PRESENTING THE IMPACT DIGITAL POWER 100
Last week, IMPACT unveiled its Digital Power 100 list for 2020 featuring the most influential names and towering personalities across the digital ecosystem. Given that the digital ecosystem is so diverse with different kinds of leaders, in its third edition, IMPACT further classified the list across four categories. The four lists feature the top entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, thinkers, and enablers in technology, business management, marketing, digital media and other related areas. From names like Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani and Bharti Enterprises’ Sunil Bharti Mittal to HUL’s Sanjiv Mehta and CVL Srinivas of WPP, the list lauds the achievements of the most influential digital personalities across disciplines and areas of expertise for their role in shaping the Indian internet and digital space. The Indian digital growth story The IMPACT Digital Power 100 Jury
Considering that Digital is an ever-evolving and rapidly growing ecosystem, especially in the context of the past pandemic year, the role these visionary leaders have played in transforming the way Indians work, live, learn and unwind has become more evident than ever. In its latest edition, therefore, IMPACT decided to acknowledge the contributions of stalwarts in different capacities – technology, business, marketing and digital media and related areas. Thus, while it encapsulates towering leaders like Ambani and Mittal, it also duly notes the achievers of marketers who are changing the game like Ravi Desai, Director Mass & Brand Marketing for Amazon India, Atit Mehta, Marketing Head at Byju’s and Falguni Nayyar, Founder & CEO of Nykaa.
If one were to look back at where India was in the digital scheme of things from the year 2010 – the internet was mostly synonymous with the likes of Rediff.com and Yahoo and start-ups such as MakeMyTrip had only just taken flight. Then came the entry of large e-commerce companies like Flipkart, Myntra and Amazon after 2010, gradually changing the way India made its purchases. Aside from e-commerce, sectors like ed-tech, gaming, media and entertainment also made its way into consumers’ lives around 2015. A couple of years down the line, food delivery apps, OTT and even dating platforms flourished. It was clear that the opportunities and avenues Digital offered were limitless.
With Reliance Jio, India’s digital ambitions hit a new record. Low data costs and deeper internet penetration in non-metros and rural areas saw the company amass a 50 million subscriber base within less than three months. What has since followed is a revolution of sorts in the Indian lifestyle, in which Digital has played an ever-increasing role. That lifestyle is no longer limited to top cities or metros, with even rural consumers now being able to access products, content and services at their fingertips.
With this kind of rapid advancement in the digital space, it is no wonder then that India’s core digital sectors are set to double in size by 2025, according to a UN estimate. The estimate produced in a UN report said India’s fast-growing telecom and digital space could see a faster rebound as global venture capital firms and technology companies continue to show interest in India’s market through acquisitions. Case in point - Facebook and Google’s investments worth $5.7 billion and $4.5 billion respectively in Jio Platforms in 2020. India’s digital growth story has already taken off, and looks set to make a major impact on the world stage.
The jury that selected the technology list was headed by
Dr Kiran Karnik, Former President, Nasscom. Other jury members were Gowree Gokhale, Partner, Nishith Desai Associates; Mahavir Pratap Sharma, Chairman, TiE Global; Rajat Tandon, President, Indian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (IVCA); Sameer Garde, President India and SAARC; and Shiv Shivakumar, Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group.
Here’s a look at the industry’s game changers and revolutionaries who are spearheading India’s digital growth story.
The Technology 100 list features leaders who invested in the Digital infrastructure or pioneered the concept of anything Digital who we would like to call the original Digital visionaries of the country. It includes the most interesting, innovative, and influential leaders shaping the Indian technology scene, whether that’s farsighted founders building unicorns, the investors who have made that possible or heads of Indian IT firms that have gone global.
The first name on this list is that of Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited whose Reliance Jio Infocomm has single handedly been responsible for the mobile internet and telecom revolution in India, bringing 4G to the masses. Thanks to Jio, India offers the cheapest mobile data rates globally which has enabled countless business transformations.
He is followed by Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises who pioneered the mobile revolution in India from one city in 1994 and now has presence in 18 countries. Mittal is a well-respected name in global telecommunications circles and his company Airtel is India’s second largest telecom operator.
The third name on this coveted list is that of Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group whose telecom company Idea Cellular was one of India’s top telcos even before merging with Vodafone. Birla leads one of India’s largest conglomerates and has been instrumental in raising the Group’s turnover from $2 billion in 1995 to $48.3 billion in 2019. The others on the list (in order of ranking) are as below
The Marketing 100 list names 100 most influential marketing and agency leaders in India based on their contribution to the growth of digital marketing, their industry and internal influence. They realized it pretty early in the day that Digital was the future and leveraged it exceptionally well.
Some of the top names on the list include that of Hemant Malik, Divisional CEO, Foods Business, ITC Limited who with 30 years of experience under his wing, spearheaded lifestyle retail operations, FMCG sales and showed a demonstrable ability to launch products according to changing trends. Brands such as Aashirwaad, Bingo, Sunfeast, Mint-O under his leadership, have leveraged digital mediums to successfully evangelize their messaging.
Second name on the list is of Prasoon Joshi, CEO & CCO, India & Chairman, Asia Pacific, McCann Worldgroup. Joshi wears many caps in addition to leading McCann Worldgroup which has repeatedly won top accolades at Cannes Lions. An author, lyricist, National award winning writer, Joshi is also the brain behind unforgettable ad campaigns of brands such as Reckitt Benckiser, Coca Cola, MasterCard, J&J, Perfetti, Nestlé, GM as well as social campaigns for polio eradication, malnutrition and women’s empowerment.
Another prominent name on the list who is on the third position is CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP India, a veteran with over two decades of media and advertising experience, Srinivas helped establish Maxus for GroupM/WPP in India and Asia Pacific. He helped chart a new course for GroupM’s successful journey in India and South Asia while incubating several path-breaking initiatives and championing a transformation programme at GroupM South Asia to make it a future-ready organisation. The others on the list (in order of ranking) are as below.
“I am delighted to accept this award. I think what this epidemic has done is accelerated the digital journey. Many of the citizens have moved online for the first time, whether to get news or to source essentials. So, just like Y2K gave a fillip to the Indian IT industry at the beginning of the millennium, the present crisis could be used to digitally connect the nation. And I’m so pleased that at Hindustan Unilever, we started working on what I call as the Reimagine HUL agenda nearly about four or five years ago with an idea that we will use data and technology to bring about a profound change in terms of how we interact with the consumers and give them a better experience.”
Chairman & Managing Director, Nestle India
R S Sodhi
Managing Director, Amul (GCMMF)
CEO India, dentsu
President - Investments and Pricing, GroupM
Founder & CEO, OYO Rooms
Co-Founder & CEO, Big Basket
Anuj Khanna Sohum & Anuj Kumar
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Co-Founder, Chief Revenue & Operating Officer, Affle
Last week, IMPACT unveiled its Digital Power 100 list for 2020 featuring the most influential names and towering personalities across the digital ecosystem. Given that the digital ecosystem is so diverse with different kinds of leaders, in its third edition, IMPACT further classified the list across four categories. The four lists feature the top entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, thinkers, and enablers in technology, business management, marketing, digital media and other related areas. From names like Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani and Bharti Enterprises’ Sunil Bharti Mittal to HUL’s Sanjiv Mehta and CVL Srinivas of WPP, the list lauds the achievements of the most influential digital personalities across disciplines and areas of expertise for their role in shaping the Indian internet and digital space.
The Indian digital growth story
The IMPACT Digital Power 100 Jury