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.
Sanjiv Bajaj is the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv Limited, the holding group company for all the financial service businesses of the Bajaj Group, which is one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in India. Bajaj Finserv consisting of lending and insurance companies, has annual revenues of over $ 9.18 billion for FY22.
Under his leadership, Bajaj Finserv has emerged as one of India’s leading diversified financial services companies with solutions across lending, life insurance, general insurance, and wealth advisory category. With a consumer-first, digital approach and a culture focused on excellence through innovative disruption, Sanjiv is known for pioneering digital consumer financing in India, which helped transform the entire landscape of the financial services space.
Sanjiv is on the board of his group operating companies as the Chairman of Bajaj Finance Ltd., Maharashtra Scooters Ltd., Bajaj Finserv Asset Management Limited and the two insurance subsidiaries, i.e. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd., and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Ltd. Since 2012, he is the Managing Director of Bajaj Holdings & Investment Ltd. He is the former Executive Director of Bajaj Auto Ltd. and presently its non-executive director.
He has several awards to his credit, including AIMA’s Managing India Award’s Entrepreneur of the year 2019, ET’s Business Leader of the year 2018, and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the year 2017.
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.