EMpower and Yahoo Finance recently unveiled its 2019 list of the top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives with a plethora of Indian Americans, South Asian Americans and South Asian-origin business leaders among the group.
Among the executives cracking the top 20 of the list included Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard at No. 1; Leena Nair, chief HR officer at Unilever at No. 5; EY partner Sanjay Bhandari at No. 7; Jagdeep Rai, Barclays Bank Plc director and head of corporate banking in Heathrow and South London, at No. 14; Dr. Raj Patel, head of labor at Sainsbury’s supermarket chain in the UK, at No. 15; British banker and financier Kamel Hothi at No. 16; and Nazreen Visram, the head of charities at Barclays, at No. 20.
Banga is president and chief executive officer of Mastercard and a member of its board of directors. Since joining the organization in 2009, Banga has led Mastercard on an inclusion journey, including the expansion of its global inclusion and diversity council, which he co-chairs.
He is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, first vice chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, a founding trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum and is chairman emeritus of the American India Foundation.
He was awarded the Padma Shri Award in 2016 and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2019.
In Nair’s role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace.
Externally, Nair has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. She has been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II as one of the most accomplished Indian business leaders in the UK.
Bhandari’s main focus is on practical interventions to accelerate the progress of ethnic minorities at EY. He is the partner sponsor for ethnic minorities within the overall UK and Ireland D&I strategy.
He also sponsors the Future Leaders Program, CareerWatch and mentoring programs aimed at accelerating development and obtaining senior leader participation in programs. He is helping to educate the leadership team on ethnic minority issues, to mitigate any potential unconscious cultural bias in all areas of the business.
He is a visible role model for ethnic minorities, and actively mentors a number of diverse individuals within EY and through cross-company mentoring schemes.
In recent years, Rai set up and led the first Barclays regional diversity council in the South East focusing on three core areas of ethnicity, gender and LGBT.
She is the co-executive sponsor of the Barclays Embrace Network in UK, and has driven and led a wide variety of projects to further the ethnic minority agenda in Barclays, dramatically increasing membership and senior sponsorship of Embrace. She provided senior leadership support for the organization of the first Multicultural Gala Dinner and delivered the first World Culture week activities, holding sessions on culture and race biases, which included putting case studies together for attendees to discuss real work situations openly with a race/culture lens.
Within the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain in the UK, Patel co-chairs the BAME network, co-leading all work streams, and organized six BAME inclusion events at regional, zonal and national level. He supports listening groups and learning sessions for BAME colleagues, and organized an inclusion event for senior leaders, providing insight, support and challenge for leadership.
Patel is a member of the inclusion steering group and launched an internal BAME role models’ campaign for the Sothern Zone, which saw more than 50 business leaders share personal stories to inspire other colleagues to take action on their own development.
He is involved in mentoring BAME talent across the company and has sponsored BAME colleagues on courses geared towards fast tracking management promotions.
Hothi has been breaking glass ceilings in the banking world for over four decades from cashier to director, having been a strategist and designer of numerous initiatives that have changed the banking industry. She was the architect of diversity training courses as part of the Asian strategy and developed campaigns to reach the community who complained that access to finance was difficult.
Hothi was also behind the Lloyds Bank 250th anniversary during which she created a new blueprint of how to develop CSR programs all aimed at building cultural cohesion and understanding via mentoring initiatives, attracting the attention of universities and cabinet office who wanted to understand and learn this new collaborative approach of bridging empathy across social and cultural divide.
She has spoken internationally on D&I issues and has been interviewed on screen and in print.
As co-chair of the multicultural Embrace Network, Visram has supported the establishment of both the Asian and Black Professionals’ Forums, and has led on key events such as World Cultural Day. The network supports employees by running events, training programs, showcasing role models, collaborating with other networks to demonstrate the importance of intersectionality and celebrating cultural diversity, therefore contributing to a more inclusive workplace.
Other Indian Americans and those of Indian origin in the 100-person list include Vision7 International chief business development officer Suresh Raj (21); Deloitte LLP partner and EMEA Reward Leader Mitul Shah (23); Mandeep Heer, Telefonica O2 UK director of people strategy and transformation (25); BP chief operating officer of BP Lubricants Mandhir Singh (40); Sodexo senior vice president of human resources Raj Verma (44); Oliver Wyman director Rupal Kantaria (46); EveryCloud Security director of transformation Rob Mukherjee (47); and Primesight Ltd. CEO Naren Patel (49), rounding out the top 50.
Clifford Chance partner Habib Motani (53); Madhavi Reddy, the head of digital business services of UKI at Fujitsu Services UK (58); Nadun Muthukumarana, partner at Deloitte (59); Vidisha Joshi, managing partner at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors (60); TSB products and digital director Jatin Patel (63); Reed Smith LLP equity partner Gautam Bhattacharyya (70); Ajay Khindria, IBM global client director (72); and Anit Chandarana, group director of business planning and strategy at Network Rail (74), were among the top 75 executives name.
Additionally, Shanika Amarasekara, British Business Bank general counsel and company secretary (81); Sujata Bhatia, senior vice president of merchant services in Europe at American Express (87); Manoop Singh Khela, CTO at Santander (88); Bansi Nagji, McKesson Corporation executive vice president and chief strategy and business development officer (89); Kam Pooni, CEO at Glyconics Ltd. (91); Dr. Bijna K. Dasani, head of architecture and innovation at Lloyds Banking Group (92); Sainsbury’s Bank head of trading for Argos Financial Services Rajesh Gupta (94); Kalpana Shah, chair and non-executive director at RiverStone Managing Agency (95); Sanjeev Sharma, chief property portfolio officer and non-executive director at M&G Real Estate Ltd. (98); and Hina Nagarajan, managing director of Africa emerging markets at Diageo Plc. (99), were among the Indian American and South Asian Americans cracking the list in the bottom quarter.
The 100 Ethnic Minority Executives is a list among the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists supported by Yahoo Finance showcasing business leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and working hard to smash the ceiling for ethnic minorities in the U.K., Ireland, Europe and people of color in the United States and Canada.