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.
The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards have been announced! Read their exceptional entrepreneurial stories by clicking on the links below:
|Entrepreneur Of The Year India 2012|
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|Lifetime Achievement Award|
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Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012: Category Winners
|Entrepreneur Of The Year – Business Transformation|
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Dr. Cyrus S Poonawalla
Serum Institute of India
|Entrepreneur of the Year - Life Sciences and Healthcare|
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Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty
|Entrepreneur Of The Year – Services|
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Dhiraj C Rajaram
Mu Sigma Business Solutions
|Entrepreneur Of The Year – Manager|
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Cognizant Technology Solutions
|Entrepreneur Of The Year - Start-Up|
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Dr. Naresh Trehan
Medanta - The Medicity
|Entrepreneur Of The Year – Manufacturing|
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Onkar S Kanwar
|Entrepreneur Of The Year – Consumer Products|
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T T Jagannathan
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.
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 Ernst & Young 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.
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.
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’.
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.