As the exhilarating day of BT MindRush was coming to a close, it was time to honour the best corporate leaders. The chief guest at the event, Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, handed over the awards to the winners. Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, received the Champion of Champions award. He also received the award for the Best CEO (Large Companies) and Best CEO (Auto & Ancillaries).
IndusInd Bank Managing Director & CEO, Romesh Sobti, received the award for the Best CEO in banking, while Varun Berry, Managing Director, Britannia Industries, received the award for the Best CEO in the FMCG industry. The Best CEO (Super) award went to B. Ashok, Chairman, Indian Oil. The Best CEO (Medium) award went to Navin Agarwal, Executive Chairman, Vedanta, while V.C. Nannapaneni, Chairman & Managing Director, Natco Pharma, got the award for Best CEO (Small) and Best CEO (Pharma and Healthcare). Kapil Wadhawan, CEO of Dewan Housing Finance received the Best CEO award in Financial Services.
Speaking to the gathering, Sinha said, "We are witnessing reform 3.0," talking about formalisation of the economy with GST and demonetisation, the setting up of the Monetary Policy Committee, bankruptcy code, building of infrastructure and steps to increase social security, among other things. He said while the ground work has been done, the economy will have to be taken forward by businesses and leaders. "We in India have to develop our own model," he says.
"We cannot follow a 'farm to factory' model," he said, adding that instead we should look at a 'farm to franchise' model - India's swadeshi model. He said we should look at mass services, rather than mass manufacturing, talking about companies such as Ola, Flipkart and Rivigo.
In its fifth year now, BT MindRush has been a learning platform for the most distinguished minds of India Inc. Aroon Purie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, sounded off the importance of learning. "In today's world of constant disruptions, there is no CEO or business leader I know who is not learning continuously and who is not thinking constantly about the future," he said, adding, "In today's world, it is all about surviving by re-braining yourself."
"They can make or break an organisation," said Purie, talking about the importance of CEOs, adding, "Besides the operational aspects, they determine strategy and foresee the challenges which the company will have to face."
Purie expressed disappointment over the lack of women leaders in the Best CEO list this year but expressed hope for the next year.
Finally, the Lifetime Achievement Award was received by A.M. Naik, Group Chairman, L&T. Dedicating the award to L&T, where he has spent over 53 years, Naik said, "L&T's growth is part of the larger narrative of the India growth story." He credited his learning to his formative years in a village in South Gujarat. "That is where I learnt the core principles which have moulded my character," he said adding his success mantra is passion, conviction, commitment and devotion.