A power-packed jury, comprising seven of India Inc’s leading decision makers, will meet here on Thursday afternoon to select the winners of Business Standard’s annual awards for corporate excellence.
The jury will pick the best from a long list of names and data compiled by the Business Standard Research Bureau to select the CEO of the Year, as well as achievers in other categories – public sector undertakings, multinational firms and small and medium enterprises.
To celebrate Business Standard’s 40th year of thought leadership, two other awards have been added this year – Best Company of 40 years and Best Entrepreneur of 40 years – to recognise the institutions and individuals who started operating in the late 1970s and made a significant impact on the country’s business landscape.
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 that the ICICI group transformed itself into a diversified, technology-driven financial services group. And, he was the man the Infosys board turned to when it had to select Infosys founder Narayana Murthy’s successor as the next chairman.
The other jury members include Maruti Suzuki Chairman R C Bhargava, the go-to man for many in India Inc and who has steered the fortunes of India’s leading passenger car maker, set up with the government of India as the majority owner, but which has since ceded charge to its Japanese partner, Suzuki Corporation.
Vodafone India Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marten Pieters, the third member of the jury, has been heading the country’s second-largest telecom company since February 2009, making him the longest serving chief of any Indian telecom company. Pieters is known to be among the most outspoken CEOs in India.
Noshir Kaka, MD of McKinsey India and Director, McKinsey Inc, 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 relating to strategy, operations, etc.
The man who has advised and funded scores of Indian firms in making that transition is Sanjay Nayar, CEO of private equity giant KKR India. The former Citi India head brings to the table a mix of local understanding and global exposure.
Joining them in picking the best in corporate India is ace corporate lawyer Zia Mody, whose advice is sought by top businesses. Through the years, Mody, senior partner of AZB & Partners, has specialised in structuring some of the most complex merger and acquisition deals in India.
EY India CEO and Country Managing Partner Rajiv Memani has also been involved in several high-profile transactions in India and has pushed his firm, which is celebrating its 100th year in India, ahead in almost every practice. Memani has also been appointed on the global executive board of EY as chairman, emerging markets committee.
Watch this space on Monday for the names of the winners and how the jury arrived at the decisions.