A power-packed jury, comprising seven of India Inc’s leading decision makers, will meet here tomorrow afternoon to select the winners of Business Standard’s annual awards for corporate excellence.
Picking out the best from a long list of names compiled by the Business Standard Research Bureau is a tough job, as the jury has to pore over reams of data and select not only the CEO of the year, but also achievers in other categories — public sector undertakings, multinational firms and small and medium enterprises.
But the job of deciding on a few outstanding individuals and institutions who deserve to be honoured is in safe hands. The jury chairman is ICICI Bank and Infosys Chairman K V Kamath, a statesman of the world of finance and a man who has done and seen it all. It was under the leadership of Kamath, a Padma Bhushan awardee, that the ICICI group transformed itself into a diversified, technology-driven financial services group.
He will be joined by another Padma Bhushan, M V Subbiah, who was among the first to oversee a successful transition from a family-managed group to a professionally managed entity. For decades, he managed the affairs of the Murugappa group; yet, after retiring as chairman in 2004, Subbiah, now managing trustee of AMM Foundation, chose to study management at the Kellogg School, researching family-run businesses.
Harsh Mariwala, the third member of the jury, is also someone who has walked the talk on giving more weight to meritocracy in running his company. The Marico chairman and managing director is the only family member with an executive presence on Marico’s board, though the family owns around 63 per cent of the company. Mariwala has also transformed a traditional commodity-based business into a consumer products and services giant.
And the man who has advised and funded scores of Indian firms in making that transition is Sanjay Nayar, CEO of PE giant KKR India. The former Citi India head brings to the table a unique mix of local understanding and global exposure.
Y M Deosthalee, chairman and managing director of L&T Finance Holdings, would bring in the number skills’ – something that had earned him the title of L&T Group’s Mr Finance. As CMD, Deosthalee has shown he also knows the art of how to grow fast – his firm made three high-profile acquisitions last year.
Joining them in picking the best in corporate India is ace corporate lawyer Zia Mody, whose advice is sought by most top businesses. Over the years, Mody, senior partner of AZB & Partners, has specialised in structuring some of the most complex merger and acquisition deals, including Tata-Corus, Tata Motors-JLR and Lafarge’s acquisitions in India.
Noshir Kaka, MD of McKinsey India, is another jury member with a vantage position, as his firm has been helping a range of organisations – mid-sized to large private firms, state-owned companies and large, well-established multinationals — on issues concerning strategy, operations, organisation, etc.
Watch this space on Monday, January 28, for the names of the winners and how the jury arrived at the decisions.