Professional executives less than 40 years qualify for this listing. Business founders and their relatives are not included, unless they are employed in a company where their family has no stake. Also ruled out are executives of Indian origin who are handling operations outside the country.
Plus, people need to have put in at least a year in their current roles. Borderline cases are considered only if they have handled similar responsibility within the company before taking charge.
Like in previous years, we partnered five executive search companies for the initial listing. They drew up - separately - their own lists, which added up this year to nearly 100 names. They then met to debate this list.
The companies were represented by Purvi Sheth, CEO, Shilputsi Consultants; K. Sudarshan, Regional Managing Partner-Asia, EMA Partners International; Rekha J. Koshy, Partner, Accord Group; Lakshmi Narasimhan, Associate Director, RGF Executive Search; and Manish Pajan, Executive VP, DHR International.
This year, we introduced a three-member jury to moderate the discussion. The jury members were Santrupt B. Misra, CEO, Carbon Black Business & Director, Group HR, Aditya Birla Management Corporation; K. Ramkumar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank; and Vivek Paranjpe, HR Consultant. In fact, Misra was on BT's first Hottest Young Executive listing in 2002.
Jury members were intensely discerning in their choices and had several screens in mind. For instance, Ramkumar probed to see if the talent was in the key space central to the company's needs. Misra was keenly conscious of the performance of various segments and the balance of choices, while Paranjpe asked about not just work performance, but behaviour and contribution beyond as well.