Top 20 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.
11. Peeyush Dubey
Company – Larsen & Toubro Ltd
Peeyush Dubey is the Chief Marketing Officer of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. And a recognized tech industry expert with leadership experience across the globe. He firmly believes in the transformative power of technology. When he’s not learning the art of storytelling from movie trailers and posters, he’s trying to improve his novice photography skills.
12. Anoop Manohar
Company – Axis Bank Ltd
Anoop Manohar is the Chief Marketing Officer of Axis Bank Ltd. He have 20 years of extensive and high quality experience in the areas of marketing and innovation, marketing strategy, customer and team management with a proven record of sustainable and market beating growths. Over the course of mis career he have created and helped build new brands/businesses and operate with a strong end-to-end view of the business. People say that he is a passionate, stubbornly persistent, and build strong collaborative bonds; he told that I have great analytical ability – he is able to balance that out with a strong bias for action. He am a strong listener with an ability to listen to both what’s being said and what’s not – he have a track record of building and managing high performing teams as well. He have had great success in challenging and diverse professional situations across sales and marketing. I am passionate about winning and learning continuously through building new experiences.
13. Vishal Subharwal
Company – HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd
Vishal Subharwal is the Chief Marketing Officer of HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd. He come with over 2 decades of professional experience in industry & consulting roles and currently Head the Marketing, E-Commerce, Digital Business & Sustainability initiatives at HDFC Life, India’s premier life insurance company with P/L ownership across multiple business units. With diverse responsibilities such as Brand & Consumer insights, Digital Experience, Performance Marketing, Customer Funnel & Value Management, Technology Integrations, Business operations & Underwriting, Corporate Social Responsibility I not only carry independent P/L responsibilities but also support multiple organisation growth initiatives. In his previous role as Head of Strategy & Business Insights, he was responsible for crafting and ensuring successful implementation of organisation strategy. until the company’s IPO in 2017 These included defining the strategic themes, identifying scenarios and planning for the same, allocation of resources, identification of longer term strategic initiatives to be run in the organisation. He also worked to create the annual operating plans and organisation scorecard, ensuring progress towards these goals apart from supporting go-to-market strategies, M&A opportunities, etc. In his earlier stints I have worked with a Big 4 advisory firm in the domains of strategy & operations and deployed Lean Six Sigma & other business process re-engineering techniques apart from leading sales units in the initial part of my professional career.
14. Vivek Agrawal
Company – UltraTech Cement Ltd
Vivek Agrawal is the Chief Marketing Officer of UltraTech Cement Ltd. Mr. Agrawal has spent a major part of his professional career at UltraTech’s Cement Business, holding a number of critical positions. He joined the Group in 1993 as a Zonal Manager in the Cement Marketing Division and went on to hold important positions such as Zonal Head – Grey Cement South; Head, Marketing – Birla White; and Head – RMC Business. Mr. Agrawal took over as the CEO of the acquired entity Star Cement in 2010 and in October 2013, took on the role of Chief Marketing Officer of the Cement Business. Mr. Agrawal was named an Aditya Birla Fellow in 2017, and was a recipient of the Chairman’s Outstanding Leader Award in 2019. He is a B.E.(Hons.) from NIT Allahabad and MBA from FMS, Delhi. He has done his Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Wharton Business School.
15. AMIT DOSHI
Company – Britannia Industries Ltd
Amit Doshi is the Chief Marketing Officer of Britannia Industries Ltd. He is a marketing and sales leader with 19 years of diverse business & capability building experience in key innovation, brand marketing, digital, sales, and customer development roles. In his previous assignment, he was Director, Marketing, and part of the Indian leadership team and Asia-Pacific marketing leadership team at Lenovo. He has also worked with Perfetti Van Melle in the past. Amit Doshi has gained experience in Consumer (B2C), Enterprise, Small & Medium Business (SMB), and Tablet business units at Lenovo and brings a valuable understanding of consumers and markets across product categories.
16. Amrita Singh
Company – Hindustan Zinc Ltd
Amrita Singh is the Chief Marketing Officer of Hindustan Zinc Ltd. Chief Sales & Marketing Officer with Hindustan Zinc Limited, Vedanta having 15 yrs of experience in- Sales & Marketing, Procurement, Strategy, Growth Projects at Vedanta Resources. Member of Executive Committee”- An APEX body for P&L management at HZL.
17. Somasree Bose Awasthi
Company – Godrej Consumer Products Ltd
Somasree Bose Awasthi is the Chief Marketing Officer of Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. She has been promoted from the post of head of marketing, homecare category to Chief marketing officer. She has been with Godrej Consumer for around 18 years. Started her professional journey with Godrej as a management trainee in 2003, initially as part of Sara Lee business and then continued with Godrej Consumer Product post the merger. Currently leading the marketing for Homecare category which includes brands like Good knight, HIT which are market leaders in Household Insecticides segment, Godrej aer which is the market leader in air fresheners segment, Godrej ezee and genteel in fabric detergents category. More recently, she have launched Godrej ProClean, which is a home hygiene brand.
18. Vivek Sharma
Company – Pidilite Industries Ltd
Vivek Sharma is the Chief Marketing Officer of Pidilite Industries Ltd. He leads corporate brand marketing planning & implementation across businesses, marketing talent management, and continuous improvement in marketing processes like innovation and new product launch. He aims to make consumer and end-customer centricity the core of Pidilite and create a world class talent pool to take this forward. An industry veteran with over 25 years of experience, Vivek has held senior leadership positions at Philips, MIRC Electronics, Ogilvy Advertising and Cadbury Kraft (now Mondelez). He brings with him a unique blend of business and brand development experience across FMCG, Healthcare, Lighting and Consumer Durables encompassing B2C, B2B and B2G. As VP Indian sub-continent at Philips India Ltd., he built ‘ONE PHILIPS’ and led the marketing, planning and implementation for the three Philip’s businesses viz. Consumer Lifestyle, Lighting and Healthcare. As Vice President – Marketing, Sales and Service, MIRC Electronics Ltd. (ONIDA), he spearheaded the re-launch of the ONIDA brand across product categories. At Ogilvy, he led the Hindustan Unilever (HUL) business nationally across functions and geographies. Vivek holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore and Bachelor of Technology from Indian School of Mines (now IIT, Dhanbad). Despite his work schedule, he always finds time to indulge in his other passions – travel, music and the mountains.
19. Girish Budhiraja
Company – SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd
Girish Budhiraja is the Chief Marketing Officer of SBI Cards & Payment Services Ltd. Specialties: Product Management, New Product Development, Business Development, Marketing, Financial Services, Digital Marketing.
20. Manish Dubey
Company – ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd
Manish Dubey is the Chief Marketing Officer of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Ltd. A digital business and marketing leader who has led high performing teams. Built an online direct-to-customer business successfully over the last few years. Over 21 years of experience working with ICICI Prudential, Asian Paints and General Mills (Pillsbury) in areas of online business, product, marketing, digital and sales. He get inspired by the way consumer behavior is changing around us and the opportunity that this provides to re-imagine the business and marketing landscape. Online space is opening up to simple products, intelligent personalized journeys and time & money saving experiences. The way the consumers are interacting with various categories is putting a lot of pressure on the traditional business. At the same time is also opening the digital business areas. He is passionate about working on utilizing these new opportunities with the help of business thinking, marketing strategy, digital enablers and integrated implementation. He is leading an online B2C business in the life insurance space. Using various acquisition channels to deliver business across product, customer segments and mobile & internet platforms, he have seeded and grown the online sales. Our successful work has often got featured in Google case studies and recently got a special mention at the YouTube Brandcast. His expertise is in scale-up strategy, business vertical creation, programmatic digital solutions, digital media, marketing automation, voice of customer and creating innovation roadmaps. Declared the “Marketer of the Year” at the IAA Leadership awards, 2016, my experience on the marketing side is in the areas of being a brand expert, digital marketer, mar-tech capability builder. He have deep brand and creative expertise. Other important attributes include being a category builder, social media marketer, online performance marketer and leader of powerful teams.