Life is not a template and neither is mine. Like several who have worked as journalists, I am a generalist in my over two decade experience across print, global news wires and dotcom firms. But there has been one underlying theme in each phase; life gave me the chance to observe and tell a story -- from early days tracking a securities scam to terror attacks and some of India's most significant court trials. Besides writing, I have jumped fences to become an entrepreneur, as an investment advisor -- and also taught the finer aspects of business journalism to young minds. At Forbes India, I also keep an eye on some of its proprietary specials like the Rich list, GenNext and Celebrity lists. An alumnus of Xavier Institute of Communications and H.R College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai, I have worked for organisations such as Agence France-Presse, Business Standard, The Financial Express and The Times of India prior to this.
From left: Mihir Doshi, Gautam Kumra, Ashu Suyash, Harsh Mariwala, Puneet Bhatia And Saurabh Mukherjea Image: Aditi Tailang
Harsh Mariwala Founder and chairman, Marico (Jury chair) Harsh Mariwala transformed Marico from making commoditised products such as edible and coconuts oils into a brands-driven and professionally-run FMCG giant with revenues in excess of ₹7,300 crore. Since 2012, he has focussed on driving entrepreneurship through Ascent Foundation, which identifies and helps young entrepreneurs. His experience of building large businesses while maintaining strong corporate governance standards was invaluable to our exercise.
Mihir Doshi Managing director and country-CEO, Credit Suisse India Veteran investment banker Mihir Doshi is a new entrant to the Forbes India Leadership Awards jury. Under his leadership, Credit Suisse India acquired a banking licence and has gained strength in wealth management and investment banking. Amongst the recent deals that have emerged in his tenure as the head include a $1.8 billion QIP offering of Axis Bank (India’s largest QIP for a private sector company and second-largest overall), where Credit Suisse was the book-running lead manager; the other was a $819 million purchase of a stake in NIIT Technologies by Baring Private Equity Asia, where Credit Suisse was the exclusive sell-side financial advisor on the transaction.
Puneet Bhatia Co-managing partner and country head, India, TPG Capital Asia Puneet Bhatia is also a new entrant to the Forbes India Leadership Awards jury and brings with him the expertise of understanding the private equity investor’s role, strategy and vision while investing in Indian companies. He has turned around two businesses in India: The debt-ridden, near-bankrupt Vishal Retail chain and the Shriram Group. Last year, TPG wrote its largest cheque when it backed an acquisition by homegrown agrochemical firm UPL Ltd. The fund deployed $600 million for an 11 percent stake. Prior to this, Bhatia was the CEO (private equity group) for GE India.
Ashu Suyash Managing director and CEO, Crisil A financial services veteran, Ashu Suyash has been instrumental in transforming Crisil into a global analytics and data powerhouse from a single-revenue channel business. In a tumultuous year, it continued to lead the credit ratings space, while increasing its market share in bond issuances and its number of corporate clients. Last year, Crisil launched new data and analytics platforms. Suyash brought with her the knowledge of turning around corporations, the commitment that business leaders need, and an understanding of India’s deepest social concerns.
Saurabh Mukherjea Founder and CEO, Marcellus Investment Managers An investment and wealth management expert, Saurabh Mukherjea's Marcellus Investment Managers has assets under management (AUM) of ₹557 crore. Its investment philosophy revolves around companies with sound corporate governance and management, which are available at reasonable valuations. Before founding Marcellus, Mukherjea was CEO of Ambit Capital, where he was instrumental increasing AUM to $800 million. Mukherjea is the author of three bestselling books: Gurus of Chaos, The Unusual Billionaires, and Coffee Can Investing. He brought with him his expertise of interpreting financial data and new-age business vision.
Gautam Kumra Senior partner and managing director, McKinsey India Heading McKinsey’s India operations, Gautam Kumra has founded the McKinsey Leadership Institute in India, which focuses on developing leaders who can deliver transformational change. Kumra has also led the McKinsey Asia Center, a special initiative on globalisation, which has helped several major Indian companies shape their global agendas. His vital knowledge in how corporates achieve this, and how multinationals set their agenda for growth in India, made him part of the jury.