Celebrating India’s Outstanding Leaders

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At a grand ceremony held in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, CNBC-AWAAZ CEO Awards, pioneered by CNBC-AWAAZ in partnership with the Chhattisgarh Government, recognized leaders who create and sustain entrepreneurial initiatives, develop best practices and carve out powerful businesses in the Indian economy.

For the second consecutive year, the awards paid tribute to entrepreneurship, celebrating the strategic vision and transformational initiatives of doers and performers, disruptors and innovators, pioneers and pathbreakers.

An evening to remember

The evening began with an engaging panel discussion on ‘e-Growth drivers and Opportunities in the Current Environment’. Moderated by Pradeep Pandya, Deputy Executive Editor, CNBC-AWAAZ, the panel comprised Brijesh Agrawal, Co-Founder, Indiamart; RM Agarwal, CMD, ITI; Sanjay Nayak, CEO & MD, Tejas Networks and Arun Prasad, MD, CSIDC. The discussion covered various themes including international competitiveness of Indian enterprises, the need for technology development, policy facilitation expected from the government, the transition from old economies to newer ones, and many others that are relevant for the progress of the Indian business ecosystem. The audience, who were encouraged to share their questions, concerns and views on the themes being discussed, participated intermittently, making the session truly interactive.

This was followed by a one-on-one chat with V. Vaidyanathan, MD & CEO of IDFC First Bank, who has been a game changer and thought leader in the financial sector. He shared his perspectives on retail lending, consumption and spending at the bottom of the pyramid, financial inclusion though data analysis and fintech and his own professional journey this far. When asked what made him choose to serve the customer segment that he does, he concluded, “It gives me great joy to know that our employees derive happiness from their work because they can sense the social impact that it makes. Secondly, I will always continue to lend to those at the bottom of the pyramid because I believe that they are intrinsically honest and earnest.”

Next up was a brief address by Shailendra Bhatnagar, Managing Editor, CNBC AWAAZ and CNBC BAJAR. He explained the genesis, motivation and methodology for the awards and highlighted the immense contribution of the state of Chhattisgarh. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the state of Chhattisgarh and the government of Shri for their unstinted support in making this platform a great success.” He went on to introduce the jury and explain how the 26 winners from various categories were chosen, concluding by wholeheartedly congratulating the winners.

Categorical selection process

Like last year, business leaders were judged under stringent, objective and transparent criteria. Researched by CNBC-AWAAZ’s editorial team and validated by the esteemed jury panel, this marquee platform conferred two categories of awards – one by the esteemed jury and the other by the CNBC-AWAAZ editorial board.

The esteemed jury comprised world-respected management strategists, academics and corporate personalities, namely, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Former Chairman, State Bank of ; Pradip Shah, Chairman, IndAsia Fund Advisor Pvt Ltd / Director Grow Trees; Shailesh Haribhakti, Chairman, New Haribhakti Business Services LLP and Mentorcap Management Pvt Ltd; Nilesh Shah, Managing Director, Kotak AMC Ltd and Shailendra Bhatnagar, Managing Editor, CNBC-AWAAZ & CNBC-BAJAR.

For the CNBC-AWAAZ Editorial board selection awards, the research team followed a 3-phased approach, which entailed a comprehensive exercise through a unique process based on a combination of criteria, including financial performance, leadership, creativity, innovation and social responsibility. The nominees were also evaluated on their ability to create short-term advantages, long-term value, a competitive edge and demonstration of leadership in the business community.

Chhattisgarh – Classic, Contemporary, Progressive

As a prelude to the awards, the Chief Guest of the evening, none other than Shri Bhupesh Baghel, Honourable Chief Minister, Chhattisgarh State, took the centre stage. He began by congratulating CNBC AWAAZ for the outstanding success of their endeavour and welcomed all the delegates to the state of Chhattisgarh. “Chhattisgarh means different things to different people,” he said and went on to explain its cultural and historic significance, natural mineral endowments, excellent state of infrastructure, including electricity, and fast-growing industrial progress. He concluded the address by inviting one and all – from any sector or industry – to invest and do business in Chhattisgarh and benefit from everything the state has to offer, assuring that his government would do everything it could to facilitate entrepreneurs.

Following the Chief Minister’s address, he sat down for a tête-à-tête with Pradip Pandya, Markets Editor - CNBC AWAAZ, during which they discussed the benefits of investing in or doing business in Chhattisgarh and even working and living in the state.

And the winner is…

Finally, came the much-awaited highlight of the evening - the CEO awards presentation by the Chief Minister. The Jury Awards for CEO of the Year, in various categories, went to Ameera Shah, Managing Director, Metropolis Healthcare; Keshab Panda, CEO, L&T Technology Services; Suresh Narayanan, Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India; S N Subrahmanyan, CEO, L&T; Keki Mistry, Vice-Chairman & CEO, HDFC Bank and Aditya Puri, Managing Director, HDFC Bank. The most prestigious award of the evening went to V. Vaidyanathan, IDFC First Bank for being the Most Promising Entrepreneur of the Year in the Editorial Board Category, while the rest of the accolades in the category went to companies from different sectors.

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