The line-up is complete. And may the best person become the Indian of the Year. Vodafone’s Arun Sarin is the winner from the category of NRIs for the Indian of Year award. Vodafone entered India in 2007 buying out Hutch. And it got down to the chase very quickly.
The Indian of the Year award has been instituted by CNN-IBN in partnership with the Hindustan Times. The line up for the Indian of the year is now complete with Sarin joining finance minister P Chidambaram (from the category of politicians), SBI chairman O P Bhatt (business), Vishwanathan Anand (sports), E Sreedharan (public service) and Chak de director Shimit Amin and scriptwriter Jaideep Sarin.
The selection process was a mix of popular votes and jury’s choice. People voted on sms and then the jury took over.
The jury comprised lawyer Soli Sorabjee as the chairman, HDFC president Deepak Parekh, actor Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair, Hindustan Times Media Ltd vice-chairperson and editorial director Shobhana Bhartia, Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani, billiards champion Geet Sethi and former police officer Kiran Bedi.
Here is what Nilekani had to say about Sarin: “We all felt that in the global Indian category Arun Sarin was the right choice. He is the CEO of the largest telecom company in the world—Vodafone — and he has made the biggest investment into India when he bought hutch and got Vodafone in India…his faith in India and him being one of the most respected ceo’s is the world is why we chose him.”
And it couldn’t have been easy selecting/electing Sarin. He was up against Citigroup chief Vikarm Pandit, Pepsi boss Indra Nooyi, Booker winner Kiran Desai, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, and Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria. The big prize, Indian of the Year, will be announced on January 29.