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Volume IconWinners of BS Awards 2021 capture India Inc's growth story

Business Standard Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence 2021 were announced this week. The winners were picked by an eight-member jury after extensive deliberations and capture India's growth story

Business Standard’s annual awards for Corporate Excellence

The jury will select the best in Corporate India, from a long list of names & data compiled by the Business Standard Research Bureau

Tough time never lasts but tough people do. As the pandemic struck, most business leaders showed resilience in the face of adversity. They rose to the occasion, did course corrections wherever needed, and steered their business to new heights.  

Winners of this year’s Business Standard Annual Awards for Corporate Excellence 2021 showed all these qualities, and much more. A high-profile eight-member jury virtually met late last week and picked the best of India Inc.

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The panel was chaired by Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and included distinguished personalities from the fields of private equity, management consulting and law. 

While selecting the winners in seven categories, Birla stated that apart from the financial data of the nominees, due weight should be given to strong ethical attributes, in addition to long-term business vision.

With three winners coming from the pharma and healthcare sector, the awards highlighted the critical role played by the industry. 

India lived up to its name as the “pharmacy of the world” during the pandemic, winning praise for sending medicines and vaccines around the world. 

Infosys chief Salil Parekh was selected CEO of the Year for the extraordinary turnaround and outperformance of the IT major. It has beaten peers like TCS in growth. Its market value has grown at an average of 40% over the past three years. 

India’s third-largest pharmaceutical company 87-year-old Cipla bagged the Company of the Year award for its outstanding performance and contribution to the healthcare sector. The company draws 40% of its revenues from India and 21% from the US market. 

While the jury discussed several outstanding individuals who have left a deep and lasting impact on India’s corporate history, their unanimous choice for Lifetime Achievement award was Prathap C Reddy, founder of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise.

The 89-year-old Padma Vibhushan awardee was recognised as a trailblazer not only in the world of health care but also as a philanthropist.

India’s biggest stock broker Zerodha, with its profitable business model, was selected for the Start-up of the Year award.  As the Indiand thronged stock markets over the past two years, Zerodha’s user base has grown from 2 million to 8 million. 

For Star PSU of the Year, the jury zeroed in on Bharat Electronics, which supplies electronic equipment and systems to the defence sector. The jury felt the candidate should show outstanding financial metrics, apart from facing competition from the private sector besides its peers.

Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care won the Star MNC award, notably for the innovations it has brought about, helping the company sustain its lead in the feminine hygiene industry.

India’s largest diagnostics company Dr Lal PathLabs was chosen as the Star SME of the Year for its consistency and brand recognition during the Covid times. The company’s sales grew by almost 19% and net profit surged over 29% in 2020-21.

In a year that saw extraordinary challenges and disrupted established business models overnight, what tilted the scales in favour of the winners was the confidence of the jury in their business models, which weathered the severe pandemic storm, and the disruptions and innovations they have brought in their respective industries. 

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First Published: Mar 31 2022 | 8:30 AM IST

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