Mr. Ajay Piramal is the Chairman of Piramal Group and he is one of India’s leading industrialists, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs heading one of India’s largest business groups, with activities in healthcare, real estate, financial services, information services, and glass packaging. Apart from India, the Group has presence in over 30 countries, including the US, the UK, the European Union, Japan, Asia-Pacific and South Asia, with its products being sold in over 100 markets.
Mr. Piramal holds several key positions on the Boards of various prestigious regulatory, professional and academic institutions. He serves on the Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors. He is a Non-Executive Director of Tata Sons Ltd. He is the President and Chairman of Governing Body of Anant National University. He is also the Chairman of Pratham Education Foundation. He is a member of the Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC) constituted by SEBI, as well as the National Council of Confederation of the Indian Industry. Till recently, he was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Indore.
He has made valuable contributions in public policy by serving on the Prime Minister’s Task Force on pharmaceuticals and Knowledge-Based Industries and Prime Minister’s Council for Trade & Industry. He has served as a director for the State Bank of India. Mr Piramal is also the co-chair of UK-India CEO Forum.
Mr. Piramal became the Chairman of the Group at the young age of 29. Known for identifying opportunities ahead of the curve, he diversified from the century old textile family business Morarjee Mills into the healthcare sector by acquiring Nicholas Laboratories India Ltd. in 1988. Through both organic growth and acquisition of Indian subsidiaries of MNCs like Roche, Boehringer Mannheim, Rhone Poulenc and ICI, the company’s market capitalisation grew significantly. Since inception, over a 26 year period, revenue for Piramal Enterprises has grown at a CAGR of ~25%. PEL generated annualised returns of ~ 30% for their shareholders (total value of over ~16,000 Cr starting from an initial value of ~18 Cr in FY1988). In 2010, a portion of the Group’s pharmaceutical business was sold to Abbott Labs for Rs.18000 Crores.
The Piramal Group has continued on its innovative path and utilizing proceeds from the sale, the company has made several investments.
The Piramal group’s joint venture with Allergan USA (world leaders in ophthalmology) is the longest JV in the India pharmaceutical industry. The Critical Care division has become one of the top three companies globally in critical care anaesthesia gases. Piramal Pharma Solutions is a leading global company in contract manufacturing and research.
Mr. Piramal is also the Chairman of Piramal Glass, the fastest growing speciality glass players in Asia and Piramal Realty which with a current development pipeline of over 15 million sq. ft. aspires to be the most respected real estate developer in India.
Ajay Piramal is focused on instilling values that have helped build a group that is ranked amongst the highest on ethical business and integrity. His commitment to society has also shaped the vision of Piramal Foundation. The Foundation has created break-through initiatives that have made a positive difference to millions of people in healthcare services, rural education, potable water, livelihood creation & youth empowerment, improving access to primary healthcare, leadership capacity in government schools and for generating livelihood for rural women. Two of the Foundation’s initiatives Piramal Water (Sarvajal) and e-Swasthya are now Harvard Business School case studies and there is considerable interest in the ‘Sarvajal’ concept being replicated by other countries. Pratham, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Piramal, is India’s largest NGOs in the education sector, delivering quality education to 33 million underprivileged children.
Mr. Piramal’s exceptional contribution to leadership processes and institution building has been recognized by numerous national and international awards and honours. He was awarded the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Healthcare and Life Sciences category in 2004; as well as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Award of UK Trade and Investment Council in 2006. The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce recognised him as ‘Business Leader of the Year’. For two years in a row, he received the ‘Forbes Philanthropy Awards’ in the Outstanding Philanthropist category in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Mr. Piramal was awarded the SEN Sustainability Award – Philanthropy and Best of Best – instituted by World Presidents’ Organisation (2015) and the Corporate Citizen of the Year award by AIMA Managing India Awards in 2016. In 2017, he was honoured with CNBC Asia Business Leader award for his vision, competence and achievements.
Mr. Piramal holds an Honours Degree in Science from Bombay University, and a Masters’ Degree in Management Studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. He has also completed an Advanced Management Programme from Harvard Business School. Mr. Piramal has been conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy (D. Phil) by Amity University, India.