Chairman, Piramal Group
Mr. Ajay G Piramal is the Chairman of the Piramal Group. He is known for identifying opportunities ahead of the curve. In the late 1980s, Mr. Piramal took a decision to move out from the dwindling textiles business to pharmaceuticals. This was at a time when international companies were exiting the Indian pharma markets due to various socio-economic reasons. Mr. Piramal bought Nicholas Labs in 1988 at USD 4 million. He took the contrarian approach to invest in the domestic formulations business when others were focused on growing international generics. This strategic move delivered rich dividends. In 2010, the domestic formulations business was valued by Abbott at USD 3.72 billion; a historic sale that valued this business at an unprecedented 9x sales and 30x EBITDA.
Throughout all this history, Mr. Piramal’s guiding principle has been to build businesses that deliver long term value for our stakeholders. Since inception, he has enabled Piramal Enterprises to deliver a 23% CAGR of market cap.
Mr. Piramal has focused on instilling values that has helped to build a Group that is resilient and high on integrity. His commitment to the society has shaped the vision of the Piramal Foundation, which is the social arm of the Group. He also serves as the Chairman of Pratham India, which is the largest non-governmental organization in the education sector, and reaches out to 33 million children through its “Read India” campaign.
Mr. Piramal was awarded the “India Innovator of the Year 2008” by media house, CNBC TV18. In 2006, the UK Trade & Investment Council awarded him the “Entrepreneur of the Year” and in 2004, Ernst & Young named him as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Healthcare & Life Sciences category.
Mr. Piramal completed his Masters in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, and completed his Advanced Management Programme from Harvard Business School in 1992. Today, he serves as a member on the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School.