Since times immemorial, India has produced great business tycoons. Entrepreneurship is ingrained in Indian blood since the days of human civilization starting from the Harappan culture. Five thousand years ago, the Harappan were making a roaring trade with the enlightenment of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Seeing India’s wealth from commerce and trade, the British East India Company entered India to trade with the magnificent Mughal empire. However, in earlier days, business and economics remained a preserve of few mercantile classes known as Vaishyas, and it was mostly hereditary. With the advent of modern times and the Industrial Revolution, business and commerce broke away from monopolization and reached new sections.
The Parsis were the pioneers in trade and commerce in contemporary India. After Independence, many more communities like the Marwaris, Gujaratis took over the business in the country. But during License Raj, entrepreneurship was subjected to tight controls, and crony capitalism was encouraged instead of innovation.
Banks were reluctant to lend capital to startups and young entrepreneurs. After the liberalization of the ’90s, India started producing a large number of business tycoons in every field, as entrepreneurship became common among college graduates and established people. The thrilling thing is that most of them started from scratch, without any influence and connections whatsoever.
Now, let us list the most significant influential business leaders of India.
1) Ratan Naval Tata
The legend needs no introduction and easily the king among all the tycoons. Ratan Tata has received both Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan and was the chairman of the most significant business group TATA group from 1991 to 2016. During his tenure, the TATA group has become a real Indian MNC. They have acquired world-class companies like Tetley Tea, Jaguar, Land Rover, Daewoo Motors, and Corus Group. He pioneered the invention of the world’s cheapest the car ‘ Tata Nano’, for just one lakh rupees. Ratan Tata is an exceptional chairman of Tata Trusts, one of the ancient foundations in India, which is operational in 170 districts in 17 states. Tata Trusts has a partnership with four hundred and fifty organizations for different reasons.
2) Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani is one of the most affluent people in the world. He is the Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries, which was started by his legendary father, Dhirubhai Ambani. Mukesh Ambani is a combination of perseverance, hard work, and has made the company a worldwide Multinational Company. He is the pioneer of the Reliance Foundation, a noted philanthropic initiative that promotes growth in India. Reliance Foundation is active in diverse areas like health, rural transformation, education, and urban renewal. It is a very active proponent of sports, and it has got Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award in 2017 for that effort.
3) Dilip Sanghvi
Dilip Sanghvi is a real rag to riches story, and he has created India’s largest pharmaceutical firm, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Sanghvi’s father was a wholesale drug distributor. He is one of the most excellent self-made billionaires in Asia. After he created the firm, Sun Pharmaceuticals has increased by making acquisitions worldwide. Unlike conventional business people, he has a very democratic culture in his company. He always takes advice and suggestions from his subordinates before making the final decision. Recognizing his contributions, he had been awarded Padma Shri in 2016. He is also very fascinated by renewable energy and is an active contributor to plenty of charitable organizations.
4) Azim H. Premji
Azim H Premji is perhaps the symbol of philanthropy in India and the world. He is the Chairman of Wipro Limited. The company has occupancy in more than fifty-eight countries, and Wipro is the top firm for environmental protection and is a leader in sustainability. Premji is the main force behind the diversification of Wipro from FMCG to IT. Due to the excellence in business and working culture, Wipro is the first company to be awarded SEI Level 5 certification.
Due to his ethics, he has been conferred with top French civilian prize ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur’ by the ambassador of France to India. This award is given in contribution to Premji’s contribution to the IT industry for ethical work. He has made an exceptional contribution and launched incredible initiatives under the Azim Premji Foundation and University. Azim Premji is the first Indian individual and the third non-American, to donate twenty-five part of his wealth. This action belongs to “ Giving Pledge.”
5) NR Narayan Murthy
NR Narayan Murthy is perhaps the most known and the famous face of Indian IT to the whole world. He is a recipient of plenty of awards. Fortune Magazine, one of the top business magazines globally, has ranked NR Narayan Murthy among the top 12 greatest businessmen of current times. Time magazine had given him a title as a “ Father of Indian IT, “for his contribution to software outsourcing.
Murthy is the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan and is the pioneer in creating, designing, and implementing the Global Delivery Model. This model is the backbone of the IT services from the subcontinent. He is an icon and renowned for his conduct, simple lifestyle, and famous for innovation. Murthy is a trustee of Murthy Trust and Murthy Foundation and is a Trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation. Murthy is also concerned about the social issues in the country.
In this article, readers will acquire information about the most influential business leaders in India.