Over the years, Tata boss N Chandrasekaran’s most significant appointment is arguably Saurabh Agrawal. A renowned business leader currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group. He has played a vital role in defining the Tata Group’s financial performance and development and spearheading strategic initiatives that have enhanced the group’s position in many industries. 

With 20 years of experience in investment banking, Saurabh Agrawal previously served as the head of corporate strategy at Aditya Birla Group. Known for his exceptional deal-making skills, Agrawal led the biggest merger and acquisition deal in India, the $23 billion merger of Vodafone and Idea. He was instrumental in the acquisition of Jaypee Group’s cement assets by UltraTech Cement. Also, he played a vital role in restructuring Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd and Grasim Ltd. In addition, Agrawal served as an advisor for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) IPO in 2014. Prior to his current role as CFO at Tata Group, Agrawal held positions such as regional head of corporate finance (South Asia) at Standard Chartered Bank and head of investment banking at DSP Merrill Lynch.

Saurabh Agrawal was born and brought up in India. He completed his chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. Later, he pursued his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, one of India’s premier business schools. At IIMC, he was awarded the Gold Medal for being the top performer in his batch. After completing his education, Saurabh Agrawal began his career with ICICI Bank, one of India’s largest private sector banks. He worked with the bank for over a decade and held several key positions, including Head of Strategy and CFO. During his tenure, he played a critical role in the bank’s transformation from a development financial institution to a retail bank. 

In 2010, Agrawal joined the Aditya Birla Group, a prominent Indian conglomerate, where he served as CFO for several group companies. He then moved to Standard Chartered Bank, serving as CFO and Executive Director for the bank’s Indian arm. 

In 2017, Saurabh Agrawal was appointed as the CFO of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group. The Tata Group is one of India’s oldest and largest conglomerates, with diverse businesses, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, and many others. As the CFO of Tata Sons, Saurabh Agrawal is responsible for overseeing the group’s finance, accounts, taxation, treasury, investor relations, mergers and acquisitions, and risk management functions. He has been instrumental in driving the financial performance and growth of the Tata Group and has led several strategic initiatives that have strengthened the group’s position in various industries. 

“He has a phenomenal sense of equity markets and excellent equities market relationships. He has solid relationships with corporates, and the fact that he has got a job with Tatas after Birla’s is just a huge validation of that,” said Garg of Equirus

One of the most significant initiatives led by Agrawal was the acquisition of Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Energy in 2018. The acquisition was aimed at strengthening Tata Steel’s position in the Indian steel industry and helped the company to increase its production capacity to over 18 million tons per annum. The acquisition has since contributed significantly to the growth of Tata Steel’s revenues and profits. 

Under Agrawal’s leadership, the Tata Group has also been expanding its presence in the digital space. The group has made significant investments in companies such as BigBasket, Urban Ladder, and Curefit. These investments have helped the group to diversify its portfolio and tap into new growth opportunities. In addition to his role at Tata Sons, Saurabh Agrawal serves as a director on the boards of several Tata Group companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, and Tata Technologies. Saurabh Agrawal has received several awards and recognitions for his contributions to the finance industry.

In 2018, he was awarded the Best CFO award in the large companies category by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). The award was in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the finance industry. 

In 2019, Agrawal was named the Finance Leader of the Year at the Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence. The award recognized his outstanding contributions to the financial performance and growth of the Tata Group. In addition to his professional commitments, Agrawal is also actively involved in various social causes. He serves as a trustee on the board of the Tata Trusts, one of India’s oldest and largest philanthropic organizations. The Trusts work towards improving the quality of life of the underprivileged sections of society through initiatives in healthcare, education, and livelihoods. 

According to reports, Saurabh Agrawal’s total remuneration for the financial year 2020-21 was INR 10.1 crores making his package the second biggest amongst the group’s executives (approximately USD 1.4 million), which includes a fixed salary, performance-based incentives, and other benefits. His salary grew by 35 per cent to Rs 21.45 crore in FY21, Tata Sons said in its annual report. In FY22, Agrawal’s annual compensation climbed by 21 per cent to Rs 26 crore from the previous year. 

Saurabh Agrawal is a well-respected business leader who has made significant contributions to the finance industry in India. As the CFO of Tata Sons, he has played a crucial role in driving the financial performance and growth of the Tata Group. His leadership and strategic initiatives have helped the group to strengthen its position in various industries and tap into new growth opportunities. With his impressive track record and commitment to excellence, Saurabh Agrawal is expected to continue making significant contributions to the Tata Group and the finance industry in the years to come.

Article Source – www.financialexpress.com

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