CNBC-TV18 recently concluded the 18th edition of The India Business Leaders Awards (IBLA) 2023.
The awards were held on May 11 at the Jio World Convention, Mumbai. The award event aimed to recognise and applaud the efforts of individuals who have played a pivotal role in steering the nation towards equitable economic growth in 2022.
The commencement of the evening was marked by a welcome address delivered by Shereen Bhan, CNBC-TV18's Managing Editor. Bhan highlighted that the 18th edition of IBLA holds a special significance, as the number '18' is an integral part of CNBC-TV18’s brand identity. She said, “For 18 years, IBLA has been tracking the progress of some of India's most exceptional leaders representing different sectors, industries and regions. Despite their diverse backgrounds, these awardees are united by a common thread - a shared vision of institution building and a desire to create value for their customers and employees and society. The India Business Leaders Awards are a celebration of the exceptional achievements of these visionary leaders.”
Zarin Daruwala, Cluster CEO- India and South Asia Markets, Standard Chartered Bank, said, “Congratulations to all the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leader Awards (IBLA) winners. Standard Chartered is proud to be associated with IBLA for the past 7 years and partner this august platform to recognise excellence in leadership. It was inspiring to hear of the accomplishments and celebrate the winners of this year’s Awards as always. Having been part of the jury for the last several years has been an exciting and insightful journey, as you get to know the latest and outstanding work and many facets of leadership across diverse sectors. Also, my heartiest congratulations to CNBC-TV18 India Business Leader Awards on completing 18 glorious years.”
Azim Premji, Chairman - Azim Premji Foundation, Founder Chairman – Wipro and Chairman - Wipro Enterprises, was inducted into the IBLA 'Hall of Fame'. "Self-belief is the greatest quality that will help drive us into the next sphere. Belief in ourselves, what we can achieve as a country and what we can achieve as a nation," said Premji.
TV Narendran, MD and CEO, Tata Steel, was honoured with the title of 'Outstanding Business Leader of the Year.' In his acceptance speech, he expressed his vision of leaving behind a financially and culturally future-ready organisation. He said, “Leveraging India's geological richness, Tata Steel aspires to play a significant role in the country's journey towards sustainability. The company has set a goal to become net-zero by 2045, providing an opportunity to collaborate with startups and pursue a variety of solutions. While Europe is already progressing in this direction, India is also moving ahead.” Additionally, Narendran emphasised the importance of choosing an industry and a company that one is passionate about.
Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus, TVS Motor, received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.’ Reflecting on his journey, Srinivasan said, "I was thrown into the deep end at 26 when my father died. Although I struggled initially, success began coming easily. Sometimes, when success comes too easily, we trip and fall. I've handed over the baton to the next generation and hope they will achieve our milestones.”
Infosys was awarded the 'Outstanding Company of the Year' Award, MD and CEO, Salil Parekh in his acceptance speech acknowledged the potential of generative AI and its impact on productivity and said, "Generative AI is the next frontier for everyone. Generative AI allows for a huge impact on productivity. Infosys has used its own tools on open-source platforms to allow the software to be developed faster. I believe India can be a leader in generative AI. It will contribute to making India a leader in generative AI. The future for technology is incredible."
The 18th IBLA was graced by policymakers like Hardeep Singh Puri (Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, and the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, GoI); Devendra Fadnavis (Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra); and Amitabh Kant (G20 Sherpa, GoI).
During a candid conversation with Bhan, Puri said India would continue to import Russian crude. He said, “The world consumes 100 million barrels per day of oil. India consumes 5 MBPD. We have no ideological hang ups on where we import our crude oil from. Our foremost commitment is to our own citizens.”
Fadnavis discussed the state's 'third Mumbai' plan and shared details about the upcoming Multimodal Corridor project, which is expected to generate a value of over Rs 6 lakh crore and bring development to the Navi Mumbai and Panvel areas.
Other awards included ‘The Disruptor of the year' – which was given to Idea Forge. Late Ela Bhatt, Founder, SEWA was felicitated as the ‘Social Impact Icon’; the award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Brand India' was awarded to Dilip Asbe, MD and CEO, NPCI; Indian Boxer Nikhat Zareen was awarded 'Sports Leader of the Year’; while actor Alia Bhatt was felicitated with 'Entertainment Leader of the Year' title; the award for 'Game Changer of the Year’ went to BCCI, for bringing gender parity in compensation and for launching the Women’s Premier League. BCCI General Secretary, Jay Shah received the award.
The IBLA stage also played host to the pioneers of Women Cricket with former India Captain Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, India Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues sharing their thoughts on the road ahead.
The 'Brand Campaign of the Year’ award went to Dove (HUL) and the 'Young Turk Startup of the Year' award went to Skyroot. IBLA In Memoriam, honoured industry stalwarts posthumously - Vikram Kirloskar, Vice-Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor; Cyrus Mistry, Chairman, Tata Group; Investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, and Rajeev Luthra, Founder and Managing Partner of Luthra and Luthra Law Offices.
The winners were selected by a jury chaired by Kumar Mangalam Birla, (Chairman, Aditya Birla Group). The jury also had leaders such as Uday Kotak (MD and CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank); Zarin Daruwala (Cluster CEO of India and South Asia Markets- Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Standard Chartered Bank); Dinesh Kumar Khara (Chairman, State Bank of India); Sanjeev Mehta (Chairman and MD, Hindustan Unilever); Anish Shah (MD and CEO, Mahindra Group); TV Narendran (MD and CEO, Tata Steel); Prabha Narsimhan (MD and CEO, Colgate); V Vaidyanathan (MD and CEO, IDFC First Bank); Adar Poonawalla (CEO, Serum Institute of India); and Rajiv Memani (Chairman and Regional Managing Partner, EY India).