SPJIMR Alumni Super Achievers: 20 Global CEOs, Marketing Hotshots and Change Agents making big business and social impact

MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
November 1, 2021
SPJIMR Mumbai has produced many top CEOs and CXOs who are leading top Global and Indian companies. Mahesh Madhavan, Global CEO of Bacardi; Anurita Chopra, Marketing Director, GSK; Neil George: Managing Director, Nivea, to name a few, have all learnt their Business & Management mantras at SPJIMR. Read this article to have glimpses of some of the top SPJIMR alumni
SPJIMR Alumni Super Achievers: 20 Global CEOs, Marketing Hotshots and Change Agents making big business and social impact

What is common to some of India’s most successful CEOs and CXOs leading iconic consumer companies like Bacardi, GSK, Nivea, Modelez…Well, apart from their keen consumer insights, one thing that is common to these super achievers is their almamater- SPJIMR Mumbai. To name a few, Mahesh Madhavan, Global CEO of Bacardi; Anurita Chopra, Marketing Director, GSK; Neil George: Managing Director, Nivea have all learnt their Business & Management mantras at SPJIMR.

SPJIMR Alumni | CEOs &CXOs of Leading Global and Indian companies
Indeed, SPJIMR has produced many top CEOs and CXOs who are leading top Global and Indian companies. We profile a few prominent ones here.

Anurita Chopra

SPJIMR alumna Anurita Chopra is the Chief Marketing Officer for India Sub-continent at GSK Consumer Healthcare. She is a top consumer marketing professional with over 20 years of category and business leadership, having worked on leading brands like Sensodyne, Philips, Nokia, KurKure (PepsiCo) and Bru (HUL). She has deep understanding of Indian cross-segments, consumer research, insight generation and media buying/ impact.She has received multiple recognition for innovation, creative excellence and impact at forums like Cannes, AdClub, Emvies.

Anurita joins GSK in 2016 from Philips India where she was the Marketing function and Business Head for Personal Care category. As the category head, she was instrumental in spearheading the accelerated adoption of Electric Male Grooming & Beauty in India. Prior to Philips, she spent 7 years with Nokia India, heading the Mobile phones category for Brand Asha & Lumia. Prior to Nokia, Anurita worked with PepsiCo and Hindustan Unilever.

So clearly, Anurita is a super achiever in the marketing world and given that she graduated from SPJIMR only in year 2000, she has a long way to go! We’ll keep an eye on her corporate climb!

Neil George

Neil George is an international business leader who has worked across multiple companies in global positons where he led cross cultural teams from most parts of the globe.

Soon after graduating from SPJIMR in 1996, Neil took on one of the most coveted MBA roles in brand management at P&G. He spent next few years at P&G and was promoted to Regional Brand Management role. In 2001, he moved to Reckitt Benckiserin a global role as the Regional Marketing Manager, MENA in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Soon, Neil’s hunger for learning and growth took him to London Business School where he did his MBA in Finance and Strategy in 2006-2007. In 2007, Neil was appointed as the Marketing Director, Netherlands at RB and was the Country Head of Marketing for Reckitt Benckiser's Dutch subsidiary. Then in 2012, Neil joined Beiersdorf as the Head of Marketing for the Northern European management unit (U.K, Ireland, Netherlands and the Nordic markets). In 2017, he was appointed as the Managing Director of NIVEA INDIA.

A passionate marketer at heart, Neil is also the author of the world’s first brand management Comic - ‘Building the Perfect Beast - What Really happens in brand management'!

Mahesh

SPJIMR alumnus Mahesh is the Global CEO of Bacardi, the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world, since September 2017. He rose from General Manager (Marketing) for India to getting more responsibility within the company.Mahesh was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Bacardi Limited and was elected a Director by the Board in September 2017.

A more than 20-year veteran of Bacardi, Mahesh most recently led Europe for Bacardi as its Regional President where he was responsible for commercial operations. During his tenure with Bacardi, he has held leading roles within various emerging markets including Regional President of Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA), Managing Director of India, Managing Director for Thailand and the Philippines, and Managing Director of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Mahesh is based at the global headquarters in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi brand portfolio comprises more than 200 brands and labels, including BACARDÍ rum, GREY GOOSE vodka, DEWAR’S Blended Scotch whisky, the world’s most awarded blended Scotch.

Deepak

Deepak, President of Mondelez International, India has 20+ years of professional management experience spanning roles in Sales, Marketing, Franchise Management & General Management with P&L responsibility. Deepak managed portfolio of countries & is currently President & Managing Director at Mondelez International, India

Deepak joined Mondelez in August 2016. Prior to this, he was working at CEO & MD India at Bharti AXA General Insurance. Earlier to which he was working as Managing Director India at Wrigley.

Prior to Wrigley, Deepak was working at Pepsico from March 1996 to December 2012. He joined Pepsico as Sales Manager and later worked in many senior roles such as Executive Vice President, Franchise Director, Executive Director: North & East India & Subcontinent Countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal) and Senior Director – Africa.

Mansi

With an experience of more than 20 years across industries, business models and markets, Mansi has been with Shell for the last 8+ years and has worked in sales, strategy, procurement, marketing, consumer insights and data analytics. Currently, she is currently Vice President - Asia Pacific, Middle East and responsible for managing all business activities across the region which is one of the largest lubricants markets in the world.

Her current responsibilities entail driving a business with a 2000+ FTE strong cross-functional team and managing P&L over Billion Dollar. She has held positions of Managing Director -Shell India, Chief Marketing Officer at Shell Lubricants, Global Marketing Insights Director for Gillette, Asia Pacific Head for Consumer and Market Knowledge. As part of her global leadership roles, she has lived in India, Geneva, Singapore and Boston; working on diverse product categories, multifunctional and multicultural teams, channels and business models.

Mansi joined Shell in September 2012 as head of Marketing from P&G where she was positioned as Director, Global Shave Care at Procter and Gamble and has currently taken over the responsibility of Vice President of the company.

Rajesh

Much respected for his understanding of the Indian automotive industry, Rajesh is the ED of Auto &Farm Sector at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and a Member of the Group Executive Board.

Rajesh has had a very successful run in the corporate marketing sector. After having worked with Voltas (1986–90), FCB Ulka (1990–91) and Marico Ltd. (1991-2000), he joined the Automotive Sector at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., as Vice President (Marketing) and was part of the team that launched the Scorpio. His role was expanded in 2003, when he was appointed Executive Vice President (Sales & Marketing) for the Automotive Sector.

In 2005, Rajesh was given additional responsibility as the Managing Director of Mahindra Renault, where he oversaw the development and launch of the Logan in India. In 2008, he became Chief of Operations of the Automotive Sector and when Automotive & Farm Equipment Sector (AFS) was formed in 2010, he was appointed Chief Executive for the Automotive Division and Member of the Group Executive Board. Under his aegis, the Mahindra XUV500 was launched. After ten months as president of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd he re-joined Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. as Chief Executive (Tractor & Farm Mechanization) in 2013. In April 2014, he was given additional responsibility of the Mahindra Two Wheeler Business.

Girish

Girish is currently the President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors. He is also on the board of Automobile Corp of Goa Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd, Tata Cummins Ltd. and Tata Marcopolo Motors Ltd.

Girish earlier worked in the capacity of Sr. Vice President (Tata Small & Passenger Car Segment) & Head Project Planning and Program Management of Tata Motors and is a key figure in the Tata Nano's project. He also designed and headed the project of Tata Ace mini truck.

A mechanical engineer, Girish is a native of Pune and did his post-graduate programme in manufacturing from SPJIMR Mumbai. Girish Wagh got breakthroughs quite early in his career at Tata Motors that propelled his career into an orbit where Ratan Tata noticed him. He rose within the company to become President of Commercial Vehicles Business Unit within Tata Motors.

Deepak

A young achiever, Deepak is a Director at Mastercard. He has worked with Deloitte and KPMG previously in their Management Consulting practice. Deepak has over 12 years of consulting experience in India, US, South East Asia and Middle East markets. He has extensive experience managing CXO level relationships, advising clients on their strategic initiatives and achieving business objectives and value. He has worked in areas such as Business Strategy & Planning, Digital & Business Transformation, Payments, Target Operating Model Design, Profitability Improvement etc. His key clients include Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Standard Chartered Bank, India Post Payments Bank, Indiabulls etc.

Having looked at these CXO Superstars, let’s look at a few SPJIMR Alumni who have broken the mold by stepping out of the corporate roles and doing good for the country.

Debjani

A top Women Achiever, Debjani is the President of National Association of Software & Services Companies, popularly known as NASSCOM, which is the association of all leading IT, ITES and Technology companies. Debjani took over this prestigious role in April 2018. In January 2018, she was felicitated by the President of India under the auspices of the ‘First Ladies’ program, which honours exceptional women pioneers in their respective fields. She has also been listed in the ‘100 Most Influential Woman in UK-India Relations: Celebrating women’ list.

A veteran of the technology industry, and a champion of gender-diversity in corporate India, Debjani was the first woman to lead Intel India, Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT), and now NASSCOM. Over her illustrious career spanning over two decades, she held diverse leadership roles across geographies in South and Southeast Asia at Intel.

Debjani was also the Member of India Advisory Board at Cisco from April 2017 to April 2018. Prior to this, she was working at Intel Corporation as Managing Director, South Asia and VP SMG. She was in Intel Corporation from the year 2007.

Dipankar Bhattacharjee

Dipankar Bhattacharjee, an ace sportsman who has done his country proud, has 20+ years of work experience in the Petroleum Marketing sector. Currently the Senior Manager at Indian Oil Corporation, Deepankar is a two-time Olympian and a three-time Indian National Badminton Champion. He was the Captain of the Indian Badminton Team at Thomas Cup 1996

So, if you think that top B-schools prefer only the CAT Toppers, think again! A Badminton player from Assam, Deepankar has represented India at many International tournaments including Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics. He was the Indian National Badminton Champion thrice and a runner-up twice. At Barcelona Olympics, he reached the pre-quarters.

Dipankar is the Founder of Dipankar's Badminton Academy, Guwahati and is grooming future Olympians at the academy.

Vinita Singh

Vinita Singh, Trustee of the NGO, ‘We, The People’, is currently deeply involved in building capacities on harnessing the power of Constitutional and Legal rights for diverse groups including youth and rural women.

She served as Director of the NGO, International Resources for Fairer Trade, from 1996 to 2002, where she pioneered methods to map and enhance conditions of work in multi-tiered supply chains in agriculture, textiles and crafts. This was followed by intensive work on issues related to homeworkers as Coordinator of the ETI homeworker programme in India. This resulted in the pivotal ETI Homeworker Guidelines and also the formation of its multi stakeholder homeworker group.

Since 2008, she has brought in a sharp focus on using the Constitutional and legal framework for issues facing workers. This greatly helped her in the facilitation of the ETI multi stakeholder intervention on Sumangali workers and in her long-standing role as Impact India Associate.

Mohan Ramaswamy

Mohan Ramaswamy is the Co-founder & CEO of Terrago Logistics, which offers Simple, Flexible and Scalable Integrated Logistics Solution, across various touch points in India. Prior to turning an entrepreneur, Mohan has held leadership roles in leading companies like Diageo, Inbev, Dell, GSK and Marico.

Mohan was the Head of Procurement at Diageo, where he strategized and Lead all Procurement Initiatives for Diageo India. Prior to this, Mohan was Head of Supply Chain & Commercial at Inbev India International where he held the responsibility of setting up of the procurement, supply-chain function.

Rajesh Panda

Rajesh Panda is the Founder and Managing Director of Corporate Gurukul, Singapore, a company with a vision of enabling employability, social transformation and integration through value-based education and skills training. Corporate Gurukul focuses on 'industry-specific' skills training for graduates in India, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Australia. Corporate Gurukul has assessed, trained and interned over 150,000 graduates on employability skills.

Rajesh started his career in business development with HCL Hewlett Packard before moving on to do his PGDM from SPJain, Mumbai. After a brief stint with Wipro Net's start-up operations, Rajesh joined back HCL InfiNet's start-up operations in Mumbai. His performance in HCL InfiNet got him an assignment with HCL, Singapore. In his corporate career, Rajesh held various management & leadership responsibilities in MNCs and consulting companies. However, the entrepreneur in Rajesh spurred him to explore opportunities with start-ups. After working for a few start-ups in Singapore, Rajesh, along with his wife, Radhika (an IITian) finally founded Corporate Gurukul on 26th Nov' 2007.

How does SPJIMR produce these champions?
SPJIMR follows many firsts to produce these global leaders including the following a

Unique Selection Process: Instead of looking merely for high CAT percentile, SPJIMR looks the applicants’ complete profile and shortlists them for early interviews even before the CAT scores are out! SPJIMR also looks for high clarity in career goals and asks candidates to select their preferred specialization right at the time of application. These and many other distinct approaches makes sure that SPJIMR gets the cream of the crop, every year.

Holistic Curriculum and Pedagogy: Apart from class room training with consistently updated curriculum as per industry requirement, SPJIMR has a host of pioneering non-classroom activities like Abhyudaya, DOCC (Development of Corporate Citizenship), ADMAP(Assessment and Development of Managerial and Administrative Potential), PG LAB and Science of Spirituality. These initiatives focus on developing high Emotional and Social Quotient of the budding CXOs at SPJIMR.

Are you hungry for more SPJIMR Superstars? Here are some more…and they are as accomplished as profiles above.

  • Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director, Landor & Fitch
    SPJIMR PGDM, Class of 2000
  • Rajnikant Sabnavis,CEO, Future Consumer Ltd. 
    SPJIMR, PGDM/MMS (2 Years) Class of 1991
  • Atul Sodhi, Global Head of Debt Capital Markets, CréditAgricole,
    SPJIMR PGDM/MMS (2 Years) Class of 1992
  • Shrinath Bolloju, Chief Strategy Officer, KGISL
    SPJIMR PGDM/MMS (2 Years) Class of 1988 
  • Dhruv Kumar, Deputy CEO, CriticaLog India Pvt Ltd.
    SPJIMR PGPM, Class of 2013
  • Mr Vipul Chawla, President of Pizza Hut International, a subsidiary of Yum! Inc.
    PGDM/MMS (2 Years) Class of 1991,   
  • Abhisheik Vishwakarma, Head of Product Management and Business Development, CRISIL Limited
    SPJIMR PGPM, Class of 2006
  • Aayush Upadhyay, Vice President, Deutsche Bank
    SPJIMR PGPM, Class of 2013
  • Mahesh Rupanagudi, Investment Analyst at Harris Associates
    SPJIMR, PGDM, Class of 2012
  • BhavaniAmirthalingam, SVP, Chief Digital Information Officer at Ameren
    SPJIMR PGDM, Class of 1998 
  • AlpeshKankariya, Director, PwC India
    SPJIMR PGDM Class of 2011
  • Amlan Mukherjee, Director, Supply Chain at Avon
    SPJIMR PGDM Batch of 2008

After reading this article you will perhaps agree that some of India’s most successful CEOs and CXOs leading iconic consumer companies have one thing in common - SPJIMR Mumbai! You will also perhaps agree that SPJIMR nor just produces CXOs, but also leaders who are making big social impact. So if you want to be groomed where these CXOs were, SPJIMR Admissions 2022 are open for a few days. Check more details and apply now.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on SPJIMR Mumbai