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Padma Awards 2022: Corporate giants who won country's top civilian honours

Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Microsoft's Satya Nadella were conferred with Padma Bhushan while homegrown entrepreneurs like Prahlad Rai Agarwala and Jagjit Singh Dardi were honoured with Padma Shri.

Padma Awards 2022: Corporate giants who won country's top civilian honours - ADT
New Delhi, First Published Jan 26, 2022, 2:32 PM IST

On the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, India honoured corporate giants whose achievements have made a made not just within the country but also around the world. The country bestowed its top civilian honours upon visionary industry leaders ranging from the titans of technology to pioneers of the pharmaceutical industry.

The 2022 Padma award list comprises four winners of Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan awardees, and 107 Padma Shri awardees. While 34 out of 128 awardees are women, the list includes ten persons of Indian origin and Non-Resident Indians.

Let's take a look at the Padma awardees from the corporate world:

1) Natarajan Chandrasekaran - (Padma Bhushan)

Chandrasekaran, the Chairman of the Board at the Tata Sons. He holds the company and promoter of all Tata group companies. The Tata group companies have more than $110 billion annual revenues across ten business verticals following the company website.

In January 2017, Chandra was appointed Chairman of Tata Sons after joining the board in October 2016. He also serves on the boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), where he served as CEO from 2009 to 2017.

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2) Pichai Sundararajan - (Padma Bhushan)

Pichai, the CEO of the American tech giant Alphabet Inc, is an Indian-born techie. Pichai graduated with a degree in metallurgical engineering from IIT Kharagpur. 

In the United States, he earned an MS in materials science and engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He was named a Siebel Scholar as well as Palmer Scholar.

3) Satya Nadella - (Padma Bhushan)

Nadella, Microsoft Chairman and CEO, was born in India. He joined Microsoft in 1992 and rose through the ranks to become executive vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise group. 

As per Microsoft, In this role, he oversaw the transition to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took market share away from competitors. Earlier, Nadella was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division and led R&D for the Online Services Division. Nadella worked as a technology staff member at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft.

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4) Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla - (Padma Bhushan)

Poonawalla is the Chairman of the Poonawalla Group, which includes the privately owned Serum Institute of India (SII), India's leading biotech firm, and the world's largest vaccine manufacturer in terms of doses produced and sold globally.

In 1966, Dr. Poonawalla established the Serum Institute of India, and within two years, the company launched its first therapeutic anti-tetanus serum and began producing anti-tetanus vaccines. In 1974, Serum Institute developed the DTP vaccine, which protects children against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, followed by an anti-snake-venom serum for snakebites in 1981.

5) Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella - (Padma Bhushan)

Krishna and Suchitra Ella co-founded the Hyderabad-based biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech. They are credited for producing several vaccines, including Covaxin India's first indigenous vaccine against COVID-19. The company has also developed vaccines against the Zika virus, swine flu, and hepatitis.

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6) Jagjit Singh Dardi - (Padma Shri)

Dardi, the veteran journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Chardikala. The Chairman of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public Schools & Chardilkla Time TV. 

With 62 years of experience, Dardi has done remarkable service in media. He was a member of the Lok Sabha Press/Media Advisory Committee in 1997-98 and the Rajya Sabha Press/Media Advisory Committee in 2014. Since 1988, he has served on the executive committee of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS), the world's largest print media organization. In 2001, he was elected to the Press Council of India, where he served for three terms. Since 1993, he has been a member of all prime ministers' media delegations.

Since 1970, the Chardikala newspaper has been published daily under his supervision. In 2007, he launched the Chardikla Time TV channel. Aside from being a journalist, he is also the Chairman of a chain of educational institutions in Patiala to provide quality, affordable education to the masses and instill moral values in the next generation.

7) Prahlad Rai Agarwala - (Padma Shri)

Agarwala is the Chairman of Rupa's & Co Ltd is a Kolkata-based hosiery company. It was established by the first generation entrepreneurs, Prahlad Rai Agarwala, Ghanshyam Prasad Agarwala, and Kunj Bihari Agarwal, in 1968 has grown from strength to strength and has established itself as India's largest knitwear brand.

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