Chairman, Piramal Group
Ajay Piramal is known for identifying opportunities ahead of the curve. At a time when international companies were exiting the Indian pharmaceutical market, he took the decision to move out from the dwindling textiles business into pharmaceuticals. That was in the eighties; in 2010, Piramal sold off his pharma business to Abbott for $3.7 billion. His long-term vision and contrarian approach have clearly paid good dividends. Now, Piramal is investing in social projects through Piramal Foundation in four broad areas -- healthcare, education, livelihood creation and youth empowerment. The idea is to develop innovative solutions to address issues that we see as critical roadblocks towards unlocking India’s economic potential. Piramal Swasthya, Sarvajal and the Institute for School Leadership are some of the large and successful initiatives of the Piramal Foundation. Piramal also serves as the chairman of Pratham India, which is the largest non-governmental organisation in the education sector, reaching out to nearly 33 million children.