Mr. Ramanan Ramanathan holds multiple important roles, including being a board member, strategy advisor, and growth consultant in the fields of innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability, women empowerment, and partnerships. He is currently Chairperson of New Zealand Trade Enterprise, Chair of Beachhead Advisors, Senior Fellow at the IIM Bangalore Innovation Hub, and Member of the Innovation Cell at IIT Bombay.
From 2017 to 2021, he served as the Mission Director and Additional Secretary at the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), specifically working with the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM). During this tenure, Ramanan played a crucial role in driving the establishment of a world-class innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem across India. Today, AIM has set up over 10,000 Tinkering Labs in schools nationwide, fostering creativity and innovation among students. Additionally, over 100 Atal Incubators were created, nurturing more than 3,500 startups, with an impressive 33%+ of them being led by women. AIM also launched over 56 Atal New India and ARISE Challenges for startups and small enterprises. Furthermore, to foster local innovation and job creation, AIM established 25 Atal Community Innovation Centres in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. To support and guide this vast network, Ramanan facilitated the creation of over 6,000 Mentors of Change who offered guidance to students, startups, incubators, and innovators.
Prior to this, from 2001 to 2017, Ramanan held the position of Managing Director and CEO of CMC Limited, a government-owned IT/ITES enterprise. Ramanan successfully transformed CMC into a global, private sector, product-driven systems engineering and integration organisation after its acquisition by the Tata Group in 2001. This initiative proved to be one of the most successful privatisation stories in the history of the Indian government. Under Ramanan’s leadership, CMC’s operating margins remarkably grew from 1.5%-2% to an impressive 21% at its peak.
Ramanan’s association with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) spanned over four decades, from 1981 to 2021. During this period, Ramanan held the position of Senior Vice President, making significant contributions to the growth and success of TCS, propelling it to become one of the top three IT consulting companies globally. Ramanan’s roles ranged from product development and global business development to marketing, general management, strategy, and visioning, as well as business excellence.
In addition, Ramanan served as a core member of the Tata Group Innovation Forum (TGIF) and as a mentor for the Tata Business Excellence Model. He also held board memberships in various esteemed organisations, including Tata iQ, Tata Business Support Services, IDEX Defence Innovation Organisation, Indo Israel Innovation Forum, and Indo US Science and Technology Forum.
Ramanan’s academic background includes Electrical Engineering at IIT Mumbai, the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School and the Cambridge Sustainability Leadership Programme. Acknowledging Ramanan’s exceptional contributions, the Gujarat Law Society bestowed an honorary doctorate upon him in recognition of his corporate leadership, business excellence, and pan-India innovation and entrepreneurship. He also received the Lifetime Chair of the Harvard Business School AMP187 Alumni Association.
Throughout his career, Ramanan has received numerous prestigious awards and accolades, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from IIT Bombay for outstanding contributions in the social sector, the Most Valuable CEO award from Business World for two consecutive years, the Outstanding Asia CEO award by CMO Asia in Singapore, the Digitalist of the Year award from SAP-MINT, the Rajiv Gandhi Shiromani Award, and the National Leadership in Innovation award by the Confederation of MSME India.