Some personalities that made a mark on Indias global story

Some personalities that made a mark on Indias global story
Some personalities that made a mark on Indias global story

One of the world's best known tech companies took on a surprise restructuring move which now places an Indian techie at the heart of Google. Pichai Sundararajan, popularly referred to as Sundar Pichai, was appointed CEO of Google in August this year as part of new parent company Alphabet. The Chennai-born graduate of IIT Kharagpur and Stanford University has already overseen some of Google's major innovations as head of products and engineering. Some of the major rollouts under his watch include Google′s web browser, Chrome, as well as the Android mobile operating system, arguably the world′s most popular mobile operating system.In 43-year-old Pichai's own words: “For me, it matters that we drive technology as an equalising force, as an enabler for everyone around the world. Which is why I do want Google to see, push, and invest more in making sure computing is more accessible, connectivity is more accessible.”

Satya Nadella, who took charge of the world's best known software giant last year, re-affirmed Microsoft's plans to plug into the Digital India programme this year. His meeting with Indian communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in November revolved around on how Microsoft can help provide low-cost broadband connectivity to rural Indian. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi′s visit to the US in September, Nadella had revealed his company's plans to partner with the government to bring in low-cost broadband connectivity to 500,000 villages in India. During his own visit to India for the 'Future Unleashed' event in Mumbai, he went into the specifics of the launch of Microsoft's flagship Surface Pro 4 tablet in India by early next year as well as the broader context of how the world was moving towards better computing for the future.He said: “Computing will be everywhere, but what will be key is our mobility of our human experience through all this computing. That is where the cloud is important.”

Ratan Tata has been on an investment spree but his target is not high-flying companies but nascent Indian start-ups that he believes show some promise. His most recent investments included Holachef, an online marketplace for home chefs and professionals, was the latest to catch the attention of his RNT Associates as part of a strategy to invest between $150000 million and $750000 million in promising Indian start-ups since his retirement in 2012.Tata's policy to handpick promising start-ups is expected to go a long way in promoting a start-up friendly environment in India. Asked by India Inc. about the rationale behind these investments, he said: “India is a big country with a tremendous appetite for computer-based or Internet-based services. It is a nascent industry and I have chosen to support it.” With a personal wealth pegged at $1 billion, he certainly has the stash to support this sector which is on the cusp of a boom.

As the minister in charge of power, coal and new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal is the man responsible to meet India's enormous energy challenge.The country needs to at least double its energy output over the next five-seven years if it is to keep on top of its growth agenda and the power minister is confident he will meet that target. And, there is just cause behind this optimism as the power ministry under his stewardship was described as the best performing one in the country. India Inc. caught up with the energetic energy minister during a stopover in London in May and probed him on India's road to becoming a renewable energy hub with solar energy as a key component.He confidently proclaimed: “We have not missed any of the targets that we have set so far. In the first year of the Modi government, we added 22,100 circuit km of transmission capacity, it's the highest India has done in its history. Targets were never achieved in India normally - we are 117 per cent of the target. So we are talking to a plan, not in the air.”

As British Prime Minister David Cameron's Indian Diaspora Champion, Priti Patel was at the forefront of this year's highlight in the India-UK calendar - Narendra Modi's first visit to Britain as Indian Prime Minister.She encapsulated the visit as “a vibrant illustration of the partnership and the commitment we have to India... the UK will remain the place for India to come to within Europe”.Earlier this year, she also became the first Indian-origin minister to take her seat on Britain's Cabinet table and also had meetings with her Indian counterpart in Turkey in September - labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya - to finalise a new India-UK accord on jobs and sharing best practice on boosting skills and training opportunities. “With record employment rates and our success of boosting the skills of our workforce, we can help build on the change and development that India is already driving forward," she said.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC) announced the appointment of Dr Mukesh Aghi as its new president in January.Dr Aghi brings to the council extensive executive experience in global business, and deep understanding of the business and policy dynamics in both India and the US, the Washington- based trade body said in a statement.Ajay Banga, USIBC chairman and president and CEO of MasterCard, said: “Mukesh Aghi's experience will be invaluable as he leads USIBC in strengthening and expanding U.S.-India business ties in the critical years ahead for the bilateral relationship.” Dr Aghi, chief executive and member of the board of directors at L&T InfoTech, added: “The strategic partnership between the US and India is not only beneficial for the two nations, but critical to global economic prosperity.

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