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The transformer

K.R. Balasubramanyam     March 17, 2010

Hop, step and jump jobs, and a hot-shot can expect to become a CEO in his 30s. But Mahendra Jain did it the hard way: Within the same firm. Joining S.R. Batliboi & Co, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global, as a trainee in 1993, he achieved his dream of becoming a partner in just eight years. Then came the jump to his present post, in end-2007.

A workaholic, he is uneasy about "today's generation not wanting to spend long hours at work". His life changed when he shifted to Chennai. "The three years in Chennai made me very strong as an individual," he says. And also philosophical: the tsunami struck when he was holidaying at a beach resort with family. "It's God's wish that many of us are alive today," he says.

Mahendra Jain, 38, CEO, Global Shared Services, E&Y

  • EXPERIENCE: CEO, Global Shared Services, E&Y.
  • TOUGHEST CHALLENGE: My years in Chennai, where I handled unfamiliar sectors.
  • MANAGEMENT STYLE: Inclusive, informal and delegative.

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