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TOP 20 CEOs IN INDIA

chief executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer, or chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs find roles in a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations.

India is a great country, be it wonderful places, festivals, or food, it lives up with a glorified history of struggle, culture, heritage, and also numerous awesome successful entrepreneurs and it is the place where Asia’s richest person lives.  The world’s largest democratic country sums up the victory by their respectful, successful, intellectual, intelligent, and zeal full minds. The money value of a person is strictly taken as a measure of one’s triumphs in life. Here we present India’s Top 20 CEOs who have paved the way of life in making themselves and their company a brand.

1.  Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani (born 19 April 1957) is an Indian billionaire businessman, and the chairman, managing director, and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), a Fortune Global 500 company and India’s most valuable company by market value. According to Forbes, he is the richest person in Asia with a net worth of US$90 billion and the 11th richest person in the world, as of 2 December 2021.  Mr. Ambani placed in the list holding 44.7% of stake in the company worth with almost salary of 15 crores per annum as the leader has created the space of Reliance Industries Ltd on the red-carpet glory. He is the only Indian businessman on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful people. As of October 2020, Mukesh Ambani was ranked by Forbes as the 6th-wealthiest person in the world. He is also Asia’s richest person with a net worth of $44.3 billion in July 2018. 

2. Rajesh Gopinathan

Rajesh Gopinathan (born 1971) is the CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization. He was elevated to the role of Chief Executive in February 2017 after serving as the Chief Financial Officer since 2013. Born in 1971, Rajesh is one of the youngest CEOs in the Tata Group. In 2001, Rajesh joined Tata Consultancy Services from the Tata Industries and worked to drive TCS’ newly established e-business unit in the United States. He was involved in the design, structure and implementation of the new organizational structure and operating model of the company. Rajesh took over as the Chief Financial Officer of the company in 2013. Prior to this role, he was Vice President – Business Finance, where he was responsible for the financial management of the company’s individual operating units. After serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the company for 4 years, he was elevated to the role of Chief Executive Officer in February 2017.

3. Dilip Shanghvi

Dilip Shanghvi (born 1 October 1955) is an Indian billionaire businessman and one of the country’s richest people. He is the Founder and CEO of Sun Pharmaceuticals. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honor of the Padma Shri in 2016. India Today magazine ranked him 8th in India’s most powerful people of 2017 list. According to Forbes, as of October 2021, Shanghvi is the 14th richest person in India with a net worth of US$14.3 billion. In 1982, the 27-year-old Sanghavi finally opened his first manufacturing unit with a capital of INR 10,000. He named his venture Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. The unit, located in Vapi in his native state of Gujarat, a short drive away from Mumbai, produced exactly one psychiatry drug.  In April 2014 Sun, Ranbaxy, and Daiichi Sankyo (the majority shareholder in Ranbaxy) agreed that Sun would acquire all outstanding shares of Ranbaxy for $3.2 billion in Sun stock and that Sun would take on $800M in Ranbaxy debt, the deal closed in March 2015 and made Sun the largest drug company in India and fifth largest in the world.

4. Salil Parekh

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Salil Parekh is the current chief executive officer and managing director 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. Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. Patience, persistence, and determination make an unbeatable package of triumph. Mr. Salil Parekh is one of the successful leaders who have taken the organization to the next level. The glorified IT company is lead by serving his wonderful time and consideration of nearly INR 35 crores. 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.

5. Sanjiv Mehta

Sanjiv Mehta (born 1959/1960) is an Indian business executive, and the chairman and managing director (MD) of Hindustan Unilever Limited, India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company. Mehta became the CEO and MD of Hindustan Unilever in October 2013, and in June 2018 was appointed as the chairman and MD. He also heads Unilever’s business in South Asia, as cluster president encompassing businesses in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Mehta is a member of the Unilever Leadership Executive, its global executive board. He is a chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and later completed the Advanced Management Programme from the Harvard Business School.  In April 2002 he was appointed as the chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh. In 2007, he moved to Manila as the chairman of Unilever Philippines, and in 2008 was appointed as the chairman of Unilever North Africa and Middle East (NAME).

6. Suresh Mangalani

Suresh Mangalani is the Chief Executive Officer of Adani Gas Ltd. Suresh is a seasoned professional with 29 years of varied experience in diversified businesses. He has immense experience in Oil & Gas projects & major specialization in conceptualizing, negotiating, forming & successfully operating City Gas Distribution businesses and joint ventures. Suresh started his career with Kelvinator (now Whirlpool India) and subsequently worked with GAIL, Mahanagar Gas (JV of GAIL and Shell) and India Gas Solutions (JV of RIL and BP). Prior to joining Adani Gas Limited, Suresh was working with Reliance Industries ltd. as Sr. Vice President & Head of Commercial of petroleum retail business. Suresh by profession is a Cost Accountant and has acquired educational degrees of M.COM, LLB, ACMA, FCS.

7. Suresh Narayanan

Mr. Suresh Narayanan joined the Board of Directors of Nestlé India Limited as Managing Director from 1st August, 2015. Mr. Narayanan has been designated as the Chairman and Managing Director of the Company with effect from 29th October, 2015. He is also member of Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors of the
Company. Mr. Suresh Narayanan holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics. He has a Diploma from the IMD Program for Executive Development and has participated in the Nestlé Leadership Program of the London Business School. He has over 30 years of rich and exhaustive experience in the FMCG Industry and has held senior management and top leadership roles in leading global companies. Mr. Narayanan was Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Philippines prior to joining Nestlé India as Managing Director. Mr. Narayanan joined Nestlé in 1999 as Executive Vice President for Sales in India, where he spearheaded major structural and strategic changes in Sales and Customer Management and set up the chilled dairy business. Mr. Narayanan began his career as a management trainee with Hindustan Unilever, where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in Sales, Marketing and General Management. He has also worked with Colgate Palmolive in India.

8. Vinay Prakash

Vinay Prakash is the Chief Executive Officer of Adani Enterprise and Natural Resources. Mr. Prakash also holds key positions in various industry bodies and heads / headed committees of FIMI, ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII where he facilitates exchange of ideas and collaboration, with a focus on responsible mining and sustainability. He has been honoured at many prestigious platforms and received the Global Business Excellence Award at World Petrocoal Congress 2017. Mr. Prakash holds B.Tech (Mechanical), PG Diploma in Operations / Material Management , MBA (Finance) and he is also pursuing PhD from Indian Institute of Technology-Indian School of Mines (IIT-ISM) on Sustainable Mining Practices. Prior to joining the Adani Group in 2001, he worked with the Aditya Birla Group for eight years. He is an enthusiast for energy security and sustainability, Mr. Prakash has nurtured the Natural Resources business of the Adani Group since its inception and oversees its diversification and expansion in India and abroad. Natural Resources division comprises of Integrated Coal Management, Iron Ore, Minerals, Bunkering, Mining, Cement & Aggregate Businesses.

9. Gopal Vittal

Gopal Vittal (born 1967) is an Indian business executive. He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bharti Airtel (India) and South Asia, an Indian multinational telecommunications services company with operations in 20 countries. Vittal has an undergraduate degree from Madras Christian College and MBA from IIM Calcutta.After graduating from IIM Calcutta in 1990, he joined Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), one of India’s biggest FMCG companies. The 3rd largest telecom services provider of the nation, Bharti Airtel is headed by a phenomenal person also known as patron and philanthropist Mr. Gopal Vittal earning around 169.73 million towards annual remuneration disclosed in the 2017-18 annual report. In early 2013, Airtel announced that Vittal would be the next CEO of Airtel India and he took over as the CEO on 1 March 2013.

10. Vneet S. Jaain

 Vneet S. Jaain is the Managing Director and CEO of Adani Green Energy Limited. He has been associated with Adani Group for over 15 years. During his association, he has been spearheaded on Group’s strategy for its Energy and Infrastructure business and has been instrumental growing various businesses from conceptualisation to operation – Renewable, Power generation, Transmission and Distribution. He was instrumental in setting up of Energy Network Operations Centre (ENOC) and also the Project Monitoring & Control Group – two of Group’s Centre of Excellence. He has led many first of its kind projects in the country driven by his deep technical understanding and sector focus. Under his able leadership Adani Group has executed and set-up several key energy projects like, then World’s largest solar plant (at the time) at Kamuthi, setting up of India’s largest solar module manufacturing facility, India’s first and longest private owned HVDC transmission network. Each of this projects are examples of benchmark in the Energy Industry.

11. Uday Kotak

Uday Suresh Kotak (born 15 March 1959) is an Indian billionaire banker and the executive vice chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank. In the early 1980s, while India was still a closed economy and economic growth was muted, Kotak decided to start out on his own, refusing a lucrative job option from a multinational. Over the next few years, he diversified his business into various areas of financial services, establishing a prominent presence in bills discounting, stockbroking, investment banking, car finance, life insurance and mutual funds. On 22 March 2003, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. became the first company in India’s corporate history to receive a banking license from Reserve Bank of India. Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his wealth to be US$14.8 billion as of April 2021. In 2006 he ended a 14 year partnership with Goldman Sachs by acquiring its 25% stake in two subsidiaries for $72 million.

12. C. Vijayakumar

C Vijayakumar (also known as CVK) is the chief executive officer and Managing Director of HCL Technologies, a US$10.54 billion global technology company. Over the years, Vijay has previously held several technology, business and operational leadership positions at HCL. He is currently the Chairman of World Economic Forum’s IT Governor’s Community as well as a Board Member of the US-India Business Council. Vijay holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical & electronics engineering from PSG College of Technology, Tamil Nadu, India. C Vijayakumar joined HCL Technologies in 1994 in the founding startup team of Comnet as a senior technical engineer. Over the years, he held a wide portfolio of responsibilities in HCL across sales, operations and service delivery. He was appointed the company’s chief operating officer in July 2016 and later that year in Oct 2016, promoted to be the CEO, succeeding Anant Gupta. Prior to becoming COO of the company, CVK was the President of HCL’s Infrastructure Services business, a position he held since March 2015.

13. Amit Syngle

Amit Syngle is the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Asian Paints. Amit Syngle, is a Mechanical engineer and a Postgraduate in Management ( 1990 Batch) from UBS, Chandigarh. He started his career with the company as a Management Trainee, and has been working with the company for last 29 years. He has worked in various capacities and across functions Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain & Research and Technology. Priorly as the company COO, he was heading the Indian Decorative business of more than US$ 2.5 billion. Before that he was the President – Sales & Marketing  and was responsible for not only the Sales & Marketing at Asian Paints but also headed the Research & Technology function across the organization.

14. Ignatius Navil Noronha

Ignatius Navil Noronha, the chief executive officer of Avenue Supermarts Ltd which owns the DMart retail chain, has seen his net worth rise above a billion dollars since after an incredible 113% rise in company’s stock this year. Noronha was born and brought up in Mumbai and graduated from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies with a management degree. Noronha previously worked for FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever. Radhakishnan Damani, the founder of Avenue Supermarts, recruited him as the chief of business in 2004. In 2007, he became the company’s CEO. Avenue Supermarts’ stock soared to a new peak of 5,899 on the BSE, gaining as much as 10.7% intraday. Stocks have been moving upward for seven days in a row, gaining about 40% during that time. The 47-years-old Noronha has now surpassed Rs 7,744 crore in net worth, making him India’s richest professional manager. Hiss wealth gain resulted from a 19-fold increase in the value of Avenue Supermarts’ stock.

15. Sanjiv Bajaj

Sanjiv Bajaj (born 2 November 1969) is the chairman and managing director of Bajaj Finserv. Born into the Bajaj family, Sanjiv is the great-grandson of founder Jamnalal Bajaj and the younger son of Bajaj Group chairman, Rahul Bajaj. He pursued his mechanical engineering degree from the University of Pune, masters degree in manufacturing systems engineering from the University of Warwick, and a management degree from Harvard Business School. Sanjiv began his career in 1994 with Bajaj Auto. He was credited in bringing American-style supply chain management in the Bajaj Auto using General Motors as a model. Currently, he is serving as the non-executive director of Bajaj Auto. After Bajaj Auto’s demerger in 2007, Sanjiv took charge as the managing director of Bajaj Finserv. He took over additional roles like the chairman of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, vice chairman of Bajaj Finance, and managing director of Bajaj Holdings & Investment Limited in the year 2012. Currently, he is the chairman and managing director of Bajaj Finserv.

16. Sanjiv Puri

Sanjiv Puri (59) is the Chairman & Managing Director of ITC Limited. Puri was appointed as a Wholetime Director on the Board of ITC with effect from December 6, 2015, Chief Executive Officer in February 2017 and re-designated as the Managing Director in May 2018. He was also appointed as the Chairman effective May 13, 2019. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and Wharton School of Business. Puri joined ITC in January 1986. During his career of over three decades at ITC and its subsidiaries, he has held several business leadership positions and also handled a wide range of responsibilities in manufacturing, operations and information & digital technology. Puri served as Chief Operating Officer of ITC between July 2016 and January 2017, and prior to that as President, FMCG Businesses – Cigarettes, Foods, Personal Care, Education & Stationery Products, Matches and Agarbattis, since December 2014. Earlier, he was the Divisional Chief Executive of the Tobacco Division since 2009, with additional responsibility for the Company’s Trade Marketing & Distribution Vertical. He led ITC Infotech India Limited (‘I3L’), a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC, as its Managing Director from May 2006 to August 2009.

17. S N Subrahmanyan

Sekharipuram Narayanan Subrahmanyan (born 16 March 1960) is the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro. He took over the reins from Mr Anil Manibhai Naik on 1 July 2017. S N Subrahmanyan is also the Vice Chairman on the Boards of LTI and L&T Technology Services, Non-Executive Chairman of L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited and Vice Chairman of the Indian multinational IT and outsourcing company, Mindtree acquired March 2019. In February 2021, he was appointed Chairman of the National Safety Council (NSC) for three years by the Union Ministry of Labour & Employment. In July 2011, S N Subrahmanyan was appointed as full-time Director on the L&T Board and designated as Member of the Board and Senior Executive Vice President (Construction). In October 2015, he was designated Deputy Managing Director & President, L&T. In 2017, he was promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) by the company’s board of directors.

18. Kenichi Ayukawa

Kenichi Ayukawa is Managing Director & CEO at Maruti Suzuki. A Law graduate from Osaka University, Japan, Mr. Ayukawa joined Suzuki Motor Corporation in 1980. Born in 1955, Mr. Ayukawa has handled several key assignments at Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan and in the Group’s overseas operations. Mr. Ayukawa served as Managing Director of Pak Suzuki Motor Company from May 2004 to June 2008. He served as Director on the Board of Maruti Suzuki India Limited from July 2008 to March 2013. Before taking charge as the Managing Director at Maruti Suzuki India Limited he served as Managing Executive Officer and Executive General Manager, Global Marketing at Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan.

19. C K Venkataraman

C K Venkataraman is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Titan Company Limited. Mr. Venkataraman, a post graduate diploma holder in Management from IIM-Ahmedabad, joined Titan Company Limited in 1990, and worked in the Advertising and Marketing functions before becoming the Head of Sales & Marketing for the Titan brand in 2003. Thereafter he took charge of the Jewellery Division in 2005 and last held the position of Chief Executive Officer, Jewellery till September 30, 2019. Subsequently, he assumed office as Managing Director of the Company from October 1, 2019.

20. Amitabh Chaudhry

Amitabh Chaudhry (born 1964) is an Indian banker, and the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Axis Bank, the third largest private sector bank in India. He joined Axis in January 2019, after heading HDFC Life Insurance for nine years. Chaudhry is an engineer from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, and has done his post graduation in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Prior to HDFC Life, Chaudhry was the MD and CEO of Infosys BPO and the Head of testing unit of Infosys Technologies Ltd. Chaudhry began his career with Bank of America in 1987 and undertook diverse roles such as Head of Technology Investment Banking for Asia, Regional Finance Head for Wholesale Banking and Global Markets, and Chief Finance Officer of Bank of America (India). Later, he moved to Credit Lyonnais Securities in 2001 as the Head of Investment Banking franchise for South East Asia.

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