Business Leaders who have succeeded to reach to the epitome of success have one thing in common – to encompass out-of-the-box ideas that have ultimately evolved as the game-changers in their respective domains. For these leaders, neither the road to success was easy and nor were they born with a silver spoon having a sprawling business legacy. It is the sheer commitment and dedication of these leaders that created opportunities and opened new ventures along their business journey.
To honor and acknowledge the contributions of such leaders, we talk about some of the business personas who are the trendsetters – within the global business fraternity as well as the mega-icons in the society who have made it big by walking the ‘hard way’.
Ratan Naval Tata – The Strategic Industrialist
A recipient of India’s most distinguished civilian awards – Padma Bhushan as well as Padma Vibhushan, Ratan Tata needs no introduction on the global platform. Belonging to a family of industrialist and philanthropists, Ratan Tata rose to become the Chairman of the Mumbai-based conglomerate TATA group in 1991 and had a brief stint in 2016. Apart from his business acumen, it was his grit and determination that led to the expansion of the TATA group at the global map.
London-based Tetley Tea, South Korea’s Daewoo Motors, Anglo-Dutch steel manufacturer Corus Group, UK-based Jaguar and Land Rover are some of the international acquisitions and purchases under his affluent leadership. He fulfilled his promise and dream of making India’s first ‘People’s Car’ – Tata Nano with a starting price of just one lakh rupees! Although it was nearly impossible for other automotive companies to even think of the same, Ratan Tata had the vision of delivering something moderate and economical mode of transport for the Indian middle-class family. He is also the Chairman of Tata Trusts, – one of the oldest foundations in India, that works in 170 districts across 17 states and has partnered with 450 organizations for various causes.
Dilip Shanghvi – Sun and Simplicity
While his Father was a wholesale drug distributor, Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi has crafted his own roadmap and has been successful in building India’s largest drugmaker company – Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Reckoned as one of the richest in the country and a self-made billionaire in Asia, Dilip Shanghvi is the man to reckon in the Indian healthcare industry. Under his leadership, Sun Pharma has grown extensively in terms of acquisitions and takeovers of various firms at the global level. His meteoric rise has truly been a journey to watch out for! Insiders term his style of working as ‘consultative’ and ‘democratic’ that has actually helped him to think of innovative ideas that proved to be the talking point of his career. His acumen to spot business opportunities has assisted the company to rise and evolve as the biggest market player in India.
His personal life is equally inspiring for the young generation. As a self-made personality, he has been awarded the civilian honor of the Padma Shri in 2016. Apart from pharma, he has a great interest in the field of renewable energies. Along with his wife – Vibha D. Shanghvi, Dilip Shanghvi is an active supporter of numerous charitable organizations and together they donate millions to such organizations annually.
Azim H. Premji – A Philanthropist at Heart
Indian tech-magnate Azim Premji is an ardent philanthropist and investor along with being the Chairman of Wipro Limited. With a presence in approx. 58 countries, Wipro is a pioneer in leading environmental initiatives that helped them to evolve as a global leader in sustainability. Azim Premji is known as the driving force behind the diversification and growth of Wipro over the last four decades. His determination in creating a culture of striving for excellence in business operations has led Wipro to be the first software company to attain an SEI Level 5 certification. Azim Premji walked against the wind and transformed Wipro into an IT powerhouse along with cementing itself in the foreign soils. Across the global business platform, he is been regarded as a highly ethical entrepreneur who is a role model for countless Indian firms.
Recently he has been bestowed with the highest French civilian distinction – Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the French Ambassador. This award marks his contribution in developing the IT industry in India along with his economic outreach in France. It further acknowledges his outstanding contribution and initiatives launched under the platform of the Azim Premji Foundation and University. He is also the first Indian and only third non-American to give away twenty-five percent of his wealth as a part of the ‘Giving Pledge’.
Dr. R A Mashelkar – The Warrior of Haldighati
Dr. Raghunath Anant Mashelkar is a well-known eminent scientist who led the legal crusade against the US patents on turmeric, neem, and basmati rice and hence got the title of ‘The warrior of Haldighati’. As the Director- General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – CSIR has a network of thirty-eight laboratories with about 20k workforce, Dr. Mashelkar has made numerous contributions that have inspired millions of people in India. His initiative to transform CSIR into user-focused, performance-driven, and an accountable organization is hailed as one of his biggest contribution in the field of Indian Science & Technology.
Conferred with prestigious civilian awards like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, as well as Padma Vibhushan, Dr. Mashelkar has received countless awards and accolades in his career. He is only the third Indian engineer who has been elected as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), UK along with being the first scientist to win the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award. In his constant endeavor to work for the underprivileged people across the globe and fighting for the upliftment of the developing nations, he is honored and appreciated at the global platform. His business acumen has put forth him as the Board of Directors of various companies including Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, to name a few.
N R Narayana Murthy – The Sparkling Gem of IT
As the legendary co-founder and ex-Chairman of Infosys – the name of Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy is synonymous to the evolution of the Indian software professionals across the globe. Times magazine had crowned him as the ‘Father of Indian IT’ due to his contribution to outsourcing and has been listed among the top 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our times by the Fortune magazine. A recipient of Padma Vibhushan & Padma Shri, Narayana Murthy has been instrumental in articulating, designing, and implementing the Global Delivery Model that has become the foundation for the IT services outsourcing from the Indian subcontinent.
An iconic figure In India, he is widely admired for his ethics, personal conduct, and a living a simple lifestyle and his vision and leadership have transformed the business arena in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship. He is a trustee of Murty Foundation and Murty Trust along with being a Trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation. Having an astute business sense, he is equally concerned about the social upliftment issues prevalent in the country. Incorporating the family values and lessons with utmost honesty, Narayana Murthy has walked and preached the same lessons throughout his life.
Mukesh Ambani – The Charismatic Business Tycoon
The Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani has the perfect blend of hard work, determination, and the zeal to cross the horizons that has cemented him as the richest business magnate of India. However, he was not born with a silver spoon as believed, as his Father – Dhirubhai Ambani was still laying the foundation of Reliance Industries. His perseverance and vision have made him set up the massive empire and claim success at the international business platform. He is a true inspiration for the budding entrepreneurs as his optimistic approach has led to the astounding growth of Reliance Industries over the years.
As one of the most respected business leaders at the global canvas, Mukesh Ambani is the face of the Indian business that represents the new-age personas that are embracing innovative ideas and changing the concept of business. Reliance Foundation – founded by Dhirubhai Ambani is an Indian philanthropic initiative that promotes sustainable growth in India. The foundation works in diverse areas like rural transformation, health, education, and urban renewal to name a few. It has received the prestigious – Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award in 2017 for its initiatives to promote grassroots sports.
- Devasish Kanojiya, Editor
Disclaimer – Some of the information and images have been gathered from various sources for reference.