India has a diversified financial sector that is undergoing rapid expansion. Along with the unique policies and initiatives of the government, the remarkable contribution of some of the leading corporations of the country has contributed to the growth of the sector. Though there was a setback brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the leading companies led by the best Indian entrepreneurs such as Sanjiv Bajaj, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Sandeep Bakhshi, Uday Kotak etc., are doing well and this showcases the inevitable bright future of the Indian economy.
These leaders inspire us to solve tough challenges and emerge victorious. Their contribution and versatile perceptions are transforming the finance sector. The below mentioned list of entrepreneurs are some of the bestfinancial leaders in India who have made valuable contributions to the economy.
Kumar Mangalam Birla
One of India’s most famous financial personalities, Kumar Mangalam Birla is the Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group. A member of the illustrious Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla was 28 when he took over as Chairman of the company. Kumar Mangalam Birla has made substantial contributions to the company. In 1995, when Birla became the Chairman, the company’s annual turnover was US$3.33 billion. By 2019, it had risen to a whopping US$48.3 billion.
An alumnus of London Business School, Kumar Mangalam Birla has won many awards and achievements over the years. Some of these include the International Advertising Association’s “CEO of the Year Award”, which he received in 2016. In 2012, he was bestowed with the Forbes Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Born in 1969 into a reputed business family, Sanjiv Bajaj has carved a niche for himself in the industry through hard work and a professional approach to work. He is the son of Rahul Bajaj, the Chairman Emeritus of the Bajaj Group, and an MP. His elder brother, Rajiv Bajaj is the Managing Director of Bajaj Auto. Sanjiv Bajaj has a brilliant academic record and has studied in some of the most prestigious universities like the University of Pune, the University of Warwick in England, and Harvard University.
Sanjiv Bajaj entered the corporate world in 1994 by joining Bajaj Auto. In 2007, he was appointed as the MD of Bajaj Finserv. Other positions held by Sanjiv Bajaj include Chairman of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Vice Chairman of Bajaj Finance, and Managing Director of Bajaj Holdings & Investment Limited. He has many awards to his credit like the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2017, India Today’s 50 Most Powerful People 2017-18, Financial Express– Banker of the Year 2019, and Economic Times Awards for Business Leader of the Year 2018, among others.
Financial leaders like Shikha Sharma are shining examples of women empowerment. Born in 1958, Shikha Sharma has rich experience in the banking sector. An alumnus of Lady Shriram College for Women and IIM Ahmedabad, Shikha Sharma served as the Managing Director of Axis Bank from 2009 to 2018.
As the head of the bank, she has played a key role in improving the retail lending franchise and also making the investment banking capabilities more extensive. Over the years, she has won many awards like India Today Power List of 25 Most Influential Women in 2012, Forbes List of Asia’s 50 Power BusinessWomen in 2012, Banker of the Year’ for 2014-15 by Business Standard, India’s Best Woman CEO’ by Business Today- 2013, and Business Today ‘Hall of Fame’ – 2011, among others.
One of the country’s top bankers, Sandeep Bakhshi took over as the MD & CEO of ICICI Bank in 2018. Sandeep Bakhshi has worked with ICICI Group of Companies for more than 30 years in various roles. Some of the important positions that he has held include Deputy Managing Director, ICICI Bank; CEO & MD, ICICI Lombard General Insurance; and Chairman, ICICI Home Finance Co. Ltd., to name a few. He received a mechanical engineering degree from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. Thereafter, he enrolled in XLRI and attained a postgraduate degree in management.
Uday Kotak’s contribution to the financial industry has been exemplary. He is currently the Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, which is one of the most respected banks in India. Over the years, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd. entered various fields of the financial sector like banking, mutual funds, car finance, etc. In 2003, the company was able to get a license from the RBI and became Kotak Mahindra Bank. The bank was ranked at the 245th spot out of 500 banks in a study by Banker magazine published in 2014. One of the top financial leaders, Uday Kotak was honoured with Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. He was also placed at the 8th rank by India Today magazine in India’s 50 most powerful people of 2017 list.
These are some of the top finance personalities in India who through their leadership qualities and business acumen have played a pivotal role in boosting the financial sector and the economy of the country.