The moment of reckoning had come. After months of collating and analysing data by scores of researchers, it was time to declare and fete India’s Best Managed Companies, the winners thrown up by the Business Today and Ernst & Young survey of Indian companies and their business practices. An aura of power and pelf pervaded the ballroom at the ITC Grand Central hotel in Mumbai, as the big barons of Indian industry and business gathered at the glittering venue to applaud the winners.Quite appropriately, Kamal Nath, the Minister for Commerce and Industry and the man who has passionately espoused the cause of Indian industry at various international trade forums, was the Chief Guest for the function that was attended, among others, by Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPG Group; Jalaj Dani, President, International, Asian Paints; Jim James, Director, Haymarket India; Hital R. Meswani, Executive Director, Reliance Industries; Kaushik Chatterjee, Vice President, Finance, Tata Steel; Chanda Kochhar, Joint Managing Director, ICICI Bank; Sangram Tambe, Vice President (HR), Tata Motors; Brahm Vasudeva, Chairman, Hawkins Cookers; and Subir Raha, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Group, who was on the eminent panel of jurists that included Bakul Dholakia, former Director of IIM Ahmedabad and Amal Ganguli, a leading independent director.
Kamal Nath’s trademark pep and good humour was in evidence as he addressed the gathering. He talked about, among other interesting things, a queer paradox that faced him now.
Recalling how tough it used to be in the “old days” to convince foreign companies to invest in India, he said today there were so many coming into the country that it was becoming difficult for him to identify enough areas for them to invest in.
The winning nine
They not only acknowledge and salute excellence but also help in unearthing and creating role models for others to emulate.
Prabhu Chawla, Editor, India Today and Group Editorial Director, noted that Indian industry was moving out of the comfort zone, adding that it was time for it to develop its own management practices.
Kamal Nath presented the awards to nine companies that won from each of the nine industry sectors (See: The Winning Nine).
However, the top honours went to Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which was adjudged the best of India’s Best Managed Companies.
Speaking after receiving the award, A. M. Naik, CMD of L&T, said: “It is a tribute to the professional management team at L&T, where empowerment and accountability are of paramount importance. In 70 years of its existence, L&T has created a management culture that is rooted in ethics, integrity and a deep sense of patriotism. We sincerely believe that nation-building is at the core of all our activities.”
The awards function, which was conducted charmingly by emcee Shefali Talwar, was followed by cocktails and dinner, where the guests mingled and networked with each other freely. Ashish Bagga, CEO, Living Media Group, proposed the vote of thanks.
Guests at the function