New CIO appointments in India, 2021

An updated list of information technology executives moving to new chief information officer roles at organizations in India.

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With more and more companies undertaking the journey of digital transformation, the role of the CIO has become critical. The increased demand for experienced IT leaders has made the space extremely dynamic. CIO India is here with a regularly updated list of the latest CIO movements across the country. Write to us if you have news to share.

April 2021

Ajay Bharwani signs on with Writer Corp. as group CIO

ajay bharwani Ajay Bharwani

Ajay Bharwani

Realty, relocation and cash management specialist Writer Corp. has appointed Ajay Bharwani as group CIO and head of digital transformation, to lead the modernisation of IT systems used by the company's 10,000 employees.

Previously, Bharwani served as global head of IT and technical applictions at Lupin, a pharmaceutical company, and before that as executive director for IT advisory services in Africa, India and the Middle East with consulting firm EY.

Annapurna Vishwanathan is the new CIO at Cummins India

Formerly head of digital at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, Annapurna Vishwanathan has joined Cummins India as CIO.

Vishwanathan’s career as an IT leader started at GE in Fairfield, Connecticut, where she moved into IT project management from her initial role in audit. From there she moved to GE Digital in Bangalore, helping create the company’s India Digital hub then, as a senior director of GE’s product software engineering division, taking responsibility for end-to-end product development for the firm’s digital services practice in India.  Those roles set her up with experience of managing IT security, establishing cash controls, overseeing acquisition integrations, and implementing Oracle sourcing platforms before her move to Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages in 2018. 

March 2021

Ashish Shrivastava joins FSS as head of technology

ashish shrivastava fss Ashish Shrivastava

Ashish Shrivastava, head of technology at FSS

After working on Punjab’s “One Integrated Government” project, Ashish Shrivastava is moving to the private sector to work on financial inclusion. He has joined payment technology firm FSS as its head of technology. 

In his role as CTO for the Punjab state government, Shrivastava was responsible for implementing the “Digital Punjab Programme” across various departments and e-governance projects. Previously, he held CIO positions at CMS Infosystems and Allied Blenders and Distillers. 

Vistara flies in Vinod Bhat as new chief information officer

vinod bhat cio vistara orig Vistara

Vinod Bhat, CIO, Vistara

Vinod Bhat has joined Vistara as CIO after a 28-year stint at Tata Consultancy Services.

In his last role at TCS, as global business head for UK and Europe operations, Bhat was responsible for strategizing and driving business growth, delivery, CXO-level interactions, and business benefits for TCS customers. He also headed operations for the largest TCS delivery centre, Delhi-NCR.

Saurabh Mittal is the new CTO at Piramal Retail Finance

Piramal Enterprises’ retail finance division has appointed former Medlife CTO Saurabh Mittal as its new chief technology officer.

Mittal has been tasked with leading technology strategy at Piramal Retail Finance, creating a cutting-edge cloud-native tech-stack and building the AI technology to power the lending business. He will also run the team responsible for developing and managing technology for the company’s customer- and partner-facing business platforms.

In his two-decade long career in IT, Mittal has accrued experience in building and scaling innovative consumer products across e-commerce and telecom sectors.

He joined online pharmacy and medical diagnostics major Medlife in 2015 as its chief product officer and quit four years later as its chief technology officer. At Medlife he played an instrumental role in defining, developing, and evolving the company’s product portfolio in addition to enabling business growth from scratch.

Before and after his stint at Medlife, Mittal worked at Amazon India, most recently leading a team that engineered software systems for one of its fulfillment channels.

February 2021

Narendra Agrawal is the new Global CIO of Dabur India

Dabur India has appointed Hindustan Unilever’s former IT head, Narendra Agrawal, as its new global CIO

“Agrawal comes with a vast exposure in successfully leading large scale global transformation projects in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), logistics operation, financial forecasting, and sales and operations planning,” said Dabur India.

Agrawal spent nine years at Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest FMCG firm, where he was responsible for leading end-to-end IT integration following its acquisition of nutrition business Glaxo Smith Kline Consumer Healthcare. He went on to spearhead IT for Unilever’s sales function and to drive digitization for the newly acquired nutrition business.

Among his accomplishments at Unilever, Agrawal was responsible for rewiring sales and operations planning, financial performance management, employee experience and go-to-market deployment. In addition to driving projects from a strategy stage to benefits realization, he has built expertise in service management and vendor management during his 13 years of IT experience.

A University of Mumbai and IIM-Indore alumnus, Agrawal started his IT career at Missouri-based software and services firm Amdocs. He then moved to Capgemini as a consultant in 2008 before joining Hindustan Unilever in 2012.

Adani Power names Nitin Rohilla CIO

Nitin Rohilla has joined Adani Power as its CIO. He was previously the vice president of IT at Adani Electricity, another company within the same group, for over two years. Previously based out of Mumbai, Rohilla has now moved to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, to take up his new role. Rohilla will report directly to Anil Sardana, managing director at Adani Power.

Rohilla said, “As CIO of Adani Power, my responsibilities will be to make IT as a partner in business where IT should be considered as first port of call for any business decision.

“I believe that IT initiatives should drive business value,” he said, adding that he will focus on improved and effective processes to bring consistency and standardisation.
Rohilla has 30 years’ experience in IT management, a great deal of it involving SAP systems, and has worked at companies including Pidilite Industries, Azure Power, Tata Power, Cairn Energy, BSES Delhi, and Tata Chemicals.

Anil Menon joins Lulu Group India as head of IT

Lulu Group India has appointed Anil Menon as its head of IT. Menon will be based in Kochi. He was formerly the general manager for IT innovation at Tata Starbucks.

In his new role, Menon will be responsible for strengthening the digital operations at Lulu to support the company’s big expansion plan for India, focusing on customer experience and supply chain productivity. Menon will also be responsible for creating an agile ecosystem to support innovation and implement new age technologies to accelerate the growth across all channels.

Prior to Tata Starbucks, Menon worked with companies including Trent Hypermarket and Cybage Software. He has over 18 years of experience in IT and retail.

Tejas Shah leaves Axis Finance for SVKM

Tejas Shah SVKM Tejas Shah

Tejas Shah, deputy director of IT at SVKM

Tejas Shah has been appointed deputy director of IT at Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal (SVKM). SVKM is an educational institute and a public charitable trust registered under the Societies Registration Act and Bombay Public Trust Act.

His previous role was as the head of IT Infrastructure at Axis Finance, where he was responsible for overall planning, organizing, and execution of all IT functions.

At SVKM he will be responsible for managing pan-India IT infrastructure including the network, applications, servers, end-user support team and web portal support.

Shah is an experienced IT leader skilled in IT infrastructure management, project coordination, identity and access management (IAM), IT service delivery, and budgeting and information security.

He has previously worked for HDFC Bank, Sify Technologies and Wipro.

January 2021

Fabindia Overseas appoints Kunal Mehta as its Group CTO

Kunal Mehta, Group CTO at Fabindia Overseas Kunal Mehta

Kunal Mehta, Group CTO at Fabindia Overseas

Kunal Mehta joins retail brand Fabindia Overseas as its group chief technology officer. Mehta brings in 20 years of experience, 16 of which he spent in retail and the manufacturing sector where his primary responsibilities were enterprise IT operations and IT strategy.

Mehta will be based in New Delhi for his new role at Fabindia, where he will be responsible for defining the IT strategy roadmap and driving IT transformation through business. His main responsibility will be to build a robust digital backbone to innovate and accelerate business growth across all channels.

He will be working closely with the top management at Fabindia to ensure improved efficiency and productivity, to improve supply chain systems and customer experience, and to implement new technologies to ready the brand for future growth.

In his previous role, Mehta was the head of IT at Raymond Ltd. Prior to that, he was with companies including Trent Hypermarket, Reliance Retail, Johnson & Johnson, and Nilkamal.

Pradipt Kapoor named CIO of Bharti Airtel

Pradipt Kapoor is taking over from Harmeen Mehta as CIO of Bharti Airtel.

pradipt kapoor Pradipt Kapoor

Pradipt Kapoor, Bharti Airtel

In his last role, Kapoor was VP and global head of products and solutions engineering at shipping and logistics major Maersk.

“I am super excited to be joining Airtel. It’s an iconic brand and I love the fact customer centricity and customer obsession is in the core DNA of the organization,” Kapoor told CIO India.

As part of its digital drive, the Indian telecom giant has been striving to develop a broad array of digital services and platforms.

On his role in helping the company meet its digital agenda, Kapoor said “I am looking forward to helping realise the Airtel digital vision—to help build products, platforms and services which make sure that customers get the best possible service experience.”

Bhavesh Gandhi joins Aarti Industries as chief digital and information officer

Bhavesh Gandhi has been appointed as chief digital and information officer at chemical and pharmaceutical major Aarti Industries.

The company has 16 chemical manufacturing sites from which it serves nearly 150 global and 500 local companies.

Gandhi was previously CIO of Piramal Enterprises’ pharma division, where he worked for five years.

Harmit Singh Malhotra named CTO at Enterr10 Television

harmit singh malhotra final Harmit Singh Malhotra

Harmit Singh Malhotra, Enterr10 Television

Harmit Singh Malhotra has joined media and entertainment major Enterr10 Television as chief technology officer.

Before that, he was general manager for IT and IS at Republic World, where he was responsible for managing the entire broadcast and corporate IT infrastructure, in addition to evaluating new technologies and formulating IT strategy. He played a key role in IT business process design and solution identification. Malhotra was also responsible for ensuring compliance and defining IT security and operating policies.

Malhotra has extensive experience in the broadcast media industry, having worked at firms like Network 18, Star TV, CNBC-TV18.

Chaitanya Wagh appointed CTO (India) at Scotiabank

chaitanya wagh Chaitanya Wagh

Chaitanya Wagh, CTO (India), Scotiabank

Former Group CTO at JM Financial, Chaitanya Wagh has joined Canadian multinational banking and financial services company Scotiabank as Chief Technology Officer (India).

Wagh has over 20 years of experience in managing technology for investment banking, equity trading, asset management, wealth management, retail trading, and fixed income businesses.

In his previous role, Wagh was the group CTO of JM Financial, where he worked for over 12 years. His IT career in the BFSI sector started with DSP Merrill Lynch. He then moved to JP Morgan Stanley Securities, following which he served as director of information technology at UBS Securities.

Over the years, Wagh accrued expertise in aligning his organization’s technology roadmap with business strategies and played key leadership roles in solution planning and project management.

November 2020

Shiju Rawther joins CARE Ratings as CITO

shiju rawther cto care ratings CARE Ratings

Shiju Rawther, Chief Technology Officer at CARE Ratings

Credit rating agency CARE Ratings has named Shiju Rawther its new chief information and technology officer, tasked with spearheading the complete IT function including technology strategies and enterprise-wide IT transformation.
Previously, Rawther was CIO at Poonawalla Finance, and before that he played a key role in driving technology transformation at financial majors such as IIFL Finance, TransUnion CIBIL, and Fullerton India Credit Company. He is credited with setting up the complete IT infrastructure, application deployment, and security operations at Gateway Terminals India and Fullerton India, including building security operations centers (SOCs) from scratch at both companies.

Ramesh Lakshminarayanan appointed CIO at HDFC Bank

ramesh lakshminarayanan hdfc HDFC Bank

Ramesh Lakshminarayanan, CIO, HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank has appointed Ramesh Lakshminarayanan as its new CIO. He will serve as group head of IT, spearheading the company’s technology transformation.

In addition to defining HDFC’s technology strategy, Lakshminarayanan has been tasked with strengthening the company’s foundational technology, enhancing its digital capabilities and harnessing the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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