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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At Unilever Jain was responsible for developing and delivering the digital logistics strategy. She has also led Unilever’s digital integration platform, working on application development and lifecycle management. Prior to that, she worked for 13 years at GE, where she headed the Oracle technology team for GE Appliances’ ERP platform. She will be based in Bangalore.

Edelweiss General Insurance appoints Madhu Malhotra as CTO

Madhu Malhotra has joined Edelweiss General Insurance as chief technology officer. Her responsibilities will include enhancing and transforming the customer experience.

She was most recently vice president of technology at Spectra, leading all aspects of IT including cloud infrastructure, application development and information security.

Before that she worked for 10 years at Airtel, including over three years leading engineering teams at Airtel Payments Bank.

Rajesh Garg joins Yotta Infrastructure as CDO

Rajesh Garg, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer at Yotta Infrastructure Yotta Infrastructure

Rajesh Garg, EVP and CDO

Rajesh Garg has been appointed executive vice president and chief digital officer at Yotta Infrastructure, where he will report to co-founder and CEO Sunil Gupta. He will be responsible for the growth of the ERP implementation and other SaaS applications.

Garg was previously CEO and group CIO at Trident Group India, where he was responsible for the digital transformation and IT automation, and before that CIO and vice president for digital transformation solutions at Rolta India.

He received IDG India’s CIO100 award in 2019, and has also been a part of the Advisory Group delegation from India to the Ministry of Information and Communications of the Royal Government of Bhutan.

Shashwat Singh joins boAt as CIO

Consumer electronics maker boAt has appointed Shashwat Singh as its chief information officer, reporting directly to CEO Vivek Gambhir.

Singh brings in over 14 years of experience leading digital transformation for supply chain and finance functions at FMCG majors. Before joining boat, he was Kimberly Clark’s supply chain technology lead, and prior to that was the IT lead for supply chain in South Asia at Unilever. He has also held positions at Asian Paints, Infosys and Mindtree.

April 2021

Zee Entertainment Enterprise appoints Vishal Somani as head of enterprise IT

Vishal Somani has joined Zee Entertainment Enterprise as head of enterprise IT and content technology, based in Mumbai.

Somani has over 20 years of experience in the media and broadcasting and BFSI domains wherein he has led several complex transformation mandates and diverse technology operations. Most recently, he spent seven years at Star TV Network where he was senior vice president and CIO, and before that worked long years with Tata AIA Life Insurance and Tata Consultancy Services.

Entero Healthcare appoints Pooraan Jaiswal as CTO

Supply chain startup Entero Healthcare has named Pooraan Jaiswal its chief technology officer. He will report to the COO Prem Sethi.

Formerly CTO at jewellery retailer Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), Jaiswal has over 20 years of experience in IT. Before TBZ, he was CTO at clothing retailer Globus for almost three years, and has also previously worked at Ritz Consultant, Rediff and Indiatelevision.

Rakesh Bhardwaj joins Ola as group CIO

Ola has appointed Rakesh Bhardwaj its group chief information officer, based in Bangalore. He was previously the senior vice president and global CIO at Cognizant for four years.

In his new role Bharadwaj will provide strategic direction to Ola’s IT initiatives, covering information systems, tools, security, IT infrastructure and assets across the group’s global operations and businesses as it expands into new areas such as connected manufacturing, intelligent charging infrastructure.

He brings over 30 years of experience in building and managing cutting-edge global IT teams and systems for some of the largest enterprises in the world, including Cognizant, and GE.

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.

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