The first ever NDTV Profit Leadership Awards, were held in the Capital on July 28, 2006. The Awards have been instituted to salute the men and women who fuel India’s journey to the forefront of the World Economy. The Awards ceremony was presided over by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and attended by India’s top industry leaders.
The Awards were given in 14 verticals including aviation, IT software, banks, shipping and logistics, consumer durables, mutual funds, FMCG, oil and gas, infrastructure, retailing, insurance companies, telecom, IT hardware and travel and tourism. The Prime Minister gave away the awards to the winners.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Singh said, “I am impressed by the effort that Prannoy and his team have put in to identify and reward some of our outstanding business leaders and firms. I am particularly happy that this event is being held this week. I was reminded earlier this week of the fact that it is now 15 years since we launched some of the most far-reaching reform of our economy. The fruits of that effort 15 monsoons ago are here before us, in this hall!”
“I compliment each one of the enterprises and individuals who have been nominated for today’s awards. It is indeed striking how few of the nominees today were even around 15 years ago. I am told that of the 82 nominees you have in 14 different categories, only 30 were in business in 1991. 52 of your 82 nominees are the children of a new India! Indeed, of the five distinguished business leaders you have nominated for the award of Business Leader of the Year, only one would have been recognised as a captain of industry in 1991. In fact, two of your nominees in this category belong to sectors that would not even have been considered for such awards in 1991,” the Prime Minister noted.
Three outstanding awards given – Mukesh Ambani received the Global Indian Leader Award, while Ratan Tata was declared to be the Business Leader of the Year, the Hyundai Sonata Inspiring Indian Award was given to Nandan Nilekani.
Jet Airways was adjudged the best airlines in the aviation category, beating the likes of Air Deccan, Indian, Kingfisher Airlines, Sahara Airlines and Spice Jet.
In the banks category, ICICI Bank was adjudged the best bank. The others in the fray were Bank of India, HDFC Bank, HSBC Ltd, Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India.
Infosys Technology was declared winner in the IT Software category. The nominees in this category were HCL Technologies, Satyam Computer Services Ltd, TCS and Wipro Ltd.
Nokia India Ltd was adjudged the best consumer durable company, defeating the likes of IFB Industries, LG Electronics India, Philips and Sony India. In the FMCG category, the winner was HLL. The nominees were Amul (Gujarat Coop Milk Marketing Federation), Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd, P&G Home Products Ltd, and PepsiCo. In the retail category, the winner was Westside.
Commentin on the awards, Prannoy Roy, Chairman and Wholetime Director, NDTV, said, “When I look at the audience, I feel the scene of IT and business has changed in the last 10 years. We are seeing 90 per cent of new faces. Each face here is running his / her own organisation. There is good corporate governance because of the good stock market. In between media plays a big role. Media plays a major role in disciplining people.”
He added, “It has been a fantastic journey since we launched in January 17, 2005. Every single nominee has been picked after an in-depth study was conducted over a period of five months. The study was split into various stages, which included analysis of market data, self-evaluation by senior management and peer group evaluation.”
Meanwhile, in an unusual gesture, the Prime Minister while leaving the venue, stepped down from the dais and mingled among the high profile guests, hugging Rahul Bajaj and shaking hands with several industry stalwarts like Mukesh Ambani, Vijay Mallya, and Nandan Nilekani, among others. His speech, too, was peppered with several personal observations.