Last week, Manu Talwar joined Bharti Airtel as CEO, Mobility, Mumbai circle from Coca Cola. Like many executives who had moved from the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector to the telecom space when it was taking off in India six years back, Talwar will have to bring in some best FMCG practices to fuel growth in an industry where competition is heating up.
Pratip Kar, who is known in Mumbai’s financial circles for his regulatory acumen throughout his long career as executive director in the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), has moved to Tata Management Training Centre as Dean, Finance & Corporate Governance. Kar will now educate executives on the execution of corporate governance principles. Both Talwar and Kar belong to a growing breed of top-level professionals who are looking for diverse roles and challenging opportunities, setting off fresh round of top-level executive movements in India Inc. “Big growth and globalisation are demanding different kinds of talent. The recent top-level executive movements reflect the need of the hour,” says Sonal Agarwal of global search firm, Accord.
Shashi Kalathil, who had recently left Tata group company VSNL, to head Nimbus Communication’s new sports channel, Neo Sports, is another example of how churning is happening across all sectors. It is swift expansions in some sectors that is sparking off high-profile executive movements. For instance, after Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance group picked up senior executives from almost all the rival chains for its new retail venture, the industry is yet to show any signs of cooling down in top-level hiring.
The Tatas have now stepped in, creating further churn in the industry. Ajit Joshi, a former executive with Shoppers’ Stop, has recently joined as the CEO of Tata group’s new consumer electronics’ retailing venture with the Australian major Woolworths. Joshi could be an example of how corporations prefer executives with global background. Joshi had earlier worked in Australia where Woolworths is the largest retailer. “Illustrious background is quite essential in a changing and challenging world. Executives like Pratip Kar could bring in their rich experience to training and imparting knowledge,” says Satish Pradhan of Tata Sons. Executives with specialised skills are also in high demand. That is why Bangalore-based Advinus Therapuetics hired KS Rao as Senior Director, Safety Assessment. Rao has worked in the US for several years.