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TCS, HUL, Tech Mahindra: New Bosses At Helm Of Affairs; What It Means For the Companies As top bosses such as Sanjiv Mehta, MD Hindustan Unilever; Rajesh Gopinathan, MD and CEO TCS and CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra step down in 2023, the upcoming CEOs have tough tasks cut out for them

By Shrabona Ghosh

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The top Indian Incs are experiencing a change of leadership at the helm of affairs. As top bosses such as Sanjiv Mehta, MD Hindustan Unilever; Rajesh Gopinathan, MD and CEO TCS and CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra will be stepping down in 2023, the upcoming CEOs will have big shoes to fill. While these new leaders are veterans in their respective fields, they would still have tough tasks cut out for them.

After more than three decades in Unilever, Sanjiv Mehta, MD, HUL will pass the baton to his successor Rohit Jawa, the new MD and CEO of HUL, effective June 27 2023.

Rohit Jawa, has had a fair share of success to his credit over his three and half decades long career at the FMCG heavy weight. Jawa (56), is currently serving as the Chief of Transformation for Unilever in London, with focus on once in a decade, end-to-end organizational transformation of Unilever.

At Unilever, Jawa held leadership roles across sales, marketing, transformation and general management. "My last role was the EVP for North Asia & chairman for Unilever China, heading our business in one of top priority market clusters, where we have delivered a significant transformation of Unilever China into a competitive, profitable and consistent business, now our third largest in the world.I have worked in India, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia and China, covering local, regional and global markets," states his LinkedIn bio.

He has a proven track record of leadership and sustained results across Asia - south Asia, southeast Asia and north Asia. "I have built a deep understanding of this market and a broad experience across Home Care, Personal Care and Food sectors," added his bio.

He has received the 'CEO Excel' award for 2015 by the Philippines chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators for leadership in business communication.

Recently, HUL has been on an acquisition spree– it acquired companies such as OZiva and MDH Spices, among others. As Jawa steps into the shoes of Mehta he will have to further scale the legacy created by Mehta in acquisitions, D2C expansions and digital transformation.

On March 16th, after a stellar career of over 22 years with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and a successful stint as MD and CEO during the last six years, Rajesh Gopinathan decided to step down from the company to pursue his other interests. Gopinathan will continue with the company till 15th September 2023 to provide transition and support to his successor. The board has nominated K. Krithivasan as the CEO designate with effect from 16th March 2023. Krithivasan will go through a transition with Rajesh Gopinathan and will be appointed as the MD & CEO in the next financial year.

Looking at the macroeconomics headwinds globally, K Krithivasan will have to navigate some serious challenges as he gears up to take the helm of the IT firm – most importantly he will have to surpass Gopinathan's track record in winning large deals. Gopinathan laid the foundation for the next phase of TCS' growth with significant investments in Cloud and automation.

The change of leadership also comes amid financial turmoil in the US. A recent report by JPMorgan analysts states that amid financial challenges in the US, top Indian IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys have the highest exposure to regional banks in the country. Regional banks in the United States account for 2-3 per cent of their revenue, JPMorgan said in a note, adding that the exposure to the recently collapsed Silicon Valley Bank could be 10-20 basis points for TCS, Infosys and smaller rival LTIMindtree, with the Tata Group company in the lead.

Under Gopinathan's aegis, in the last six years, the organization added over $10 billion in incremental revenues and over $70 billion increase in market capitalization. TCS became the second-most valuable company in India, with the market capitalization crossing $167.86 billion in FY23. The company's brand value increased by a whopping 212 per cent to $45.5 billion in the past two years, recognising it as the most valuable Indian brand in 2022 by Kantar BrandZ India rankings.

"I don't expect to see a great strategy change or organizational change coming in the immediate future," Krithivasan told the media after his appointment was announced.

K. Krithivasan is presently president and global head of the banking, financial services, and Insurance (BFSI) business group at Tata Consultancy Services. Krithivasan has been part of the global technology sector for over 34 years, having joined Tata Consultancy Services in 1989. During his long tenure at TCS, he has held various leadership roles in delivery, customer relationship management, large program management and sales. Krithivasan is also a member of the Board of directors of TCS Iberoamerica, TCS Ireland and the supervisory board of TCS Technology Solutions AG.

Recently, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran discussed the engagement of Gopinathan with the group beyond September 15 in an advisory role, PTI reported on Tuesday.

After a lot of speculation around leadership change at information technology (IT) services provider Tech Mahindra, the term of the current MD and CEO CP Gurnani is ending in December. During the investor's meeting, he said, "Tech Mahindra won't get impacted by an incoming leadership change as its business strategy is built around its customers. This is a running train and the reality is that I will have a reasonable transition period between me and the new leader." The board announced Mohit Joshi as the MD and CEO designate of Tech Mahindra. Mohit will take over as MD and CEO when CP Gurnani retires on 19th December 2023. He will join Tech Mahindra well before that date to allow for sufficient transition time.

According to a Bloomberg report, Gurnani's exit from Tech Mahindra comes at a time when the company identified products and platforms as a key growth area and carved out the business as a separate vertical and committed INR 700 crore towards it over the next two years. Clearly, Joshi will have a mammoth task of scaling this vertical. Joshi has over two decades of experience in the enterprise technology software and consulting space.

Mohit Joshi was head of banking, financial services and insurance ( BFSI), healthcare and life sciences at Infosys and was also responsible for firm-wide sales operations and reporting processes, including large deal pursuits and top account growth. He has experience of working across the US, India, Mexico and Europe. His area of expertise lies in the intersection of financial services and technology.

Whether it's about the new HUL boss who has the task of scaling acquisitions, D2C expansions and digital transformation or K Krithivasan, who has to navigate the financial turmoil in the US for TCS or Mohit Joshi who is in charge of a new vertical that has been identified as a key growth driver for Tech Mahindra, the challenges for each one of them is abound.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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