The CEO Series: Leading in the 21st Century with Ashok Soota

Date: August 26, 2015
Venue: WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi – 110003


One of the most pertinent issues facing our society is the balance between Success and Happiness. Success is achieving your goal and happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, they feel happiness. Mr Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds will bring these two seemingly disparate subjects together based on his own experiences. He will be in conversation with Mr Anuj Poddar, Executive Vice President with Viacom18 and Ananta Aspen Fellow.


Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds

Ashok Soota, Executive Chairman, Happiest Minds since August 2011 is one of the pioneers of Indian IT industry and a serial entrepreneur. Prior to Happiest Minds, he was Founding Chairman & MD of MindTree (1999-2011) which he led to a very successful IPO. He was also President of Wipro’s Technology business from 1984-99 and led it to becoming India’s second largest IT Company during his tenure. Ashok has led many leadership positions for Indian Industry including President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – India’s largest Industry association and also President of Manufacturers’ Association of Information Technology.

He has received much recognition for his contribution to India’s IT industry and has served on Prime Minister’s Task Force for IT and on the Advisory Council for the World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. Ashok’s philanthropic contributions are channelled through Ashirvadam, a Trust he has founded for Environmental Protection and help for the needy including vocational training, education and medical assistance. Ashok holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Roorkee University (now IIT, Roorkee) and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines. He is a Fellow of INAE. Ashok’s hobbies include trekking, the outdoors, yoga, taichi and meditation.

Anuj Poddar, Executive Vice President, Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd.

Anuj Poddar is Executive Vice President with Viacom18, engaged in repositioning and redefining the scale of the regional entertainment space in India. In his prior role as Head of Strategy and Business Development, he spearheaded the formation of Viacom18 and architected its very successful journey of becoming one of India’s leading media and entertainment conglomerates. Prior to joining Viacom18, he has had over a decade of myriad professional experience in strategy consulting, mergers & acquisitions advisory and assurance with Arthur Andersen and KPMG, besides running his own entrepreneurial venture.

In all his pursuits, he brings to fore a unique blend of business acumen, diverse experience and, above all, deep insight into human and consumer behaviour. He is a Fellow of the Inaugural Class of Ananta Aspen’s India Leadership Initiative and member of Aspen Global Leadership Network, a member of BMW Foundation’s World Young Leaders’ Forum and has been on the Governing Council of CII-Young Indians. Anuj has schooled in Mumbai, India and Michigan, USA and is a rank-holding Chartered Accountant. Anuj lives with his family in Mumbai, India.