FILA 2021: Meet our power-packed jury

The jury for the 2020-21 Forbes India Leadership Awards comprised successful entrepreneurs and some of the biggest names in business

Salil Panchal
Published: Mar 2, 2021 12:38:38 PM IST
Updated: Mar 2, 2021 01:52:34 PM IST

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.

harsha mariwalaImage: Prasad Gori

Harsh Mariwala
Founder and chairman, Marico
(Jury chair)
Harsh Mariwala, who has built a ₹7,300 crore FMCG giant Marico—led by flagship brands Saffola and Parachute—after starting out with commoditised products such as edible and coconuts oils, now scouts for young Indian entrepreneurs and facilitates the startup ecosystem through the not-for-profit Ascent Foundation. Mariwala’s experience of building large businesses while maintaining strong corporate governance standards and identifying talent, which can do the same in a challenging corporate environment, was invaluable to our exercise.

ashu suyashImage: Mexy Xavier

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, Crisil’s businesses were resilient, serving all its clientele. Last year, Crisil acquired Greenwich Associates, a Connecticut-based provider of benchmarking data, analytics, and qualitative insights to financial services firms worldwide. A former banker, Suyash brought with her the knowledge of turning around corporations, their need for accountability towards stakeholders and an understanding of India’s deepest social concerns.

sourabh mukherjeeImage: Mexy Xavier

Saurabh Mukherjea
Founder, Marcellus Investment Managers
An investment and wealth management expert, Saurabh Mukherjea’s Marcellus Investment Managers is one of the fastest-growing portfolio management services in the country with assets under management (AUM) in excess of ₹4,100 crore. Its investment philosophy revolves around companies with clean accounting practices, superior capital allocation and strong sustainable competitive advantages built around brands, business processes and strategic assets. Mukherjea is the author of four bestselling books. He brought with him his expertise of interpreting financial data and new-age business vision.

gautam kumraImage: Aditi Tailang

Gautam Kumra
Senior partner and managing director, McKinsey India
Heading McKinsey’s India operations, Gautam Kumra is a McKinsey veteran of over 27 years and has founded the McKinsey Leadership Institute in India, which focuses on developing leaders who can deliver transformational change. Kumra has also served on McKinsey’s Shareholder’s Council, its highest decision-making body, which sets strategic direction and policies. Kumra has expressed confidence in India’s digital growth and health care space. His vital knowledge of global corporate practices and leadership developments in institutes made him a vital part of the jury.

sandeep naikImage: Aditi Tailang

Sandeep Naik
Managing director and head of India & Southeast Asia, General Atlantic
Naik is the new entrant to the FILA jury and brings with him the expertise of private equity investments in the areas of financial and business services, health care, technology, retail and consumer sector. Naik was previously a director of Apollo Hospitals, which was the first health care services firm to see ₹725 crore-plus investment from private equity players into its holding firm. Last year, Naik led General Atlantic’s ₹6,307 crore investment in Reliance Jio, the firm’s largest investment in India to date, as well as a ₹3,625 crore investment in Reliance Retail.

puneet bhatiaImage: Aditi Tailang


Puneet Bhatia
Co-managing partner and country head, India, TPG Capital Asia
Puneet Bhatia brings with him the expertise of understanding the private equity investor’s role, turning around debt-ridden businesses and strategic restructuring of businesses. Over 18 years, Bhatia and his team have built TPG into a robust operation, with a focus on health care, consumer, financial services and technology for investments. Prior to this, Bhatia was CEO (private equity group), GE India. During the pandemic, the parent TPG invested over ₹4,500 crore in Reliance’s Jio Platform and an additional ₹1,837 crore into Reliance Retail.

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(This story appears in the 12 March, 2021 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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