MUMBAI: The wait is over. The definitive list of India Inc’s Most Powerful CEOs is here, and Ratan Tata retains his position as India Inc’s top dog. The past year has seen the 72-year-old head of India’s biggest conglomerate re-open The Pierre Hotel in New York, launch the GSM version of his cellular service as DoCoMo and grapple with serious engineering problems in the Nano.
In the eyes of the respondents in the survey, he’s obviously handled the challenges with panache. The 500 respondents interviewed by IMRB for The Economic Times Corporate Dossier magazine not only voted Mr Tata as India Inc’s Most Powerful CEO for 2009, second year running, but also India Inc’s CEO of the Decade.
In a year of uncertainty, starting with the economy in the shadows of the recession but ending on a cheery note of recovery, the vote is apparently one of stability. The next three rankings after Mr Tata — Mukesh Ambani, NR Narayana Murthy and Anil Ambani — also remain the same as last year and most of the names that follow are familiar as well.
Riding on his bold acquisition of Satyam and his selection as the Businessman of the Year at the ET Awards for Corporate Excellence, Anand Mahindra breaks into the top 10, climbing five places to the ninth rank. Representing the comfort of the old order, Rahul Bajaj returns to the top 10, climbing 11 places to the eighth spot. Azim Premji and Sunil Mittal both climb four places this year, possibly in line with the improved market capitalisation of their companies.