Y.C Deveshwar

Born On: 4th February, 1947
Career: Entrepreneur

Yogesh Chandar Deveshwar will always be remembered for the deep insight with which he led a multi-business corporation like ITC. Taking the reins at a time when the company was facing a hard time, with its senior officials under the scrutiny of investigating agencies, he helped ITC expand its business and make its presence felt in the hospitality sector. The company which was only into cigarette making was converted into a multi-diversified organization. He led the company into new forays of growth areas which included agricultural businesses, retail and distribution of branded FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). He was also instrumental in coming up with strategic ideas which placed ITC among the value creating organizations of India. In a long career extending for over thirty-six years, Y.C. Deveshwar handled general management, strategic management and business leadership. Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Y.C Deveshwar for his outstanding service to the country.

Early Life
Y.C Deveshwar was born on 4th February, 1947. In 1968, he finished his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He also received an AMP Diploma from the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts and did a course on advanced training in Hoteliering and Services from Cornell University in United States.

In 1968, Y. C. Deveshwar joined the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) as a management pupil. In 1972, he was made the MBO advisor to the Corporate Headquarters in Kolkata. In 1974, he took over as the factory manager in ITC's Packaging and Printing Plant in Chennai. In 1984, he was made a Director and since 1996 is serving as the Chief Executive and the Chairman of ITC Foods Limited. Under Y. C. Deveshwar's leadership, the sustainability efforts of ITC took new shape, courtesy innovative business models. In 2004, ITC became the first Indian organisation to submit its sustainability report as per the guidelines of the Global Reporting initiative. Under Deveshwar, ITC won the 'World Business Award' given jointly by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Business Leader's Forum (IBLF). ITC's 'e-Choupaw' which is a digital infrastructure plan to empower the farmers in India is being taught in the Harvard Business School. It won the organisation, the 'Development Gateway Award 'in Beijing in 2005.

Y. C. Deveshwar has been at the helm of ITC's affairs for about fifteen years and is the longest serving Chairman in the history of the organization. In 1991, he was chosen to head Air India as Chairman and Managing Director. He was successful in this assignment and was also a Member of the Board of Indian Airlines, International Airports Authority of India, Airports Authority of India and Air Mauritius Limited.

Y.C Deveshwar has also worked at the helm of affairs of the Confederation of Indian Industry, as its President. He is a member of the Board of Governors in the Indian School of Business and the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management too.

Contributions To Business
During Y.C Deveshwar's term at ITC, the business world witnessed the transformation of ITC from a 5,000 crore company to a 27,000 crore company. The company's profits grew from 260 crores to 4000 crores. The value of ITC grew from 5, 500 crores in 1996 to 1, 14, 000 crores in 2010. The market capitalization of the organization was around 147210 crores on April 2011.

Apart from guiding ITC from a crisis period which hit the company during the nineties, Deveshwar came forward with plans to decrease the company's dependence on tobacco sales. The business was becoming tougher in the wake of restrictive guidelines and anti-smoking campaigns. He continued with the hotel and paper back business, expanded the FMCG business to non-cigarette areas and extended the Wills brand to other products. Deveshwar took the initiative to set up 'The Welcome Group of Hotel Administration' in Manipal. In 1986, he was conferred with the 'Best Hotelier of the Year' award for his outstanding contribution to the industry.

Awards and Accolades
Honorary Fellowship of the All India Management Association
Alumni Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
'Marketing Man of the Year' Award, 1994
'Manager Entrepreneur of the Year' by Ernst and Young, 2001
'Business Person of the Year' Award, 2006
Inducted to the 'Hall of Pride' at the Indian Science Congress, 2006
Lakshya Business Visionary Award, 2006
Global Leadership Award by U.S - India Business School of the U.S Chamber of Commerce, 2010
SAM/SPG Sustainability Leadership Award, 2007
Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, 2011


1947: Born in the month of February.
1968: Finished his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
1972: Made the MBO advisor to the Corporate Headquarters in Kolkata.
1974: Took over as factory manager in ITC's Packaging and Printing Plant in Chennai.
1984: Appointed as the Director on the Board of ITC Limited.
1986: Conferred with 'The Best Hotelier of the Year' Award
1991: Chosen to head Air India as Chairman and Managing Director.
1996: Became Chairman of ITC Foods Limited.


T.V. Mohandas Pai

T.V. Mohandas Pai is a well-known chartered accountant and was one of the Board Members of Infosys. He however resigned from Infosys on 15th April, 2011, since he desired to work for the betterment of the educational sector of the country. He has been outstanding and one of the most powerful makers of Infosys. He was the one who framed India's first widely articulated financial strategy for his company. Being the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Infosys, he played a very crucial role in changing the organization into one of the world's most esteemed and popular software services company. Mr. Pai also played an important role in describing the company amongst the investors and improving comprehensibility and disclosure levels. Under his direction, the Infosys Annual Report received the highest awards constantly from the Institute of Chartered Accountants and also from the South Asian Federation of Accountants. Read on to know more about T.V. Mohandas Pai.

Early Life
T.V. Mohandas Pai completed his graduation in commerce from St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Law from the Bangalore University. He is a fellow member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

It was in 1994, when T.V. Mohandas Pai joined Infosys and was amongst its Board Members for a long time. He has been the Head of Finacle Infosys Leadership Institute at Infosys and then became the Chief Financial Officer of Infosys in 1994 and served the company till 2006. He switched from the office of CFO to contribute to the growth of other sectors of the company such as Human Resources, Education and Research. Moreover, it was his contributions that enabled the first listing of an India-registered company on NASDAQ and the first sponsored secondary offering of American Depositary Shares by an Indian company i. e. Infosys. Since December 2010, he served ICDS Ltd. as its Whole-time Chairman. Besides this, he has also been a part of the Kelkar Committee created by the Ministry of Finance and Government of India for restructuring direct taxes. At present, he is a member of the SEBI Accounting Standards Sub-committee and the Empowered Committee for the setting up of the Tax Information Network of the Indian Government. He also works as a Director of XBRL International, Infosys China and Tejas Networks India Ltd. and jointly works with the Union and State Governments in educational, information technology and business sectors. Mr. Pai is also a fund manager at the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation, the organization which supervises the International Accounting Standards Board.

Awards And Accolades
T.V. Mohandas Pai was nominated for the CFO of the Year 2001 by IMA, India. He received the award for the Best CFO in India in 2002 from Finance Asia and also for the Best Chief Financial Officer in India in 2004, in the Best Managed Companies Poll directed by Asia Money.

T.V. Mohandas Pai has a keen interest in the progress of education in India, especially primary education which is very important for a child. In 2000, he with other people established the Akshaya Patra Foundation in Bangalore to begin a mid-day meal program for school children. In present times, mid-day meals are being provided to school going children in almost every part of India. More than 12,00,000 primary education children in around 7,669 government schools in places such as Mysore, Mangalore, Hubli, Mathura, Jaipur, Guwahati, Bihar, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bangalore, Bhilai, Puri are given the mid-day meal. This program looks to fulfill the objective of providing food to around one million school going children by 2020. No doubt, T.V. Mohandas Pai made a great contribution to the welfare of children. Apart from this, he has also played a very important role in the growth of Infosys, as one of the leading software services company to have hailed from India.

1994: Joined Infosys.
1996: Became the Chief Financial Officer of Infosys.
2001: Nominated for the CFO of the Year by IMA, India.
2002: Received the award for Best CFO in India from Finance Asia.
2004: Best Chief Financial Officer Award in India in the Best Managed Companies Poll directed by Asia Money.
2011: Left Infosys.


T.V Sundaram Iyengar

Born On: 1877
Born In: Thirunelveli, Madras Presidency, British India
Died On: April 28, 1955
Career: Industrialist

T.V. Sundaram Iyengar was a man of principles and a true visionary. During the 1930's, when riding an automobile was still a distant dream for many Indians, he had the vision to start the first ever rural bus service in Madurai. Business was not only a passion for Sundaram Iyengar, but also a service to the common man. His innovative and visionary ideas, hard work and determination formed the base for 'T.V Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies', one of India's largest industrial conglomerates. The group started by Iyengar extended its services to motor industry, motor services and finances in the following years. No wonder, today he is regarded as one of the most successful industrialists of his time. T.V Sundaram Iyengar was also a forward thinker and a stringent follower of Gandhian philosophies. Know all about his life, feats and deeds in the write-up below.

Early Life
T.V Sundaram Iyengar was born in 1877 in Thirukkurungudi in Thirunelveli district in present day Tamil Nadu (then a part of Madras Presidency). Sundaram Iyengar started his career as a lawyer after which he moved on to work for Indian railways and later in a bank.

As Sundaram Iyengar always had a passion for business, he left his job and ventured into motor transport industry. In 1912, he started the first bus service in the city of Madurai. In 1923, he established the T.V Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies, which paved way for the origin of the 'TVS Group'. During the Second World War, when Madras Presidency faced huge petrol scarcity, he went on to design and start TVS Gas Plant in order to meet the demands of the people. He also started factories for rubber retreading besides Madras Auto Service Limited and Sundaram Motors Limited. Among these, Madras Auto Service Limited was the largest distributor of General Motors in 1950's.

Thus, a business, which started as a passion of a single man, evolved into a flourishing family business. Four distinct branches began to work under the name 'TVS'. TVS group is currently the largest automobile distribution company in India. It enjoys a turnover of 40, 000 million. The group functions in varied fields like automotive component manufacturing, automotive dealerships, electronics and finances and employs 40, 000 people. They are also into IT solutions and services.

Apart from being an industrialist, T.V Sundaram Iyengar was a patron of art and a forward thinker. Under the auspice of Mahatma Gandhi, he got his teenage daughter, who was a widow, remarried. Rajaji, a senior statesman of Congress heaved praise on Sundaram Iyengar for the gesture of announcing retirement and passing on the business to his children. T.V Sundaram has five sons and three daughters and the business was shared by the male members of the family. T.S Santhanam, the youngest son of T.V Sundaram is the founder of 'Sundaram Finance' and is regarded as the 'Father of Truck Finance Industry' in India.

T.V Sundaram was the one who laid the foundation for the motor transport industry in Southern India. He is credited for starting Madurai's first bus service. During Second World War, when people faced scarcity of petrol, he designed and initiated TVS Gas Plant. Some of the companies that come under TVS group are:

    Wheels India
    Brakes India
    Sundaram Fasteners
    TVS InfoTech
    TVS Motor Company
    ZF Electronics TVS (India) Private Limited
    Sundaram Finance
    Turbo Energy Limited
    Axles India
    Sundaram Clayton
    Lucas TVS
    Sundaram Motors
    Sundaram Brake Linings
    TVS Logistics
    TVS Southern Roadways LTD
    Sundaram Hydraulics Limited

The history of TV Sundaram Iyengar and Sons group of companies can be traced back to Thirukurungudi Venkagaruswamy Sundaram Iyengar who quit his lucrative careers in railways and started his own business. He initiated the first bus service in Madurai and consolidated their presence in the transportation business in a period when such a kind of business was nowhere heard of, especially in Southern India.

Sundaram Iyengar passed away on April 28, 1955 at his residence in Kodaikkanal at the age of 78.


1877: T.V. Sundaram Iyengar was born in Thirunelveli in Madras Presidency.
1911: He founded T.V. Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies founded by T.V Sundaram.
1923: T.V Sundaram established the T.V. Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies which paved the way for the TVS Group.
1955: T.V. Sundaram Iyengar passed away at his residence in Kodaikkanal at the age of 78.

Shikha Sharma

Career: Managing Director, CEO, Axis Bank

Starting her career with the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) in 1980, Shikha Sharma was picked to head the life insurance division of ICICI when it became the first bank in the private sector to get a license to carry out the business of insurance. She was able to maintain a lead from the first day which helped the organisation to remain the largest private sector life insurance company in India. Considering ICICI as her second home, she worked towards the development of the organisation, the growth of which can be considered parallel to hers. Born to an Army officer, Shikha Sharma maintained discipline in her life and this disciplined showed right through her career too. In a male dominated financial world, she carved a niche for herself. She is the kind of person who considers every job that comes towards her as a challenge. It's no wonder then that she was chosen as the CEO of Axis bank, almost unanimously.

Early Life
Shikha Sharma was born to a soldier who travelled all over India, before settling down in Delhi. She completed her school education at the Loreto Convent in Delhi and graduated in economics from the Lady Sreeram College, Delhi. She finished her post graduate diploma in software technology from the National Institute of Software Technology, Mumbai. She also completed her Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad.

Shikha Sharma started her career with ICICI, India's largest financial service provider in 1980. She joined ICICI right after graduating from IIM, Ahmadabad. In her 28 year association with ICICI Group, she set up various businesses. In 1992, she set up ICICI Securities which is a joint venture of ICICI and J.P. Morgan. She started setting up various group businesses for ICICI which included investment banking and retail finance. In 1995, she moved to ICICI Securities and was deputed to J.P Morgan. In 1997, she rejoined ICICI as the General Manager in charge of Strategic Planning and Development. In 1998, she became the Managing Director of ICICI Personal Financial services. Shikha Sharma also served as the Director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company till April 2009 and was the Independent Director of ACC limited December 2006 to May 2009. She is the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of Axis Bank Limited and Chairperson and associate Director of Axis Asset Management company Limited since June 1, 2009.

Shikha Sharma made ICICI Prudential what it is today. It is the organization she built from scratch; the leading player in the life insurance business .In her 28 year old association with the ICICI Group, she was instrumental in setting the foundation for the bank's personal financial services business. Here, she also launched an innovative micro insurance cover of 1 dollar a month for poor people in India. In December 2008, under her leadership, ICICI Prudential commanded a market share of 13 %.

Shikha Sharma is one of the two women entrepreneurs who are at the helm of a private bank in India. In a male dominated banking and insurance sector, she, with her exceptional leadership qualities, made ICICI Prudential, the largest private insurance company in the country. She has left behind a legacy which is followed by millions of women aspirants.

Awards and Accolades
'Woman Business Leader' by CNBC TV18, 2007
'Business Woman of the Year' by Economic Times, 2009
Ranked 89th in the list of 'World's 100 Most Powerful Women' by Forbes magazine, 2010


1980: Shikha Sharma started her career with ICICI as a project officer.
1992: Set up ICICI Securities which was a joint venture of ICICI and J. P Morgan.
1995: Moved to ICICI Securities and was deputed to J.P. Morgan.
1997: Rejoined ICICI as the General Manager in charge of Strategic Planning and Development.
1998: Became the Managing Director of ICICI Personal Financial Services.
2009: Became the Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director of Axis Bank Limited and Chairperson and Associate Director of Axis Asset Management Company Limited.