On 25 March, 2014, I was a guest of Harsh Mariwala at the Marico Innovation Awards. The function was attended by several personalities from business and the arts. The awards were distributed by trustees and judges. Harsh simply sat in the audience. The humility in his leadership was very touching.
My mind rolled back to 22 November 2013, when Qimpro Foundation had awarded Harsh Mariwala the Qimpro Platinum Standard 2013. At that point the panel of judges were aware that the business tycoon had established the Marico Innovation Foundation. But were they aware of its tremendous impact?
The following is the citation that was delivered at the Qimpro Awards Ceremony four months back:
“Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and Managing Director, Marico Limited, is a classic case study of a statesman daring to dream. He has metamorphosed a small family-owned business into a large professional driven organization, over the past 25 years. The journey has offered him many lessons. Disruptive lessons, more than incremental. Today, the consumer products offered by Marico are a serious threat to multi-national brands. Making India proud.
Through Mr Mariwala’s leadership, the policies that drive decision making at Marico are customer centric. Quality and innovation are an integral part of business strategy. Business decisions have a sustainability focus. We recognize these as world-class practices – Made in India.
Mr Mariwala’s mantra has always been: Treat Your People With Dignity. He believes his people are an appreciating asset. A benchmark practice.
The hallmark of Mr Mariwala is his ability to think through complex business problems is a simple way. He has the unique knack of demystifying management theories and principles to make them application friendly. He is a rare balance of left- and right-brain thinking.
Mr Mariwala is most passionate about social innovation. As a visionary and responsible statesman, he founded the Marico Innovation Foundation in 2003. The primary purpose of this Foundation has been to fuel Innovation in India. Results speak eloquently.
In addition, Mr Mariwala has established ASCENT, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to identify entrepreneurs with a spark. The aim is to help these entrepreneurs accelerate their scale-up journey. He is a perfect mentor who freely cascades his knowledge and wisdom.
We salute Mr Harsh C Mariwala. Our Qimpro Platinum Standard 2013 for Business.”