K. B. S. Anand
The thirst for staying market-relevant and innovative have been the hallmarks of K.B.S. Anand’s legacy at Asian Paints, ever since he joined the company in 1979. He is one of only two non-family members in the company, with a history of over 75 years, to hold the position of a CEO. In his long 40-year association with the company, Mr. Anand’s greatest achievement, perhaps, was stewarding Asian Paints to the forefront of market innovations, from new products to new segments and everything in between.
An alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta, Mr. Anand always saw virtue in having the best talent around him. An entrepreneur by nature, he is seen as a core contributor to many innovations in the industry. Mr. Anand led the company into launching some of its top selling brands, such as, Ace, Tractor Emulsion, Royale Play, Ultima and Emporio Polyurethanes in the last two decades. Launching the first company-run painting service in 2001 was a unique step, the first by any paint company in the world.
He brought about a change in the company’s culture by focusing on the consumer heralding the movement from products to services. Asian Paints, under Mr. Anand, initiated many innovations in the paint manufacturing process which have improved the quality and led to savings in material efficiencies.
While Mr. Anand may not be the kind of person to boast about numbers, it is hard not to look at the company’s performance. Since 2017, the net sales of the company grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 13.4%. According to latest figures, the market capitalization of the company in November 2019 is more than INR 1,70,000 crores. Since he took over the helm as the CEO in 2012, Mr. Anand has been the recipient of some of the most prestigious Indian and global recognitions for business leaders. During the course of his long and illustrious career, he has put Asian Paints on the path to an innovative and bright future.