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 India's hottest young executives

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Posts : 25
Join date : 2009-02-04

PostSubject: India's hottest young executives   Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:00 am

Hotshots 2009
Alok Mittal (36)
Managing Director, Canaan Partners
Been there: Co-founded, which became the largest jobs portal. Sold it to Monster
Done what: Led Canaan’s entry into India and has done six early-stage investments, including

He’s everything that young Indians dream they can be and strive for: self-made and successful. “I come from a middle-class family, my father held a government job,” says Mittal, who led Canaan Partners’ entry into India. His current profile barely begins to describe his achievement, or his passion for entrepreneurship. He’s part of the few who contributed to the dotcom wave in early 2000 but managed to actually make a successful exit (with He’s also a Founding Member of Indian Angel Network and is often seen counselling young, wannabe entrepreneurs.

Anup Bagchi (38)
Executive Director, ICICI Securities
Been there: Changed the way India traded in shares through in 2000
Done what: Led the metamorphosis from online broking to partnering customers in setting & achieving their financial goal.

This man has a goal that is a mouthful: to bring about a Social Change among Indians in their Financial Planning. “Investable income in India is expected to rise four times to $1 trillion in 2012… India is just beginning its consumption journey,” says Bagchi. A shaker, not a “mover”, he started his career in 1992 with ICICI, was part of the ICICI Bank launch in 1993, and launched online broking under ICICIdirect in 2000.

Anup Maheshwari (37)
Head of Equities & Corporate Strategy, DSP
BlackRock Investment Managers

Been there: Changed the way India traded in shares through in 2000
Done what: Led the metamorphosis from online broking to partnering customers in setting & achieving their financial goal.

This man has a goal that is a mouthful: to bring about a Social Change among Indians in their Financial Planning. “Investable income in India is expected to rise four times to $1 trillion in 2012… India is just beginning its consumption journey,” says Bagchi. A shaker, not a “mover”, he started his career in 1992 with ICICI, was part of the ICICI Bank launch in 1993, and launched online broking under ICICIdirect in 2000. “ICICI is an exciting place to work, and from a career perspective I think it is one place that helps you grow with the company and bring in a lot of new perspectives.”

Anurag Jain (38)
MD, Perot Systems, Asia-Pacific
Been there: Founded Vision Healthsource, later acquired by Perot
Done what: Spearheaded efforts to improve vocational skills and blue-collar work skills

Five years ago, when his company Vision Healthsource was acquired by Perot, he knew he would stay on at his new employers but didn’t believe it would last so long. “I must have been four-five rungs down the ladder, and I’ve always had this entrepreneurial bug, so I thought I would be doing something else by now,” Jain says. Instead, he has taken Perot Systems from the 350-odd people when they bought him out to being in charge of 9,000 people. “I love this place, and I’ve been essentially able to do my own things here.”

Apurv Nagpal (38)
Managing Director, Saregama India

Been there: Sri Lanka, Moscow, London, Amsterdam… then Bangalore. Stints at P&G, BAT, Reckitt Benckiser
Done what: As SAB Miller Marketing Director, shook up the beer market

A globetrotter: nearly 11 years across Moscow, London, Amsterdam. Then two years in Bangalore with SAB Miller. Next stop: Kolkata, as MD, Saregama India, the entertainment and music major. Why Saregama after selling personal care products and beer? Movies are one of his passions (he blogs pretty good reviews). After his MBA in 1993, Nagpal began with Procter & Gamble, did stints with BAT and Reckitt Benckiser abroad. Back in 2007 as Marketing Director of SAB Miller, he launched Indus Pride and revived Haywards 5000.

Kishore Gotety (37)
Country Head, RREEF
Been there: Set up a specialised team in real estate and infrastructure
Done what: Targeting an investment portfolio of $1 billion by 2011-12

Gotety has been working in realty-related investments for over 15 years. In October 2007, he began heading the Indian operations for RREEF, Deutsche Bank’s alternative investment arm in real estate and infrastructure. It aims to build an investment portfolio of $1 billion by 2011-12. Gotety started out in 1993 at ICICI Securities armed with a Master’s in Finance. Moving around in the group, he was picked to spearhead ICICI’s first property fund in 2003. “I’ve been fortunate to have mentors who were interested in my success,” says Gotety.

Kaushal Sampat(38)
COO, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services
Been there: Multiple strategic and operational roles at various D&B strategic business units
Done what: The “start-up” man, Sampat was at the forefront of launching new products and training people

When Sampat joined D&B 10 years ago, the information services business was a nascent one and Sampat pioneered many products, innovating on business models and pricing for D&B’s foray into India. One early success was the alliance with Bombay Stock Exchange (1999-2004), to provide near real-time information on companies. Recently, India became one of the fastest growing markets outside of the US for Hoover’s, a provider of online business information and now part of the D&B stable. “Information services are now a bona fide business, though still a nascent one,” he says.

Milind Pant (38)
Chief Marketing Officer, Yum! Restaurants
Been there: Handled various businesses, functions across different countries for Unilever
Done what: Part of team that shored up Unilever’s ice-cream business (Wall’s) in India

His name rings a bell: Is he related to the illustrious Micky (Muktesh) Pant, Chief Marketing Officer (global) for Yum! Restaurants International? “He’s the ‘full-Pant,’ I am the ‘half-Pant,’” jokes Milind (both had worked at Hindustan Lever). (Half)-Pant has a large vision for the brand that he joined a year ago: “To have a billion people asking for Yum! in India,” he says. But what about the recession? “Last December, we had the best sales for Pizza Hut and KFC in India, and this January is turning out to be another high-hitter,” he says.

Monica Tata (39)
Vice-President and Deputy General Manager,
Entertainment Networks, South Asia, for
Turner International India
Been there: Heading Turner’s suite of Entertainment Networks in India
Been there:Took a strategic approach, leveraged promotional licensing to grow the nontraditional advertiser base

Her first job: peddling a video news magazine, door-to-door, in 1990. True calling: ad-sales. A stint with Mid Day, then life changed as she joined STAR India in 1992. During her 12 years with STAR, she played “a pivotal role” in the launch of Star Gold. After leaving as Senior VP, she joined Turner International to head ad sales and raised the profile of its kids’ networks. Today, 30 per cent of the advertisers are nontraditional ones.

Neeraj Bharadwaj (40)
Managing Director & Country Head, Apax
Partners India
Been there: With Apax Partners since 2000 and in India since 2006; was with McKinsey from 1991-93 and again between 1995-1999
Done what: Brought Apax to India and concluded the first deal in India (Apollo Hospitals); wrote the business plan for ISB when with McKinsey

As the photo shoot begins, the Apax Partners office echoes with laughter. Some make faces at the boss, who joins in and asks his team (all of six) to come up with some clean jokes. No luck. “If I wasn’t a consultant, I might have been a comedian,” says Bharadwaj. An alumni of Wharton and Harvard Business School, he likes to tell jokes at work and is also a fanatical cricket fan. Bharadwaj counts among his achievements the setting up of the Apax office in India. “There were a lot of Indians working in Apax when we decided to come to India and it was easy,” he says. Apax plans to do only two deals a year with companies that have a market cap of $250 million to $5 billion.

Neeraj Garg (37)
COO, Mass-market Branded Formulations
Business, Piramal Healthcare
Been there: President, Sales and Marketing, Piramal Healthcare; Senior Associate with AT Kearney; Area Sales Manager at Hindustan Unilever
Done what: Set up the current business at Piramal Healthcare from scratch in three years; led the creation of a growth strategy in-house at Piramal in 2003; won the AT Kearney Global Intellectual Capital award for creating a methodology to evaluate retail business models

Garg insists he is as much a man of brass tacks as he is of vision. The business he heads is about providing quality medicine at reasonable prices in the interiors and Garg is inspired to an extent by C.K. Prahalad’s writings on the bottom of the pyramid. “I want to do something that becomes a gamechanger,” Garg says. His advice to youngsters: “Be focussed. But also go out and get your hands dirty, there is no substitute to learning by doing.”

Rajesh Jaggi (40)
Managing Director, Peninsula Land
Been there: Led the Ashok Piramal Group’s mall management activities and headed Crossroads
Done what: Was appointed MD at 36; took Peninsula from being a Mumbai-based developer to a national player

At Peninsula, Jaggi helped complete transactions amounting to 6 m sq.ft. and is steering 33 m sq.ft. under development. This graduate from Babson Graduate School of Business, Boston, regrets just one thing—not staying back in the US to gain some international experience. Jaggi’s other passions are his kids, badminton and design. He feels the real estate industry is going through “a dynamic change and the impact will last for some time”. His goal is to “make Peninsula one of the most recognised and trusted brands”.

Rajan Anandan (40)
Managing Director, Microsoft India
Been there: As Managing Director of Dell India, he grew the company from $250 million to $800 million in just two years
Done what: Aims to achieve the digitisation of India in his new role

Anandan is at Microsoft headquarters in the US when BT gets through to him, “I am constantly told how important India is to Microsoft over here.” The new MD of Microsoft India, appointed just four months ago, says: “I am a big believer in people and teams—when you put a great bunch of people together, great things will happen. We had a great team at Dell and that is what I want to do here.” At Microsoft India, which has gone through some turbulent times in the recent past, Anandan brings in a youthful verve.

Rajesh Kamat (35)
CEO, Colors
Been there: Heading Colors and launching it as the 11th player in the market
Done what: Built Colors into the No. 2 general entertainment channel in six months

Mr Speed. From a management trainee at Coca-Cola in 1997 to a brand manager in three years. Joins STAR India in 2000. Leaves it as Senior Vice-President in 2005 to set up TV production company Endemol India and churn out hit productions like Bigg Boss and Fear Factor India. Next stop: CEO of Viacom18’s Colors channel. Asked to put it among the top three in its category within a year, he does so in six months. “We are only 40 GRPs away from STAR Plus (the No. 1),” he says. How did he do it? The four pillars of differentiated content, disruptive scheduling, distribution, good display and clutter-breaking marketing. What next? “I get obsessed with whatever I am doing currently. So, right now I am obsessed with Colors,” says Kamat.

Rohit Sharma (37)
COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment
Been there: Established Internet gaming in India, and made Zapak the leader
Done what: Made Zapak synonymous with gaming in India is synonymous with gaming and Rohit Sharma gets all the credit. “I was the first employee of Zapak, and was brought in not just to build and sustain the business but also its functions,” he says. It now has 250 professionals. Within three years, it has become the leader in gaming. Before, he worked with Cyber Media India as well as on The Times of India’s, where he launched over 10 Internet vertical channels. Revenue targets have been scaled up for 2009, since Zapak broke even in the last quarter of 2008. It now aims to go to Brazil, Russia and Pakistan and will make its US debut as well.

Shailesh Chaturvedi (40)
CEO, Tommy Hilfiger Apparel India

Been there: Brought in international brands like Esprit and Tommy Hilfiger to India
Done what: Developed and sustained a high quality, young talent pool

For over 17 years, Shailesh Chaturvedi has been scouting for international businesses that can be brought to India. At the Madura Group, where he worked for 13 years, he brought Esprit to India. He then moved to Hong Kong to set up Benetton’s business but returned soon. For two and half years now he has been with Tommy Hilfiger Apparel India as CEO. From setting up shop in India to meeting highly placed international standards in terms of operations, Chaturvedi has done it all. Now, he says, the focus is on people. “It is imperative that we as a team bond especially in such testing times… Additionally, we hope for commercial success in all our operations,” he says. There are now 40 Tommy Hilfiger stores in India and “smaller towns and cities have created an excitement in business”.

Sharat Dhall (40)
Managing Director, TripAdvisor India
Been there: Set up Shakti, the then Hindustan Lever’s project for empowering rural women entrepreneurs. The project now covers 25,000 women in 300 districts and is acknowledged as a big success, both socially, as well as from a business perspective
Done what: Spent the last three years in online business; TripAdvisor India is now among the top five Indian travel sites

“Moving to Gurgaon helped me get in touch with sports again. I’m able to play squash and golf, which I couldn’t back in Levers,” says Dhall. But lack of sports was not the reason the Levers veteran quit in 2005. “I wanted a change… I wanted to work in something that wasn’t the brand-driven consumer goods industry,” he says. The online space beckoned and he got to be part of the team that launched the Indian operations of the world’s largest travel site, Expedia, in 2007. Dhall then set up TripAdvisor, a sister site, where travellers advise each other on destinations, airlines and hotels. “The concept of online social advice is amazing,” he says.

Shefali Goradia (40)
Partner, BMR Advisors
Been there: Breaking the glass ceiling and heading the international tax practice for the law firm
Done what: Spent 14 years at a law firm practising international tax and joined BMR Advisors as partner four months back

In 1991, when India opened its market to foreign investments, Shefali Goradia was elated. She had just done her CA, topping it with a gold medal, and she chose to practise international tax, then at a nascent stage. She joined Nishith Desai Associates, working for 14 years and heading its international tax practice. “It’s been only four months since I’ve moved to BMR Advisors as partner,” she says. Now, she works with an accounting firm and her profile is more or less the same. “International tax has always been a passion and if someone pays good attention, it can be an innovative and creative field,” asserts Goradia.
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