At least 10 top Indian companies are looking for CEOs — do you have what it takes?


  • The market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) mandated that the chairperson, chief executive officer (CEO) of the company can not be the same.
  • Wipro’s Abidali Neemuchwala and Karur Vysya Bank’s PR Seshadri quit citing ‘personal’ reasons.
  • Of the top 500 companies, more than 160 have shared chairperson and CEO posts — and another 50 companies have the chairperson related to the CEO.
  • Checkout the 10 top Indian companies are looking for CEOs.
The resignation of Wipro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala made headlines a few days ago. The reasons for his departure were ‘personal’, there are many other Indian firms that are looking for top talent to sit in the corner office.

In a bid to scale up the the corporate governance practices, the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) mandated that the chairperson, chief executive officer (CEO) and the managing director (MD) of the company can not be the same.

The new mandate, that is applicable to the fortune 500 companies will kick off on April 1, 2020. Of the top 500 companies, more than 160 have shared chairperson and CEO posts — and another 50 companies have the chairperson related to the CEO— according to the Economic Times report.

This has opened up vacancies across companies like Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever and ITC, aside from Wipro. While Neemuchwala will stay on till Wipro finds his successor, the corner office of Karur Vysya Bank CEO PR Seshadri’s last working day will be March 31, 2020.

The key qualities of a CEO

These top executives must have experience, observation skills, as well as a strong network to the table. “The top executive needs to have the ability to align themselves with the company’s vision. The new SEBI regulations which states that companies cannot have the same person as a CEO as well as Chairperson will create a lot of demand initially, this might lead to some relaxation of assessment standards for some time,” Ajay Shah, VP and head of recruitment at TeamLease Services told Business Insider.

“These thought leaders provide much more than just a reference. They also provide counsel; they serve as sounding boards; they act as voices of depth and reason; they help frame a CEO search in the context of the organisation,” Deepak Parekh, chairman at HDFC told the Economic Times.

It doesn’t take days or hours of interviews. For me, 10 minutes is enough to assess if the candidate is right for the job,” Parekh added.

“The CEO hiring protocols that Indian companies follow generally start with external agencies or search firms identifying suitable candidates and the boards or promoters interviewing them. Top 25 thought leaders in India across sectors are tapped for referencing for top appointments. Along with quality references these thought leaders also provide counselling for such hires,” Shah added.

Here are the top Indian companies are looking for CEOs:

Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani

Market Cap: ₹924,038 crore
Chairman & CEO: Mukesh Ambani

Hindustan Unilever

Sanjiv Mehta

Market Cap: ₹464,839 crore
Chairman & CEO: Sanjiv Mehta

ITC

Sanjiv Puri

Market Cap: ₹262,428 crore
Chairman & CEO: Sanjiv Puri

ONGC

Shashi Shanker

Market Cap: ₹135,112 crore
Chairman & CEO: Shashi Shanker

NTPC

Gurdeep Singh

Market Cap: ₹110,621 crore
Chairman & CEO: Gurdeep Singh

Adani Ports


Market Cap: ₹75,174 crore
Chairman & CEO: Gautam Adani

Karur Vysya Bank


Market Cap: ₹4,092 crore
Former Chairman & CEO: PR Seshadri

Coal India

Market Cap: ₹121,036 crore
Chairman & CEO: Anil Kumar Jha

BPCL

Market Cap: ₹107,161 crore
Chairman & CEO: Duraiswamy Rajkumar

Power Grid Corporation of India

Market Cap: ₹100,629 crore
Chairman & CEO: Kandikuppa Sreekant
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