Ajay Piramal

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Ajay Piramal
Ajay Piramal at Horasis Global India Business Meeting 2014 crop.jpg
Piramal speaking at the Horasis Global India Business Meeting in Liverpool, June 2014
Born (1955-08-03) 3 August 1955 (age 65)
Bagar, Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, India
EducationUniversity of Mumbai
Net worthUS$4.61 billion (March 2019) [1]
TitleChairman of Piramal Group and Shriram Group
Spouse(s)Swati Piramal

Ajay Piramal (born 3 August 1955) is an Indian billionaire industrialist, and the chairman of the Piramal Group, a conglomerate with interests in pharmaceutical, financial services, real estate, healthcare analytics and glass packaging. In 2010, the Company sold the domestic formulation business to Abbott Laboratories for US$3.8 billion.[2] Piramal Enterprises has 3 major businesses – Pharma, Financial Services and Healthcare Insights & Analytics.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Ajay Piramal was born to Gopikisan Piramal and Lalita Piramal in Rajasthan, India on 3 August 1955. In 1977, at age 22, Piramal started out in his family's textile business, founded in 1934 by his grandfather Piramal Chatrabhuj. His father, Gopikisan Piramal, died suddenly in 1979, and after five years he lost an older brother to cancer, prompting him to take over the business reins.[5]

Piramal holds a bachelor's degree in Science from the Jai Hind College and Basantsingh Institute of Science, University of Mumbai (then Bombay), a master's degree in management studies from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai, and in 1992 attended the six-week Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School.[6][7] Piramal has received an honorary doctorate by Amity University, India[8] and Honorary Doctor of Science from IIT Indore[9]

Business career[edit]

In 1988, Piramal bought Nicholas Laboratories, an Australian multinational corporation. The company is now ranked fifth among pharma companies in India, having made a string of overseas acquisitions like the Indian subsidiaries of Roche, Boehringer Mannheim, Rhone Poulenc, ICI and Hoechst Research Centre. India's first major shopping mall, Crossroads, was developed from three redundant Piramal factory buildings in Mumbai.[10]

He led Piramal Enterprises Ltd invested in Vodafone India by buying 11% in two tranches. The first 5.5%, was bought in 2011 for Rs 2,856 crore and the second, the next year for Rs 3,007 crore. to buy a 5.5% stake in Vodafone India for INR 30.07 billion ($618 million), taking the total stake to 11%.[11] In April 2014, Piramal Enterprises Ltd. sold its 11% stake for INR 8,900 crore, at a 51.78% premium to the price the company had paid in 2011–12.[12]

After selling his stake in Vodafone India, Piramal paid INR 2,014 crore to buy a 20% stake in Shriram Capital Ltd., an arm of the Chennai-based Shriram Group. The purchase was made in addition to INR 1,636 crore investment in Shriram Transport Finance Co. Ltd. for a 9.9% stake.[13] Piramal also serves as the Chairman of Shriram Group.[14]

Piramal announced in 2019 he planned to resign as chairman of Shriram Capital Ltd. He was named chairman five years earlier.[15]

Directorships and board memberships[edit]

  • Chairman, Piramal Group[16]
  • Non-Executive Director, Tata Sons Ltd[17]
  • Member, Board of Dean's Advisors, Harvard Business School[18]
  • President and Chairman of the Governing Body, Anant National University[19]
  • Chairman, Pratham Education Foundation[19][20]
  • Member of National Council of Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII)
  • Co-Chair, UK-India CEO Forum
  • Member of the Honorable Prime Minister's Council for Trade & Industry and the Board of Trade constituted by the Ministry of Commerce
  • Member of the Honorable Prime Minister's Task Force on Pharmaceuticals and Knowledge-Based Industries
  • Member, Central Board of State Bank of India[21]
  • Invitee to the World Economic Forum for the last 20 years[22]

Former positions[edit]

  • Former Chairman, Indian Institute of Technology, Indore[23]
  • Member, Central board of directors of State Bank of India – India's largest commercial bank and is included in the "Fortune 500" companies[24]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Business Leader of the Year Award, 2018, International Advertising Association Leadership Awards[25]
  • Special Achievement Award, Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (APEA) 2018[26]
  • CNBC Asia's India Business Leader of the Year Award, 2018[27]
  • CNBC Asia Business Leader of the Year Award, 2017[28]
  • Corporate Citizen of the Year award by AIMA Managing India Awards in 2016[29]
  • SEN Sustainability Award – Philanthropy and Best of Best – instituted by World Presidents' Organisation (2015)[30]
  • Business Leader of the Year 2015, by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce[31]
  • Outstanding Philanthropist 2013 and 2014, Forbes Philanthropy Awards[32]
  • Kriyasheel Global Achievers Award (2010)[33]
  • India Innovator of the Year 2008 awarded by CNBC TV 18[34]
  • Entrepreneur of the Year' Award of UK Trade and Investment Council in 2006[35]
  • Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Healthcare and Life Sciences category in 2004[36]
  • Business Leader Award" in Pharma Sector at the CHEMTECH PHARMABIO AWARD (2004);[37]
  • Life Time Achievement Award" by The Rotary Club of Mumbai Mid-Town (2004)[38]
  • Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum (2004)[39]
  • Rotary International (District 3140) Certificate of Appreciation and "Four Way Test Award" in 2001[40]
  • CEO of the Year Award' by World Strategy Forum (1999)[41]


Piramal finances the Piramal Foundation.[42] The foundation is quoted as taking about 10–15% of his time.[43] The Piramal Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Piramal Group.[44]

The Piramal Foundation has initiatives across Health, Education and Safe Drinking Water, namely Piramal Swasthya,[45] Piramal Foundation for Education Leadership[46] and Piramal Sarvajal,[47] respectively. The Foundation works across 21 states, mostly in partnership with state governments.[48]

Piramal is among the Advisory Committee Members of Annamrita, ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (IFRF)[49] that serves 1.2 million meals through its 20 kitchens across India every day.[50]

Personal life[edit]

In December 2018, his son married Isha Ambani, daughter of the world's 5th wealthiest person at that time. The wedding cost was estimated at up to $100 million,[51] making it the one of the 5 most expensive weddings in history. Many international artists from Hollywood and Bollywood either performed or were guests, including Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt, Beyonce, Aishwarya Rai and Amitabh Bachchan.[52]


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  2. ^ Sinha, Shilpy (17 January 2018). "Piramal enterprises re-entry into indian formulations business". The Economic Times.
  3. ^ Sinha, Shilpy (17 January 2018). "Piramal Re-entry in to indian formulations business". The Economic Times.
  4. ^ "Piramal Housing Finance backs Chennai realty firm in $30 mn deal". VC Circle. 18 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Piramal History". Forbes.
  6. ^ "Building a better India through business and philanthropy – Alumni – Harvard Business School". alumni.hbs.edu. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Harvard Business School" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy". The Silicon Review.
  9. ^ Parida, Rashmi R. (22 November 2018). "Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group, Conferred with Honorary Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) Degree by IIT-Indore". indiaeducationdiary.in. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Ajay Piramal Biography". Biographia. 29 December 2017.
  11. ^ Layak, Suman (8 April 2018). "How Ajay Piramal is creating success stories by eschewing conventional wisdom". The Economic Times.
  12. ^ "Piramal sells entire stake in Vodafone for Rs 8,900 crore". Live Mint. 11 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Piramal to buy 20% stake in Shriram Capital". Live Mint. 17 April 2014.
  14. ^ Kalesh, Baiju (13 August 2014). "Ajay Piramal to strengthen role in Shriram Group, takes over as Chairman of Shriram Capital". The Economic Times.
  15. ^ Kalesh, Baiju; Sanjai, PR. "Billionaire Piramal Plans to Step Down From Shriram Capital". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Piramal Group Chairman". The Hindu Business Line.
  17. ^ "Ajay piramal tata sons". TATA. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  18. ^ Sengupta, Devina (25 August 2016). "Ajay piramal appointed non-executive director of tata sons". The Economic Times.
  19. ^ a b "ANU" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2018.
  20. ^ Sengupta, Devina (25 August 2016). "Industrialists Ajay Piramal and Venu Srinivasan appointed non-executive directors of Tata Sons". The Economic Times.
  21. ^ "Member, Central Board of State bank of india". Asian Centre.
  22. ^ "World Economic Forum". sbs.ox.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  23. ^ iednewsdesk (22 November 2018). "Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group, Conferred with Honorary Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) Degree by IIT-Indore". India Education,Education News India,Education News | India Education Diary. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Mr. Ajay Piramal, Chairman Piramal Group – Kamini Banga". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
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  26. ^ "The 9th Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards, India chapter recognizes 22 top business leaders". Asian News Channel. 17 April 2018.
  27. ^ "CNBC-TV18 hosts 13th edition of India Business Leader Awards; Kumar Mangalam Birla named Outstanding Businessman of the Year". CNBC. 7 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Asia business leader award". CNBC. 2 November 2017.
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  30. ^ "Ajay Piramal". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Doing well and doing good – piramal". The Silicon Review.
  32. ^ "Forbes Philanthropy Awards". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Ajay Piramal Success Story". You Success. 3 November 2017.
  34. ^ "management". DB Corp LTD.
  35. ^ "Entrepreneur of the Year'". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  36. ^ "Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the year". Archived from the original on 8 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Pharma bio Award". Bloomberg.
  38. ^ "Lifetime achievement award".
  39. ^ "Global leader of tomorrow" (PDF). Ashstevens.[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ "Four Way Test Award". Dainik Bhaskar (DB Corp Ltd).
  41. ^ "CEO of the year award". Bloomberg.
  42. ^ "Ajay Piramal Wealth". Forbes India. 19 March 2014.
  43. ^ Layak, Suman (8 April 2018). "Ajay piramal Success". The Economic Times.
  44. ^ "CSR : NITI Aayog partners with Piramal Foundation to transform aspirational Districts". India CSR. 21 March 2018.
  45. ^ "Shriram Transport Finance and Piramal Swasthya jointly announces the launch of Mobile Medical Van in Pune". News Barons. 9 March 2018.
  46. ^ "The Piramal family's purposeful philanthropy". Forbes India. 6 January 2015.
  47. ^ "Piramal Sarvajal Marks World Water Day, with the Launch of 'Safe Drinking Water' Awareness Drive". Orissa Diary. 14 March 2018.
  48. ^ "NITI Aayog partners with Piramal Foundation to transform aspirational Districts". India CSR. 21 March 2018.
  49. ^ "Advisory Committee Members of Annamrita". Annamrita.
  50. ^ "Annamrita Meal Project". Annamrita.
  51. ^ Bloomberg (10 December 2018). "Isha Ambani wedding not to cost more than $15 million: Sources". Mint. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  52. ^ "Inside Isha Ambani's pre-wedding festivities: Deepika-Ranveer pose for a selfie with Aishwarya". indianexpress.com. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.