro Ltd. As CMO, Laura is responsible for shaping global brand strategy and delivering high-impact campaigns across multiple platforms that advance Wipro’s goal of empowering companies and individuals to succeed in a changing world. She is a results-driven marketing professional with deep cross-discipline expertise shaping global brand strategy, PR and communications, digital marketing, demand generation, partnership development, and branded content creation. Her multifaceted leadership experience motivates global, cross-functional teams to deliver on goals under a shared strategic brand vision. Before joining Wipro, Laura was the CMO of Aricent and Frog, where she oversaw PR, corporate communications, and brand strategy. In that role, she built an integrated branded content studio and a robust demand generation practice. A true marketer, strategist, and creative visionary, Laura has built her career in advertising in leadership roles at DDB and TBWA before spending 11 years leading the in-house advertising agency at The New York Times. Laura is based in New York City.
10. Ravi Nagar
Company – Avenue Supermarts Ltd
Ravi Nagar is the Chief Marketing Officer of Avenue Supermarts Ltd. He had 19 years of rich and diverse FMCG experience, currently working as the CMO & Head – Private Labels at Avenue Supermarts Ltd. (DMart). Previously worked with Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. and Bajaj Consumer Care Ltd. across business strategy, category/brand management, M&A, international marketing, frontline sales and modern trade. Adept at building & managing large, diverse teams amidst complex business environment and driving organization’s aspirations with agility and poise.