The jury members felt Murty, a 60-year-old IIM Calcutta alumnus who has been a one-company man through his working life, had risen to the challenge of competing in an industry that was fiercely competitive, and had come through with flying colours.
The largest paints company in India, which has almost 50 per cent share in the decorative paints market, is ranked among the top 10 decorative paint companies in the world. What also impressed the jury was that international operations accounted for a fifth of Asian Paints’ turnover – no mean achievement considering it had to compete with some of the biggest global giants.
But more than numbers, what tilted the scale decisively in Murty’s favour was Asian Paints’ reputation as a company that had fought hard while maintaining the highest standards of corporate governance.
The Business Standard awards will be presented by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on March 25.
Other than Kamath, the other Jury members were Sun Pharma Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi, Thermax Chairperson Anu Aga, KKR India CEO and Country head Sanjay Nayar, Ernst & Young CEO and Country Manager Rajiv Memani, and Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Director Mallika Srinivasan.
The other coveted award – Company of the Year – has been won by Maruti Suzuki. There were many factors that impressed the Jury – India’s largest automobile manufacturer has a model that is the highest selling in the world (Alto); it has a rural reach and positioning that is unmatched; and despite its size, its service quality can beat all the multinationals hands-down. The Jury members also talked about Maruti’s success in adopting a new business model (second-hand car business).
Three other companies were selected for Business Standard’s “Star” awards in different categories. The Jury chose specialised engineering and consultancy giant Engineering India Ltd (EIL) as the Star Public Sector Company for its game-changing role in the industry; GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare as the Star Multinational for its innovation and successful transition from just the health food drinks segment to the overall foods & beverage portfolio; and TTK Prestige, India’s largest kitchen equipment maker, as the Star Company in the Small and Medium Enterprises sector, for its consistent track record and ability to keep pace with changing times.
Read about the achievements of the award winners in the BS 1000 magazine that is being distributed with Business Standard today.
The magazine has also chronicled the turnaround journey of several companies which rose to the challenge and changed the way they did business without compromising on corporate governance. And it was no surprise that quite a few of those that made it to the shortlist of best performing companies were in new consumer-facing businesses which needed quick actions in a hugely competitive marketplace.
The most encouraging sign, however, was that there was no shortage of enterprising Indians who grabbed a slice of the action and came up the curve fast. Meet them in the pages of BS 1000.