When Dr. Reddy agreed to be founder chair of the board of Naandi Foundation in 1998 at the behest of the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh – it was a unique coming together of polity and business with a shared vision of eradicating poverty. Being aware of the critical need for a daring, forward-looking and visionary CEO, Dr. Reddy waited till he found the right man – the thirty-year-old Manoj Kumar – in 2000. At the same time inspiring and watchful, Dr. Reddy urged Manoj to push all frontiers and create, within a decade, the largest and fastest growing not-for-profit in the country which boldly outsourced government programmes and took up work on a scale hitherto unprecedented in the NGO sector. As this first decade of exhilarating growth came to a close, Dr. Reddy saw the opportunity for growth and further scale, in the realm of ‘social business’ and once again, in a first-ever move in the development world, led Manoj to spin off one portfolio after another of Naandi Foundation into a business enterprise.
For the rest of the Naandi family, Dr. Reddy was a leader who could make the impossible possible, a benchmark of professionalism and a father figure rolled into one. He would speak out his dream (“when will every person in every village of India have safe water to drink”, to give just one instance), and the whole Naandi team led by the CEO would not rest till they had come up with a viable plan to make this dream a reality – such was his inspiring leadership.
Dreaming big, and making the big dreams come true – always with the poorest man in India at the centre of these dreams – is something that characterised Dr. Reddy’s work throughout his life. He is remembered by the world for his contribution in making pharma products globally competitive and ensuring that medicines were affordable to the common man. He was especially recognised for his passion in leveraging genuine technological interventions and making active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulations effective by getting out medicines into the market in the shortest possible time.
The son of a turmeric farmer in rural Andhra Pradesh, he went to a local government school and received his first Bachelor of Science degree from a local college. Thereafter he did his BSc-Tech in Pharmaceuticals and Fine Chemicals from UDCT, Mumbai followed by a PhD in chemical engineering from National Chemical Laboratory in 1969. He set up Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories with an initial investment of Rs 25 lakhs. This company, in 2001, became India’s first company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is worth more than $ 2 billion today. The Government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to the Indian pharma industry. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry, a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation.
Anand Mahindra started off at Mahindra in 1981 when he joined Mahindra Ugine Steel Co (MUSCO), a major producer of specialty steels, as Executive Assistant to the Finance Director. In 1989, he was appointed President & Deputy Managing Director of the company.
While at MUSCO, Anand Mahindra spearheaded Mahindra’s growth and diversification into new business areas like real estate and hospitality management. In 1991, he was appointed Deputy Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, the country’s leading producer of tractors and off-road vehicles. He initiated a comprehensive change program to make the company an efficient and aggressive competitor in the new liberalized economic environment in India. He became a Managing Director in 1997, and was promoted to Vice Chairman in 2003. He was appointed Chairman of the board in 2012.
During his tenure, the Mahindra Group has made significant steps forward through inorganic growth. Notable acquisitions include Ssangyong Motors, Reva Electric Car Company, Satyam Computer Services (now merged with Tech Mahindra), Aerostaff Australia, and Gippsland Aeronautics among others.
A few of the boards and committees that Anand Mahindra serves on are:
– Harvard Business School Association of India – Cofounder and Asia/Pacific Advisory Board
– National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), Government of India – Council and Executive Committee
– India Council for Sustainable Development
Anand has received a great many awards over the years. Some of these are:
– Knight of the Order of Merit from the President of the French Republic
– Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award 2008
– Business Leader of the Year 2009 from the Economic Times
– Top 25 Most Powerful Business people in Asia from Fortune magazine, 2011
– Global Leadership Award June 2012 by the US-India Business Council
– Business Courage Award 2012 by Asia Business Leadership Forum
– Best Transformational Leader Award 2012 by the Asian Centre For Corporate Governance & Sustainability
Anand Mahindra takes a keen interest in education, and apart from being a Trustee of the K.C. Mahindra Education Trust, which provides scholarships to students, he is also on the Board of Governors of the Mahindra United World College of India. In 1996, he initiated the Nanhi Kali program to provide free education to economically underprivileged girl children in India. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Naandi Foundation, a leader in providing academic support and providing agriculture and natural resource management knowledge to small farmers across India.
Mr. Mahindra serves on the board of Naandi Community Water Services, a social enterprise set up by Naandi Foundation in partnership with danone.communities – that provides safe drinking water to rural India catering to 5,00,000 customers.
He frequently shares his views and ideas on economics and business through his writings in various business magazines. You can follow his personal views on Twitter via @anandmahindra.
Mr. Mahindra graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, USA in 1977 and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School, USA in 1981.
A strong believer in the power of liberal arts to shape the leaders of the future, he gave an endowment of $10 million to the Harvard Humanities Center in 2010 – now known as the Mahindra Humanities Center.
Anand Mahindra enjoys world cinema, reading, listening to the Blues, sailing, and tennis. He lives in Mumbai with his wife. They have two daughters.
Mr. Senapathy “Kris” Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys, served as its Vice Chairman from 2011 to 2014 and as the CEO and MD from 2007 to 2011. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011, one of the highest civilian honours in India.
Born on 5 April 1955 in Thiruvananthapuram, Gopalakrishnan went on to obtain an M.Sc. (Physics) degree and an M.Tech. (Computer Science), both from IIT – Madras, after which he started his career as a software engineer in Mumbai in 1979. In 1981, Gopalakrishnan co-founded Infosys with six other entrepreneurs. His initial years at Infosys included management of design, development, implementation and support of information systems for clients in the U.S. consumer products industry.
Kris is the chairman of the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and Vice Chairman of the Board for Information Technology Education Standards (BITES) set up by the Government of Karnataka.
In April 2012, Kris was appointed as a member of the reconstituted United Nations Global Compact Board for three years. He was elected as the President of India’s apex industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2013-14.
Kris is a Trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation. He is the Chief Mentor of Startup Village, a technology incubator in his native Kerala state.
Kris has contributed Rs. 225 Crore (40 Million USD) to the pure sciences to develop a Centre for Brain Research at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. It’s one of the single-largest donations the 105-year-old institute has received from an individual.
Satish Reddy is the Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. His association with Dr. Reddy’s began in 1991 when he joined Globe Organics, a Dr. Reddy’s group company as Executive Director.
In 1993, he was appointed as Executive Director of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories with responsibility for new product introduction, manufacturing and commercialization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). He spearheaded the company’s evolution from an API provider to a branded generics player in India. He led the company’s global expansion into Emerging Markets like Russia and CIS countries, among others. In 1997 he became Managing Director and in 2013 was appointed Vice Chairman and Managing Director.
Satish directs two of the company’s core businesses:
Pharmaceutical Services & Active Ingredients and Global Generics, the key revenue earning streams. In his current role, he works with his management team to achieve industry leading growth in major markets of relevance to Dr. Reddy’s.
Satish is also very active on the policy front and plays a key role in shaping government policy on crucial issues concerning the pharmaceutical sector and the economy. He served as a member of the Drugs Technical Advisory Board of India, the highest policy making body under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act in India (2005 and 2011). Hewas also the Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in the financial year 2003-2004.
Committees and boards of which he is a member include:
President – The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA). The IPA is a consortium of large Indian drug-makers which was formed in November 1999 to represent research-based national pharmaceutical companies. It has now 19 companies under its fold.
National Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
Board of Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India
Indo-Dutch Joint Working Group (JWG) on Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility, Ministry of Corporate Affairs,Government of India
CII National Council on Corporate Governance and Regulatory Affairs
India – Russia CEO Council of CII
India – South Africa CEO Council of CII
Director of Dr. Reddy’s Institute of Life Sciences, a not-for-profit institute that conducts innovative research in unifying areas of chemistry, biology and chemical biology.
Chairman, CII, Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council.
Member, CII, Task Force on China.
Member, Committee of Administration, Pharmaceuticals Export. Promotion Council of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India.
In addition to this he has also served as Chairman, CII, National Committee on Drugs & Pharmaceuticals from 2010 to 2012.
A strong advocate of responsible corporate citizenship, Satish pursues his interest in human capital development through various not-for-profit organisations. Two positions of note are:
Chairman of Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focusing on creating sustainable livelihoods and providing education, and Trustee of the Naandi Foundation, which focuses on child rights, sustainable livelihoods and safe drinking water and is a leader in providing academic support and daily meals to more than 1.3 million children in government schools across India.
Satish was identified as a “Young Global Leader for 2007” by the World Economic Forum, and was awarded the “IBLA – India Corporate Citizen of the Year” by CNBC in 2005 for his contributions to Corporate Social Responsibility.
He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Osmania University, India, and an M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry from Purdue University, USA, where he received the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Rajendra Prasad, an Entrepreneur–Technocrat heads one of the leading infrastructure developers in the country – Soma Enterprise Ltd. He has been associated with the construction Industry for more than 32 years and has been instrumental in implementing several major infrastructure projects.
Mr Prasad is committed towards social welfare and is involved in various social and philanthropic initiatives, including financing and constructing two Rural Water Conservation projects in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh for the benefit of the rural poor; and constructing a building for Andhra Mahila Sabha, Hyderabad to facilitate training of handicapped and disabled children. He has contributed actively in several projects towards betterment of educational and health facilities for the poor.
A Robert S McNamara Fellow of the World Bank, Manoj Kumar is the founding CEO of Naandi Foundation, arguably the largest multi sector non-profit in India. Focused on poverty reduction through initiatives for empowering girls, women and farmers, Naandi in 25 years has impacted over 8 million lives.
Manoj spearheaded the transformation of over 2000 villages in tribal Araku Valley region in the Eastern Ghats combating poverty, Naxal insurgency, and ecological fragility. This two-decade effort resulted in the creation of ARAKU Coffee, a globally acclaimed brand that liberated 300,000 tribal lives out of poverty and put India on the world map of specialty coffee. The ARAKU brand’s retail avatar that started in Paris in 2017 is now in a full fledged restaurant format in Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The regenerative agriculture framework – Arakunomics, eponymously named after the Araku region, has been expanded to rural and urban India. This framework won the world Food Vision Prize in 2020 instituted by the New York headquartered Rockefeller Foundation.
Recognized as a McNulty Laureate and a Fellow of The Aspen Institute, Manoj co-founded Naandi Water, India’s largest community safe drinking water company, in partnership with the Paris headquartered Group Danone.
Manoj was named by the Financial Times, London as one of the 25 people to watch out for in India.