Business Today

On a high

Mudra Group’s Bobby Pawar; ArcelorMittal’s Malay Mukherjee; Venkatramani Sumantran, Executive Vice Chairman, Hinduja Automotive; Dileep Choksi, former Vice Chairman, Deloitte Haskins & Sells; Pradeep Guha, CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises; and Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital.

     Print Edition: May 4, 2008

On a high

Bobby Pawar
Bobby Pawar
Less than a year after taking the reins as National Creative Director at Mudra, Bobby Pawar, 40, finds himself elevated to the position of Chief Creative Officer of the Mudra Group. That’s hardly surprising, considering the creative uplift the agency has been experiencing of late. Pawar will now oversee creative duties of not just Mudra Advertising, but also Mudra Marketing Services, Tribal DDB India, Rapp Collins India, Primesite, Kidstuff Promotional Marketing, Multiplier, Mudra Health and Lifestyle, and the recently-launched Mudra MAX (media and content). He certainly has the credentials for the job. Pawar has worked with several creative geniuses in the past, including Neil French, Rick Boyko, Steve Hayden and Marty Orzio. Now, he is looking forward to “putting things into a blender and shaking them up a bit”. Watch this space for more.

Stellar innings

Malay Mukherjee
Malay Mukherjee
Sample these numbers. when he joined Ispat International in 1993, the company was producing 1.3 million tonnes of steel. Fifteen years down the road, as Malay Mukherjee, 60, a key lieutenant of L. N. Mittal, relinquishes his executive responsibilities on May 13, ArcelorMittal is a $105.2-billion steel behemoth with a capacity of 120 million tonnes and the world’s #1 steel company to boot. The numbers speak volumes about the ability of Mittal and Mukherjee (a former Executive Director of SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant) to build a great team of unsung stars. Mukherjee fondly says: “I have no doubt that the ArcelorMittal journey has only just begun and that the company will continue to go from strength to strength.” And with one of the world’s richest men still valuing his worth, he continues on the company board, albeit as a non-executive member.

Back at the wheel

Venkatramani Sumantran
Venkatramani Sumantran
Two-and-a-half years after he left Tata Motors, Venkatramani Sumantran, 45, has come on board Hinduja Automotive as Executive Vice Chairman. Hinduja Automotive is the holding company for the Hinduja Group’s automotive businesses, including commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland and Hinduja Foundries. Hoping for a smooth ride ahead, Sumantran says his new role is to define the group’s future global growth strategy and implement it. While he has played a pivotal role in the development of several Tata Motors products, Sumantran refuses to say whether he is developing any new ones in his new job. “The only hint I can give you is that we are working in several new areas such as emission controls and engineering development,” he lets on, saying he hopes the new job is fulfilling.

New game plan

Dileep Choksi
Dileep Choksi
For someone who is good at swimming and tennis, taking a calculated plunge or serving an ace comes naturally. Perhaps a combination of such skills has gone into Dileep Choksi’s recent decision to quit as the Vice Chairman of the Indian unit (Deloitte Haskins & Sells) of Deloitte Touche & Tohmatsu, one of the Big Four accounting and advisory firms. The 58-year-old is not yet willing to share much, except to say: “I see this as an opportune time to explore new opportunities, look at newer lines of activities and there are a host of options open.” For this lawyer, accountant and cost accountant, the options also include setting up his own independent set-up. Those who have seen Deloitte closely say this might well be the beginning of a churn at the firm. However, at a time when more and more Indian companies are looking for a global footprint, and there is global importance for Asia and India, it might just be Advantage Choksi for the moment.

The big picture

Pradeep Guha
Pradeep Guha
He’s taken mega initiatives and has a hard time fighting rumours about his supposed move to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. “I don’t know how these stories come up,” says Pradeep Guha, 53, CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises. But for now, he’s not denying his honorary appointment as Area Director of International Advertising Association (IAA) for the Asia Pacific region. PG, as he’s called, has been the moving force behind Femina Miss India and is credited with bringing Ad Asia to India. He is now looking at stepping up the tempo for IAA in India: “We are looking at bringing in our global talent as part of ‘International Indians’ project to speak to the industry as also to some thought leaders,” he says. Equally awaited are his moves as Chairman, Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC), that’s busy with issues relating to audience measurement metrics.

Change agent

Sam Ghosh
Sam Ghosh
Sam Ghosh, the new CEO of Anil Ambani Group’s Reliance Capital, has a string of high achievements to live up to. The biggest feat of this mechanical engineer-turned-chartered accountant was driving Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance into the top league in a matter of five years. At Reliance Capital, Ghosh, 45, finds himself catapulted amongst the top three private sector financial services players in India. Earlier, Ghosh has had stints with an accountancy firm in Britain and later in Australia with Allianz. His last posting abroad was as regional CEO of Allianz Middle East before he landed in India in 1998. Top on his agenda: to oversee multiple businesses in the areas of asset management, life and general insurance, stock broking and consumer finance. All this should be a cinch for the compulsive innovator with rich international experience.

(Contributed by Anand Adhikari, Deepti Khanna Bose, Kushan Mitra, Ritwik Mukherjee, Shamni Pande and E. Kumar Sharma)

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