India’s thriving and highly capable business community has played an important role in the growth of the economy and the country’s increasing global influence. According to Forbes magazine, India currently has 140 billionaires, placing it at the third spot in the list of countries with the highest number of billionaires. Best business leaders in India like Mukesh Ambani, Shiv Nadar, Azim Premji and Sanjiv Bajaj have carved a formidable reputation in India and abroad because of their innovative approaches and out of the box ideas. Through their CSR and philanthropic activities, these business leaders also work to uplift the lives of the underprivileged, contribute to education, the environment and various other fields.
Listed below are renowned corporate leaders in India who are known for their significant role in strengthening the financial sector and development of the country
One of India’s most influential business leaders, Mukesh Ambani needs no introduction. The Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani has followed the footsteps of his father Dhirubhai Ambani and made Reliance a force to reckon in India as well as abroad. Mukesh Ambani took over the reins of Reliance Industries Limited and Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited after the demise of his father in 2002. Under Mukesh Ambani, the company has made significant progress. From building the grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, which is the largest in the world, to becoming a leader in the retail business with Reliance Retail and Jio (the largest telecom service provider in India), the contribution of Ambani to the industry has been phenomenal. Mukesh Ambani has also been bestowed with numerous awards and achievements like Business Leader of the Year award in 2010 by NDTV India, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000, and Businessman of the Year in 2010 by The Financial Chronicle, among others.
One of the top financial business leaders in India, Sanjiv Bajaj is the scion of the illustrious Bajaj family. He has been educated at some of the best schools and universities in India and abroad. After attaining sufficient experience in Bajaj Auto, which he joined in 1994, Sanjiv Bajaj became the Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv in 2007. The following years saw Sanjiv Bajaj’s portfolio expand as he took over charge as the Chairman of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance. Other notable roles include Managing Director of Bajaj Holdings and Investment Limited and Vice Chairman of Bajaj Finance. By devising sound business strategies and using the right technologies, Sanjiv Bajaj has transformed Bajaj Finserv and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance into economic powerhouses. As of 2017, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has been placed second in the list of the most profitable insurance companies in India. Bajaj Finserv has made it easy for borrowers to avail loans by introducing a paperless process and offering quick loan approvals.
As the Chairman of the HCL Group, Shiv Nadar has substantially contributed to the development of the IT industry in India. His journey from an employee of Walchand Group’s Copper Engineering Limited to the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of HCL Technologies Limited is truly inspiring. In 1976, this inspirational business leader set up HCL in a garage. Today HCL is one of India’s premier IT companies. HCL has made its way to the Forbes Global 2000 list and has also diversified into other areas like banking, automotive, healthcare, consumer goods, aerospace and defense. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and many other awards, Shiv Nadar is also a philanthropist. He founded the Shiv Nadar Foundation in 1994 which focuses on improving the educational system in India.
One of India’s most influential business leaders, Azim Premji is currently the founder Chairman and non-executive member of the board of Wipro. Premji took control of Wipro in 1966 upon the demise of his father. At that time, the company was manufacturing vegetable oils. Azim Premji steered the company to new heights and entered new business areas. Today, Wipro has a strong presence in IT, personal care, healthcare, lighting and the furniture segments. AzimPremji has carved a niche in the Indian and global business landscape. Asiaweek Magazine included him in the list of the 20 most powerful men in the world and Time Magazine twice listed him among the 100 most influential people. He is also contributing to the development of society through Azim Premji Foundation.
A graduate from the University of Westminster, London, Adar Poonawalla is the CEO of Serum Institute of India, a leading manufacturer of vaccines. In 2001, Adar joined the company and began focusing on expanding its international base. From exporting products to 35 countries in 2001, to 140 in 2015, Adar Poonawalla has substantially increased the company’s global footprint. In 2011, Adar Poonawalla took over as Serum Institute of India’s CEO. Poonawalla has initiated several notable measures like launching the Serum Institute’s oral polio vaccine in 2014, and is also planning to produce vaccines for diseases like dengue, cervical cancer and flu. He is also the Chairman of Poonawalla Fincorp.
These business leaders are not only influential and inspiring, but have taken their businesses to new heights through their hard work, devotion and single-minded focus. They have made valuable contributions to the country’s GDP and also created a powerful legacy.