As the Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) program kicks off today, help us build a better working world by recognizing India's outstanding entrepreneurs. With EOY India 2015, EY celebrates 16 years of outstanding entrepreneurial achievements with the aim of recognizing inspirational ‘innovative game changers’ and sharing their stories with the world.
The award has over the years honoured more than 130 exemplary men and women, who have played a pivotal role in India's ascent in the global business sphere.
We are waiting to uncover many more exceptional stories. Yours could be the one!
Make your move, apply now!
Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla, Chairman and Managing Director, Serum Institute Of India, who pioneered the development of affordable life-saving vaccines and is counted among the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide was named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014.
Dr. K. Radhakrishnan, Former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), a key architect of India’s self-reliance in space and technology, who also oversaw the breakthrough Mangalyaan mission to Mars last year, was honored with the EY Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 3-7 June, 2015.
EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014: Winners
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014: Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Chairman and Managing Director
Serum Institute Of India
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. K. Radhakrishnan
Former Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation
Entrepreneur Of The Year - Start-Up
Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer
Jasper Infotech (Snapdeal)
Entrepreneur Of The Year – Services
Chairman and CEO
Entrepreneur Of The Year – Manufacturing
Alliance Tire Group
Entrepreneur of the Year – Entrepreneurial CEO of the Year
State Bank of India
Entrepreneur Of The Year – Financial Services
Entrepreneur Of The Year – Life Sciences and Agrochemicals
Chairman and Managing Director
Entrepreneur Of The Year – Consumer Products
Chairman and Managing Director
Energising the Indian ecommerce ecosystem
Kunal Bahl | Rohit Bansal
Jasper Infotech (Snapdeal.com)
When high school friends, Kunal Bahl, a Wharton graduate and Rohit Bansal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi decided to start a business together few would have imagined that they were setting the foundations of an enterprise that will in a way shape the e-commerce ecosystem in India. They launched an offline couponing business in 2007 offering deals from local merchants, In early 2010, few merchants working with them suggested that Kunal and Rohit look at the online business. Based on this feedback, in February 2010 Snapdeal.com was born; within two years Snapdeal.com commanded 70% of the online coupons market. Over a period of further business model evolution, at the beginning of 2012, Snadpeal.com emerged as an online marketplace, providing a platform for buyers and sellers of products across the country to connect.
Snapdeal is today, India’s leading online marketplace that connects over 60000+ merchants, mostly small businesses, with 30 million customers spread across 5000+ cities and towns in India with a team of 4000 people.
The Company today aims to create life changing experiences for buyers and sellers. It provides access to the widest assortment of products across a variety of categories to millions of customers across India. Snapdeal is also the first and only ecommerce firm in India to sell pre-fabricated homes online.
Snapdeal has witnessed remarkable growth from FY12 to FY14 when its revenue grew at a CAGR of approximately 212%. Snapdeal is also at the forefront of the m-commerce revolution, with over 60% of its orders coming from mobile phones.
Under the leadership of Kunal and Rohit, Snapdeal has been widely recognized for its commitment to grow the ecommerce ecosystem in the country. Recently, Kunal featured in the 2014 Fortune Global 40 under 40 list and has also been named Dataquest IT person of the year 2014.
Snapdeal is actively working with the Government and Non-Government bodies to bring artisans and craftsmen of our country into the ecommerce fold thereby providing a national market to them. It is engaged in delivering better life experiences for people with initiatives like ‘Assisted ecommerce’ to bring the lower income group into the ecommerce fold, a special store for differently-abled people and partnering with a delivery company that employees deaf people from low income groups.
Insuring long-term success
An MBA from Harvard, Sanjiv assumed the leadership of Bajaj Finserv in 2008, determined to break the mould and expand the scope of operations of Bajaj Finance, the primarily captive 2 wheeler financing arm of the Bajaj Group. He moved the company beyond the bread-and-butter Bajaj products business to other businesses such as consumer durable loans, small-scale enterprise loans, funding construction equipment and offering loans against property.
Coming from a family of influential business leaders with a history of creating brands that have often defined the narrative around Indian business, Sanjiv took the mantle of expanding the family business. However, he created a niche for himself by focusing on the side of business which was in its infancy and turned it around to make it one of the most valuable entities in the Bajaj fold.
It is primarily due to the innovative new approach and ambitious plans that he brought to the table that turned the fortunes of Bajaj Finserv. The company is today a leading name in the financial services industry, with insurance, lending and wealth management services. Under his leadership, the company has seen a surge in income with a CAGR of 24% between FY12 and FY14. Bajaj Finserv operates in the Insurance business through Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Limited and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Limited, and in the lending business through Bajaj Finance Limited.
Sanjiv’s focus on innovation has played a key role in the success of Bajaj Finserv. The company was the first financier to launch an electronic KYC swipe card that enables the secure processing of loans faster to customers allowing for a quick check out of showrooms with their purchases. The variety of new products and service offerings grew by over 3 times in the last 6 years. With over 6000 retail outlets across India, Bajaj Finance’s sheer volumes provide good margins to the company.
Sanjiv has aggressive plans for the next leg of growth. The company which has now ventured into rural financing is disbursing loans for auto re-financing and farm equipments. In addition, the continued focus on deepening and strengthening the insurance business has created new products and channels for future growth.
Bajaj Finance was ranked in India amongst the Top 3 Financial Services Companies to work for by Great Places To Work in June 2014, while Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has won a host of awards for its prompt service, and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance for its Micro Insurance initiatives, amongst others.
Health for all
Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Serum Institute Of India
Dr. Poonawalla is the Chairman & Managing Director of Serum Institute of India which was founded by him in 1966 with a noble purpose of manufacturing serums and vaccines at the time when life-saving serums and vaccines were in short supply in India and were being imported at high prices. It’s a testament of his vision, grit and innovative approach that Serum Institute is today the world’s largest manufacturer of all vaccines put together in number of doses manufactured and supplied to protect children globally.
A visionary with great foresight, Dr. Poonawalla manifested his dream of “Health for all with affordable vaccines” with the creation a company that is today rewriting the script for how Biotechnology companies in India do business. An astute businessman and a determined leader, he is credited for the remarkable success of Serum Institute of India, which has transformed from a Company started with a capital of Rs. 5 laKhs as a small-scale Industry into one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world, with over 1.1 billion doses of high quality serums and vaccines that are used in over 140 countries. Dr.Poonawalla’s Serum Institute, was one of the first offering low cost preventive and curative vaccines (priced at approximately 50% less than the multinational companies - notably several vaccines such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Polio vaccines etc. etc. which are available at the lowest price in the world.
Referred to as one of the seven vaccine heroes by Bill Gates, Dr. Poonawalla has been honoured with numerous accolades including “Padma Shree” in 2005, “The Sabin Humanitarian Award 2005”, “The Sabin Corporate Philanthropy Award” in June 2005 in USA , “U.S. Award for Excellence in the Inter-American Public Health” in 2010, the “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year - Business Transformation Award” in 2012 and “Lifetime achievement” award at the Vaccine World Summit India in 2014.
Dr. Poonawalla has not only been a champion for low-cost, high-quality vaccines for the masses, but is also a strong advocate for human rights, upliftment of the ailing, poor and needy, in leprosy, a votary for public health reforms and free immunization for the under-privileged.
One of the other great passions of Dr. Poonawalla is horse racing and breeding. He is an icon in the thoroughbred horseracing and breeding world, besides being elected as Chairman of RWITC and the Turf Authorities of India. His most significant achievement was when, as a member of the Executive Council of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in Paris (i.e. the world Governing council of the sport], he received the Life-time Achievement Award in Paris on 5th October, 2009.
Lifetime achievement award
Dr. K. Radhakrishnan
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
When India’s Mars Orbiter Mission ‘Mangalyaan’ entered the orbit of the red planet on 21 September 2014, Dr. K Radhakrishnan had successfully overseen the world’s cheapest yet most innovative mission to Mars.
Dr. Radhakrishnan, who took over as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in 2009, joined in 1971 as an avionics engineer and steadily moved up the ranks occupying several decisive roles at ISRO. As Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre he immensely contributed to Chandrayaan-1, India’s first lunar mission. In the half a decade of his tenure as the head of ISRO, Dr. Radhakrishnan has lead the organisation to accomplish 37 space missions (including 16 launcher missions and 21 spacecraft missions), a commendable feat for a space agency of any size.
Dr. Radhakrishnan is an accomplished technocrat with a successful career spanning 38 years in space technology, applications and space programme management he has been a key man in the Chandrayaan mission. Under Dr. Radhakrishnan, ISRO’s emphasis has been on self-reliance and innovation in space technology. For the ‘Mangalyaan’ mission, the team based their work on proven indigenous technologies and built on it. Smart selection of hardware developed and qualified by ISRO in the past including the long-proven workhorse launch vehicle, PSLV, along with innovative refashioning of the technology and equipment were the clear defining factors of the mission. Named among the best inventions of 2014 by TIME magazine, the Mangalyaan is the cheapest inter-planetary mission that, at just USD 74 million, is just a tenth of NASA’s Mars mission Maven.
A Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Bangalore, he is a recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Allan D. Emil Memorial Award (2014) of International Astronautical Federation, the Vikram Sarabhai Memorial Award of Indian Science Congress (2010); and Social Sciences Award of the International Academy of Astronautics (2009).
Nature Science Journal recently chose Dr. Radhakrishnan as one of the top ten scientific personalities in 2014. He is also the recipient of Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour.
The Life of PI
PI Industries is as old as independent India – and maybe almost as diverse, too. Founded in 1947 as an edible oil-producer, it ventured into agrochemicals in 1962-63, and then into Mining and Mineral Processing, Energy Metering and Energy Management, which were hived off into separate group companies namely Wolkem India Ltd. and Secure Meters Ltd. Today PI is one of the fastest growing Company in the agro chemical space in India with a market cap in excess of USD 1 billion. The person who has overseen this remarkable journey is it’s Chairman and Managing Director, Salil Singhal.
A second-generation entrepreneur, Salil was instrumental in spearheading PI’s transformation from a manufacturer of generic agrochemical formulations to a unique and non-conflicting business model of offering CRM (contract research manufacturing) services to global Innovators on one hand, and a strong rural marketing/ distribution network in India on the other.
PI continues to build on its strong relationships with global innovators, world class R&D and chemical manufacturing units with strong capabilities in the areas of complex chemistry. The company has developed a strong connect with the agri-based community and invests in brand building efforts in rural India.
Salil has committed PI to continue to be a technology and knowledge driven Company. He brings a strong marketing and business development focus to the Company making it international in outlook and strong in R&D.
Recognitions and adulations have been coming in thick and fast for Salil and PI. It was conferred the ‘Best Supplier to the Crop Protection Industry’ Award at the “Agrow” Awards in 2014 in London, and was honoured with the ‘Agriculture Leadership’ Award at the Agriculture Leadership Summit 2014. The Business Today magazine recently recognised him as the Best CEO (Mid sized Companies: Chemicals).
Salil is strongly committed to the community. PI Foundation, has a team of 1,200 ‘Plant Doctors’ focussing on increasing farm productivity and food security measures by providing complete farming solutions to the farmers. It started a major skills development training programme in collaboration with DD University Nadiad and Govt. of Gujarat, and has taken up village upliftment initiatives. He is also actively involved with Industry associations and various educational & cultural organisations and has addressed many seminars on agriculture, environment and other subjects.
For Salil the growth of PI Industries is a journey not a goal.
Engineering a positive change
As the Chairman & CEO, Ajit Prabhu provides the vision and strategic direction for the growth of QuEST Global, which he co-founded in 1997. Ajit is passionate about organizational development and he strives to build a timeless institution. He has been the force behind the Company’s phenomenal growth. From a small 100 sq ft office in Schenectady in 1997, QuEST Global has grown to an organization with nearly 7000 employees operating from more than 30 global delivery centers spread across North America, Europe & APAC. The Company has recorded an impressive 5-year CAGR of 36% as against an industry average of 15-20%. Ajit’s determination, ability to open up new markets, passion and ability to understand customer challenges and address them have enabled QuEST Global to establish itself as a leader in Engineering Services Outsourcing in many of Verticals it serves.
Ajit began his career at General Electric’s Corporate R&D Center, in Schenectady, NY, while working on power generation, aircraft engines; appliances and locomotive related engineering problems. Later, he went on to establish QuEST Global.
For his research in Rensselaer, he received the prestigious ‘Young Investigator Award’ from the International Association for Dental Research. Ajit was inducted as a life time member into distinguished Livingston W. Houston 13 Society of Patrons of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and serves on the Engineering School Advisory Council at Rensselaer. Ajit was inducted into prestigious Royal Aeronautical Society, UK as a Fellow in 2010. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year by the Singapore Prime Minister on behalf of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ajit holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Old Dominion University, VA and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer, NY and strongly believes that engineers hold the key to the future. He strongly believes in education playing a role in building successful lives and society. Education of underprivileged deserving students ranks high in his personal agenda and through QuEST Global he runs a novel initiative called “Engineering Positive Change through Education”.
Sticky tale of a ‘majboothjod’
A second generation entrepreneur, M. B. Parekh started his journey with Pidilite in 1972. Mr. Parekh joined Abbot Laboratories, USA, soon after his Masters in Chemical Engineering from University of Wisconsin, USA before joining Pidilite. In his four decades long journey with Pidilite he helped convert a product in an unexciting category into one of the country’s top brands. Its key brands ‘Fevicol’, ‘Fevikwik’, ‘Dr. Fixit’ and ‘M-seal’ are market leaders with high shares in their respective segments.
He not only steered the company to become the market leader in the adhesives and sealants segment in India, but focused on setting a foothold in the overseas market. Under his guidance, PIL has acquired several companies to enter International markets and enhance its products portfolio. The company exports to more than 80 countries and has 13 overseas subsidiaries (4 direct and 9 step-down subsidiaries) manufacturing and selling in the USA, Brazil, Thailand, Dubai, Egypt and Bangladesh.
With its focussed approach to product and brand innovation, it clearly differentiated itself from competition in this otherwise generic market. Quick to identify new opportunities the company heavily invested in the R&D centre at Kondivita, Mumbai and also set up a step-down subsidiary, Pidilite Innovation Centre in Singapore.
Mr. Parekh’s influence in the Company’s social endeavours is primarily in the areas of rural development, education and health. In FY13, Fevicol Champion’s Club members, 22,000 contractors set a Limca record by volunteering a day of their labour on Shramdaan Diwas to fix and repair furniture in 362 institutions, including schools for the under privileged, across the country. This is how Mr. Parekh ensures that the brand promise comes out alive with an energy and emotion that is so intrinsic to the brand that is much loved and adored by one and all.
The turn-around man
Alliance Tire Group
Yogesh Mahansaria is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Tire Group (ATG). Yogesh is a resolute leader and it’s a testimony to his courage and conviction that he was able to turn an enterprise running under financial duress into the world’s sixth largest off-highway tire manufacturer within six years. He has effected one of the biggest Private Equity transactions in India, when KKR bought a 90% stake in Alliance Tire Group during 2013.
Yogesh was just 18 when he entered his family business, Balkrishna Tyres (BKT), a two-wheeler manufacturing company. In 1993, BKT was going through a rough patch, and Yogesh was entrusted with the task of reviving its fortunes. He devised a game plan that transformed BKT into a global company in the off-highway tire business,with revenues of INR 632 crore and profit of INR 70 crore in just over a decade. Yogesh saw opportunity in off-highway tyres and grabbed it when it was not on anybody’s radar. In 2006, at 31, Yogesh quit Balkrishna Tyres, to take on a new challenge by acquiring Alliance Tires in Israel
Yogesh fought great odds and became the turn-around man to get Alliance Tires back on track. With strategic changes he brought about in key business operations and by bringing in international expertise he managed to breathe life into ATG in no time. He then led the foray of the company into forestry and construction tires with the acquisition of the off-highway tire business of US based GPX International when it filed for bankruptcy in 2009. That this acquisition was conceived of and executed during the peak of the financial crisis of 2008-09 is a testament to his vision and risk taking ability.
Yogesh has also been a firm believer in the future of India as a strategic manufacturing hub. This has been demonstrated with ATG having invested over USD 250 million to build two state of art manufacturing facilities in India over the last 6 years. Yogesh’s efforts over the last 20 years have led to,India today being a leading supply source for agriculture tires to global markets.
ATG today is a global leader, with revenues reaching USD 600 million, with operations across Asia, Europe and North America, and customers in over 120 different countries worldwide. He plans to expand ATG to be amongst the top three global manufacturers of agriculture, construction and forest tires.
Banking on excellence
State Bank of India
An accomplished banker with a successful career of over 36 years with the State Bank of India (SBI), Arundhati Bhattacharya has many firsts to her name. She is the first woman chairperson of India’s largest bank, SBI. Arundhati is also the first woman to ever lead a Fortune 500 company in India, and the only woman banker on this influential list.
Arundhati joined the State Bank of India in 1977 as a Probationary Officer (PO), and since then has grown quickly through the ranks to become the Chairperson of this 208 year old legacy institution. Before taking charge as Managing Director, she was MD & CEO of SBI’s investment banking arm, SBI Capital Markets. Earlier, as Dy. Managing Director in SBI, she headed the largest Human Resources Department of the Banking Industry consisting of a work force of over two lakh employees, which includes 65,000 Officers.
Arundhati helped establish some of the most prominent joint ventures for the bank, including the alliance with Insurance Australia Group for general insurance, Macquarie for private equity and Societe Generale for custodial services. She was also instrumental in the launch of new IT platforms such as Mobile Banking and Financial Planning in the Bank. As Chief General Manager, Bengaluru circle, she took keen interest in promoting financial inclusion and financing of Self Help Groups.
A brief stint in SBI’s New York office where she was in charge of monitoring branch performance, overseeing External Audit and Correspondent Relations, helped pave the way for a key leadership role, given her better understanding of all major businesses of the bank.
A Post Graduate from the Jadavpur University, West Bengal, Arundhati has been recognised as the Most Powerful Woman in India by Business Today. She was also ranked 36th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes magazine.