Introducing the engineers of growth – The most exceptional entrepreneurs who have placed India on the path of progress with their bold vision, innovation and exemplary performance.
Read their exceptional entrepreneurial stories by clicking on the links below:
Lifetime Achievement Award
| Ratan Tata |
| Adi Godrej |
| Amit Jatia |
| Chandu Chavan |
| Dr. Cyrus S Poonawalla |
Serum Institute of India
| Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty |
| Dhiraj C Rajaram |
Mu Sigma Business Solutions
| Francisco D'souza |
Cognizant Technology Solutions
| Kishor Patil |
KPIT Cummins Infosystems
| Madan Mohan Mohanka |
| Dr. Naresh Trehan |
Medanta - The Medicity
| Onkar S Kanwar |
| Romesh Sobti |
| Santosh Varalwar |
| T T Jagannathan |
| V.S.S. Mani |
Adi Godrej is the Chairman of the Godrej Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates which include companies like Godrej Industries (GIL), Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), Godrej Properties (GPL) as well as Godrej and Boyce.
Mr. Godrej has led the diversification of the group from manufacturing locks and soaps into FMCG, office & consumer durables, industrial engineering, agricare, real estate, home appliances and IT. He has driven Godrej’s international expansion into Europe, Indonesia, Latin America, Africa and Middle East. His strategic vision and focus on performance improvement measures saw the group undergo a restructuring process, making the companies agile and ready for challenges from an evolving business landscape.
Today, the combined market cap of the 3 big listed companies under Godrej Group - GCPL, GIL and GPL stands at over INR 40,000 cr. GCPL, the biggest listed company of the Group holds a leading position in personal and home care products in the domestic market. GCPL derives 40% of revenues from international businesses while GIL is a market leader in specialty chemicals in India, with 44% of revenues from exports.
Mr. Godrej inspired the Group’s shared value initiative “Good & Green” which aims to train one million rural and urban youth for employment, reduce environmental impact and generate one- third of portfolio revenues from greener products and services by 2020.
Over the last five decades, Mr. Godrej, through his leadership of key trade and commerce organizations, has contributed immensely to the growth of diverse industries. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi (The Engineering Honor Society) and the chairman of the Indian School of Business since April 2011. He is also the current president of The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
For his contribution to Indian industry, Mr. Godrej has been the recipient of several awards and recognitions including the Padma Bhushan in 2013.
Amit Jatia, in more ways than one personifies the entrepreneurial spirit, that young Indian businessmen aspire for. He is credited for playing a significant role in facilitating a smooth entry for McDonald’s in India. Today, he is spearheading McDonald’s in West and South India.
Getting a hamburger chain to thrive in a country where eating beef is taboo, is a challenge to say the least. But McDonald’s found its way in India, thanks to Mr. Jatia. He played a major role in facilitating the fast food giant’s smooth entry in India. Simultaneously, he also created the essential organizational infrastructure to develop and run the chain of McDonald’s restaurants in West and South India.
Mr. Jatia, an alumnus of University of Southern California, Los Angeles, left his family business of industrial chemicals before establishing HRPL, as a JV (50:50 stake) with McDonald’s Inc. for West and South India region. He underwent hands-on training for a year at McDonald’s in Jakarta (Indonesia), and also obtained a degree in Hamburgerology from the Hamburger University, Illinois, the US. HRPL operates 155 outlets (not all are company owned, however all are company operated) across 14 cities in India. It progressed from a JV partner to a development licensee of McDonald’s Inc. in 2010, this enables HRPL to take independent decisions regarding outlet location and purchase of real estate. HRPL plans to invest INR6 billion in the next 2-3 years for its expansion. Additionally, it plans to open 30-40 outlets per year as compared to the earlier 15 outlets per year.
Amit Jatia has been recognized for his achievements and has been awarded the “Young Achievers Award“ by the Indo-American Society in 2003, Business world’s “Most Respected Company“ award for the Food Sector in 2005 for the third consecutive year, as well as Images “Retailer of the Year“ award in 2004 and 2005.
Mr. Chavan, Chairman and Managing Director of Innoventive Industries started his career in the materials procurement department of Bajaj Auto in 1988. He left Bajaj Auto in 1997 to set up his own venture ‘Phoenix Enterprises’ to deal in precision tubes. Thereafter, in 2002, he acquired Arihant Domestic Appliances, (now known as Innoventive Industries Ltd.). His experience and expertise has helped immensely in the growth and development of the company. He has been a driving force behind the growth strategy of the Group and its entry into new product segments and markets.
He has also been instrumental in driving many domestic and international acquisitions. Innoventive Industries Ltd is the only company in the world that produces and sells pilgered precision-welded tubes. It has five manufacturing facilities in Silvassa and Pune, producing a range of precision tubes required across industries.
In just over a decade, the company has made remarkable progress to top a net sales revenue of over INR 770 crore. Innoventive today serves approximately 500 domestic and global customers and key clients include Bajaj Auto, Alstom, BHEL, Themax, Arcelor Mittal, Welded Tube of Canada, Volkswagen and Volvo-Eicher. The company’s products are certified by American Petroleum Institute (a pre-requisite for supplying to global oil companies) and approved by leading international oil and gas companies (including Petrobras and Shell). IIL has been granted a patent in India for its indigenous ‘cold pilgering’ technology for 20 years (with effect from 2009). It has filed patent application for this technology in 33 other countries globally.
Under his leadership, the company runs its CSR initiative ‘Jaldoot’ (a technology-based low cost water filtration system) in Sanaswadi village, Pune. The company distributes approximately 14.6 million litres of purified drinking water per year at affordable prices to approximately 12,000 inhabitants. The company has also promoted an NGO called ‘Swayamsiddha’ in 2004 which works on several projects to create heath awareness.
Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla
Serum Institute of India
Dr. Poonawalla launched Serum Institute of India in 1966 as a small scale industry, which he has developed today as the world’s largest manufacturer of pediatric vaccines.
As a visionary, right from beginning, Serum Institute has followed the path of manufacturing high quality serums and vaccines, which was then in great short supply in India, with a strong commitment for “Health for All with affordable vaccines”. Today, the same principle is followed where Serum Institute’s and its subsidiaries’ price structure has led to the production of over a billion doses of vaccines annually that are used in 140 countries. At a conservative figure, more than 60% of all children born in 2012 have received at least one or more vaccine produced by India’s number-1 Biotech Company – Serum Institute of India.
This exemplary entrepreneur has been honoured with numerous accolades – “Padma Shree” in 2005, “The Sabin Humanitarian Award 2005” and “The Sabin Corporate Philanthropy Award” in June 2005 in USA and “U.S. Award for Excellence in the Inter-American Public Health” in 2010.
Dr. Poonawalla has not only contributed in providing low cost vaccines for the masses, but has made his mark by contributing to the society in several ways – be it education or the upliftment of the ailing, poor and needy, in leprosy and free immunization.
His most significant contribution in the sport of horse breeding and racing was when he was elected as Chairman of the Royal Western India Turf Club and the Turf Authorities of India, as also 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 has also been a winner of the Champion Breeders’ award on multiple occasions.
Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty
Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty is a philanthropist, a cardiac surgeon and founder of the much reputed Narayana Hrudayalaya Group (NHG). He is credited for making high-quality medical care affordable and changing the medical fraternity’s perception that healthcare quality was directly proportional to cost.
In association with Government of Karnataka, Dr. Shetty pioneered Yashaswini, a micro-health insurance scheme to cover more than 800 types of surgeries. Considering that 47% of the rural population sells assets to meet cost of healthcare, the scheme has transformed the lives of several families. Narayana Hrudayala was founded with a belief that a good part of India’s progress lay in improving the standard of healthcare available to the common man. Today, the Bengaluru-based hospital chain runs 17 hospitals in 11 cities and is in the process of adding more hospitals to its network.
The chain has introduced efficiencies through its tie-up with ICT for reducing cost of quality healthcare and another one with HCL for cloud computing to reduce administrative hurdles. NHG also has a JV with TriMedx, a subsidiary of Ascension Health (USA), aimed at taking healthcare to far reaches of India.
NHG pioneered telemedicine in India and has offered more than 53,000 tele-consultations in the last ten years. NHG’s net sales in the last 2 fiscal years grew at a CAGR of approximately 41%, with the figures surpassing INR 640 crs in FY12.
After completing his graduate degree in Medicine and post-graduate work in General Surgery from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, he trained in cardiac surgery at Guy’s Hospital in the United Kingdom and returned to India in 1989. Apart from performing the first neonatal heart surgery in the country on a 9-day-old baby, he has served as Mother Theresa’s personal physician.
Dr. Shetty’s Narayana Hrudayalaya chain of hospitals and its operational mechanics exemplify how frugal innovation and strategic cost management can help build a sustainable business model with a high social impact. Dr. Shetty was also awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2012.
Dhiraj Rajaram, a first-generation entrepreneur founded Mu-Sigma in 2005, with the vision to build an analytics services company. Dhiraj quit the security of his job, selling his house in Chicago and moved into a one bedroom apartment, using the sale proceeds to build Mu Sigma — Mu represents mean, Sigma represents standard deviation — two basic metrics in decision sciences. Mu Sigma is now arguably the world’s largest pure-play decision sciences and analytics services company. He has marked himself out as the contrarian entrepreneur in the big data industry.
An alumnus of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Mr. Rajaram’s stints as a management consultant with leading consulting firms helped him develop the opportunity for applied maths in an environment witnessing exponential increase in data. Today, Mu Sigma works with market-leaders across multiple verticals, solving high-impact business problems in the areas of marketing, supply chain and risk analytics. Demand for data analytics from India—ranging from improving sales force efficiency to fine-tuning a new product launch to optimizing budgets for mega marketing campaigns—is expected to grow, as is the industry itself.
The company is a pioneer in analytics outsourcing and provides analytical decision support services (statistical analysis, forecasting and simulation and predictive modeling) in the areas of marketing, risk, and supply chain to its clients across the domains of pharmaceutical, healthcare, financial services and insurance, technology, media and telecom, retail and consumer products. Its key clients include Microsoft, IBM, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Dell, Abbott and Goodyear.
With over 50 Fortune 500 clients and over 1300 analytics professionals, Mu Sigma, headquartered in Chicago with its main delivery center in Bangalore, has grown rapidly. Mu Sigma has raised USD108 million funding from private equity firms in December 2011. It had earlier raised USD25 million in June 2011 and USD30 million in 2008.
Cognizant Technology Solutions
Francisco D’Souza, took over the reins as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (CTSH) in 2007, when he was only 38, becoming the youngest CEO in the software services sector. Founded in 1994 as a captive arm of Dun & Bradstreet, Cognizant was later spun off as an independent company and got listed on NASDAQ in 1998.
He has rapidly taken Cognizant up the growth curve and is now poised to deliver on plans to become India’s largest IT services company in North America by March 2013. The consistency of such growth is remarkable; from FY09 to FY11, net sales grew at a CAGR of approximately 34.2%.
Underscoring the point how D’Souza “goes boldly where other CEOs don’t”, while most of D’Souza’s peers reacted by tightening their belts and cutting investments when the crisis at Lehman Brothers erupted, Frank did something else. Instead of cutting down as most companies did, he treated the crisis as an opportunity and encouraged his team to spend more time with customers, spend more on marketing, and invest in new businesses. Such resolve bore dividends and Cognizant’s clients stopped seeing it less as cost arbitrage providers and more as partners.
D’Souza is focused on identifying the next wave of opportunities for Cognizant. He has formed a new business group called emerging business accelerators (EBA) with a simple mandate: Incubate new businesses around emerging technologies, which will be steered by some of the most entrepreneurial leaders from Cognizant handpicked by him.
He has been honoured with many prestigious accolades, including the Economic Times Entrepreneur Award in 2005. He was also a 2002 EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. In 2009 he was named among “America’s Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine.
Being a visionary entrepreneur and a record of delivering success with remarkable consistency, he is set to take on from the luminaries of an older generation of IT entrepreneurs, who set the bedrock for Cognizant’s success.
KPIT Cummins Infosystems
Kishor Patil is the co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of KPIT Cummins Infosystems Ltd., a leading technology solutions partner for global manufacturing corporations with special focus on Automotive, Energy & Utilities and Industrial Equipment.
Kishor began his career as a chartered accountant with a CA firm and rose rapidly to become a Partner. His interest in applying his expertise in tax practice to the art of management consulting, took his career on a different track. That, combined with his partnership with two other immensely talented individuals, who shared his ambition, culminated in the genesis of what KPIT Cummins is today.
KPIT Cummins’ story is one of perseverance and assiduous scale-up in focus. From an initial focus on customers close to their home base of Pune to partnering with companies in the U.S., offering them on-site management consulting solutions, the company has been built brick by brick. KPIT Cummins went public in 1999, something that very few Indian IT companies had done at that point of time.
Despite a challenging global economic scenario, KPIT Cummins has recorded remarkable growth as spelled out by these numbers. From FY10 to FY12, net sales grew at a CAGR of approximately 43.2% and the company reported sales of INR11.1 billion and PAT of INR974 million for H1FY13.
Adversity brings out the best in individuals with a strong character and that has been proven time and again with Kishor and his team. Such challenges included termination of a crucial contract with a leading global bank that got sold besides the severe impact on business caused by the 9/11 tragedy.
Kishor’s focus on its “star customers” helped deploy the company’s resources efficiently, helping sustain growth. In 2002 came the partnership with Cummins (North America’s largest independent engine manufacturer), which gave the company the confidence of being with a large business entity.
Leveraging its strengths across key practice areas and best in class talent to tap the potential of emerging markets, Kishor is poised to take the company onward to its goal of becoming a USD 1 billion organization.
Madan Mohan Mohanka
Mr. Mohanka, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad founded Tega in 1976 in technical and financial collaboration with Skega AB, Sweden with an objective of providing unique products, services and solutions for handling complex problems in material handling and mineral processing industries.
Headquartered in Kolkata, Tega offers a range of abrasion and wear-resistant products and services required for mining, mineral processing, screening, grinding, material handling and beneficiation of minerals. In a little over four decades, Mr Mohanka’s perseverance and passion has guaranteed global acclaim for Tega Industries as the premier manufacturer of specialized wear-resistant rubber components.
Tega has transformed from a national company to a global player with presence in 14 countries, operating plants in 3 countries and exports to over 68 countries. Tega’s financials are impressive with a net sales growth of 55% CAGR from FY 10 to FY 12 and an EBITDA margin of 20.10% for FY 12.
Tega, under his dynamic leadership has successfully completed the acquisition and integration of companies in South Africa ( 2006), Chile (2011) and Australia (2011). With Mr Mohanka’s drive for growth, Tega is at a very advanced stage of capacity augmentation by setting up a INR1000 million (debt-funded) greenfield project for wear-resistant rubber products at Dahej, Gujarat.
Mr. Mohanka has won several awards including the Distinguished Alumnus Award 2011 from IIM, Ahmedabad; Certificate for outstanding eminence and contribution to the profession of Mineral Engineering from Indian Institute of Mineral Engineers and the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award for the 3rd Annual Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2011, to name a few.
Mr. Mohanka is also associated with several social initiatives, including founding a school in Rajasthan for the underprivileged and managing schools in three villages in West Bengal to enhance quality of primary education.
Dr. Naresh Trehan
Medanta - The Medicity
Naresh Trehan is amongst India’s most famous cardiac surgeons and also has the distinction of being the personal surgeon to the Presidents of India since 1991. Dr. Trehan graduated from King George’s Medical College, Lucknow, and subsequently obtained a diploma from the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery from the New York University Medical Center. He has performed approximately 48,000 cardiac surgeries during a career spanning 30 years.
After his return to India from USA in 1988, he partnered with the Escorts Group to set up the as Escorts Heart Institute and Research Center (EHIRC). It was in 2009 that Dr. Trehan set up his own multi-super specialty hospital project “Medanta” in Gurgaon, India’s premier healthcare centre.
“Medanta” has several firsts to its credit — it’s the first in Asia to cure Factor VII deficiency by a liver transplant; first in India to offer robotic surgeries in cardiac, urology and gynecology. “Medanta” is spread across approximately 1.8 msft, offering services in 20 specialties, and has 1,600 beds (including 350 critical care beds), 45 operation theatres and six centers of excellence. Its institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine is ranked second in the world (conducts 250 liver transplants a year) and its Gastrointestinal and Bariatric Surgery (surgeries for weight reduction) division is among the top ten centers in the world.
Apart from his aim to connect 56 African cities through its MediConnect service, Dr. Trehan, in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals and Narayana Hrudayalaya, plans to start air ambulance services in India for patients in non-metros. In collaboration with Smile Train (NGO), Medanta offers free cleft lip and palate surgeries at its campus. Medanta also regularly conducts free health camps across North India (particularly in the state of Jammu & Kashmir).
Dr. Trehan was conferred Padma Bhushan in 2001
Onkar S. Kanwar
A visionary entrepreneur, Onkar Kanwar, has played a pivotal role in defining Apollo Tyres’ strategy and creating its business philosophy. Under his leadership, Apollo has seen exponential growth and is today a globally recognized tyre brand.
Onkar Kanwar is the chief architect of the company’s metamorphoses into an Indian multinational manufacturing high performance radials in 3 continents and selling branded tyres in 118 countries. His principles of innovation, quality and customer-centricity have formed the bedrock of pioneering initiatives in product development, sales and marketing, R&D and manufacturing.
His resolute efforts over the years and resilience in the face of market uncertainties reflect in the impressive growth seen in the company’s turnover of USD 2.5 billion and expansion in the global workforce to over 16000 employees. The fact that Apollo Tyres markets and sells under 6 key brands – Apollo, Dunlop (in 32 African countries), Vredestein, Regal, Kaizen and Maloya – underscores the success of Onkar Kanwar’s strategic moves towards diversity and expansion.
With a sharp focus on manufacturing excellence and customer satisfaction, Onkar Kanwar continues to lead Apollo with a resolve to be ‘close to the market’ and is planning to set up a greenfield manufacturing facility in the ASEAN region. Today, his vision of making Apollo a $6 billion company by 2016 is guiding the company in exploring organic and inorganic growth opportunities.
Onkar Kanwar is highly regarded for his constant emphasis in bettering the lives of people. With several employee initiatives being a first for the industry, he has also played a pivotal role behind Apollo’s award-winning social responsibility program – the HIV-AIDS awareness and prevention initiative for the commercial vehicle driver community.
Mr. Romesh Sobti, with over 39 years of prior banking experience with SBI, ANZ Grindlays and ABN Amro, has scripted a remarkable turnaround for the IndusInd Bank as its CEO. From an entity that was facing severe challenges and riding low on hope, he has turned the bank into a professionally managed, cutting edge financial services success.
When the Hindujas brought in Sobti to lead the bank in 2008, IndusInd was impaired in terms of its capital, the quality of its book and its earnings, the quality of its people and infrastructure. Within three years of joining IndusInd, Mr. Sobti has inspired a remarkable performance through his transformational leadership. He helped establish an universal banking model, with a view to making the bank a full service provider — from wholesale to retail by tapping different client and product segments.
IndusInd bank’s impressive statistics tell a story of continuous success and robust performance. During the last 5 years, total deposits and total advances have grown at a CAGR of 19.1% and 25.9% respectively. Its market capitalization as on 3 December, 2012 was approximately INR196.1 billion. The bank’s current and savings accounts (CASA) now stands at 28 per cent, a huge jump from the 15.7 per cent when Sobti and his new team came on board.
Staying true to his ingrained spirit of entrepreneurship, the bank, under his leadership, has undertaken many bold initiatives, including acquiring the credit card business of Deustche Bank and getting access to 200,000 card customers and the entire operating platform. The bank also forayed into home loans through a tie up with HDFC to distribute their home loans through its branch network.
Many interesting and innovative initiatives introduced by the bank have helped enhance connect with its customers. The bank launched service propositions including ATM denomination selection service, cheque images along with account statement, and 365 day banking service. It has launched mobile banking service enabling cash withdrawal from select ATMs without using an ATM/debit card.
Mr. Sobti has recently been re-appointed for a tenure of three years as CEO of the IndusInd Bank.
Santosh Varalwar is the CEO and Managing Director of Vivimed Labs, an organization with a unique portfolio of products, focused on pharmaceuticals, personal care and colour chemistry. Before turning entrepreneur, Santosh Varalwar worked in the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), where he had an opportunity to understand mercantile trade and international marketing. With this experience and global exposure, he embarked upon his entrepreneurial journey.
Vivimed Labs established in 1989, is a diversified global company with a unique portfolio of products in Specialty Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals. Vivimed has gradually increased its portfolio of offerings through product innovations at its Research & Development Center. Some of its reputed clientele includes Unilever, P&G, L’Oreal, ISP, Novartis, Merck, Cipla, Astra Zeneca, BDF, AVON and others. The company has 10 manufacturing facilities (India-7, Spain–2 and Mexico-1) and three R&D facilities (one each in India, UK and Spain) offering a diverse portfolio of products. Vivimed Labs has a customer base spread across 50 countries and SBUs based in America (Vivimed Labs USA Inc) and Europe (Vivimed Labs Europe), alongwith a marketing office in China.
Under Mr. Varalwar’s leadership, the company got listed on the stock exchanges in 2005 with its public issue being oversubscribed by 40 times. He has steered Vivimed Labs to various successful milestones and aptly merged the pharmaceutical and chemical division in the year 2007 to consolidate and create a global Identity. In 2009, under his leadership Vivimed Labs went ahead to acquire three overseas companies namely James Robinson Limited in UK and Har- Met International Inc. in USA; and Spain’s ‘Uquifa’ in 2011. The company also acquired ‘Octtantis Nobel’, a local, branded formulation marketing company in 2011.
T. T. Jagannathan
T.T. Jagannathan, took over his family business - TTK in 1972, as a third generation entrepreneur. An innovator and a visionary, Mr Jagannathan is an alumnus of IIT Madras and Masters in Operations Research from Cornell University.
Founded in 1928, TTK pioneered organized distribution of consumer products. It diversified its presence across kitchen appliances (TTK Prestige- TTKP), pharma, personal care and medical devices (TTK Healthcare-TTKH), foot care, NRI services, condoms and health insurance. TTK products are available at 3, 20,000 outlets in India through 10,000 dealers of TTKP and 2,800 distributors of TTKH. The company’s success did not come through overnight. In the initial days, it faced multiple challenges of debt, resistance from dealers in accepting new products and lack of direct interaction with customers. However, Jagannathan’s single-minded focus and an innovative approach helped the company evolve as a a successful conglomerate with strong brands under its umbrella.
Today, the flagship brand TTKP is India’s largest kitchen appliances company, with approximately 40% market share in the branded pressure cooker market. It is a “total kitchen solutions” provider with a portfolio that offers from food processors and pressure cookers to heaters, toasters and kitchen hardware like chimneys and furniture. Mr Jagannathan has also introduced an array of modern products like non-stick cookware and induction cook- tops which account for a significant share of the company’s revenues.
TTKP‘s products meet global quality standards and is the first kitchenware company in India to get ISO 9001 certification. It is also the only company to get PED/CE certification (TUV, Germany). With four decades of growth and accolades like ‘Best under a Billion 2012’ and ‘Super Brand’ under its belt, Jagannathan is all set to make his vision ‘ A Prestige in every Indian kitchen’ a reality. A keen golfer and an experimental cook, Jagannathan is closely associated with the social cause through the “TT Ranganathan Clinical Research Foundation” dedicated to the treatment of addiction and the ‘Madras Voluntary Blood Bank’.
With an idea in his mind and passion in his heart, VSS Mani, Founder & CEO of Just Dial has revolutionized the process of searching for information. While the western world was still waking up to the concept of internet, Mani, way back in 1989, foresaw a flourishing business of ‘search’ that was aided by technology.
Mani grasped the industry basics right at the very start - people were looking for accurate, relevant and quick information from a search service provider. Instead of investing in advertising, he focused on consistent brand delivery. He further envisioned the mediums for accessing info, beyond voice, proliferating to multiple platforms including voice, web, mobile and text.
With innovation at the core, Mani leveraged technology by adopting automation at every stage. For instance, when Justdial wanted to migrate from reading out information over calls to texting/emailing in 2006, it met with resistance from users who were not sure of receiving the info. But with introduction of new software, Justdial had the whole nation appreciating the swiftness and accuracy of the service.
Mani launched the web version of Justdial in 2007, which is the most frequented local search destination in the country, recording 124.3 million web-visits in 2012. From a pure vanilla voice-service, it graduated to disseminating info to callers via SMS/email; from thereon to basic web-search and then to enriched content inclusive of images, videos, geo-locations. He then introduced Ratings and Reviews to aid informed decisions. Today, Justdial boasts of over 20 million ratings.
Consolidated revenue from continuing operations increased from Rs. 716.0 million in fiscal 2008 to Rs. 2,770.2 million in fiscal 2012, representing a CAGR of 40.2% and is employing a workforce of over 6000 people.
Pursuing the vision of establishing of a global footprint, Justdial has launched a similar service in the USA. Justdial has been the first Indian local search engine to expand abroad.
Indeed, VSS Mani, through Justdial has changed the entire search landscape in India.
Growth and competition, productivity and efficiency gains, and globalization and innovation; these words best describe the story that Ratan Tata has scripted for the Tata Group, over the past 20 years.
Under Mr. Tata’s leadership (1991-2012), the group’s success has ran concurrent to and mirrored India’s rise as one of the fastest-growing economies. He took charge of the Tata Group’s future in 1991, a year that witnessed the opening up of the Indian economy. From revenues of INR140 billion in that year, the Tata Group has grown manifold to INR4757 billion (USD 100 billion) today. By 2020-21, Ratan Tata envisions the Tata Group to be a USD500 billion global conglomerate. Mr. Tata has delivered on his vision of being a significant global player with international revenues rising to USD58.5 billion from USD4.7 billion in FY05. The major acquisitions by the group across some of its businesses have helped expand its global footprint, catapulting it into a line-up of business groups that enjoy international recognition. It’s not a small feat and justifies Indians’ unabiding pride in a business group that has long been seen as synonymous with trust and transparency across generations.
Beyond business, Mr. Tata’s tenure has been notable for its longevity, ambition and stewardship of a venerable tradition of giving back to the society through philanthropic trusts that have created national institutions for science and technology, medical research, social studies and the performing arts. Mr. Tata is also a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.