Tata Sons has appointed Saurabh Agrawal as the group Chief Financial Officer of the company. Agrawal is currently the Head of Corporate Strategy at the Aditya Birla Group. Agrawal, among India’s most successful investment bankers, brings with him over two decades of rich experience in capital markets to the Tata group. He is set to join Tata Sons in July 2017.
Agrawal is the second investment banker to join Chandrasekaran’s team after the company appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch dealmaker Ankur Verma. Verma was the first major outside recruit since N Chandrasekaran took over as Chairman. Hiring of dealmakers, according to experts is a sign that the Tata Group is focussed on strategic divestments and restructuring under the wings of the new Chairman.
N Chandrasekaran, the Chairman of Tata Sons said in a statement, “He brings deep capital markets knowledge and valuable cross-industry experience to this critical leadership role in the Tata group. His expertise will help us in driving rigour and synergy in capital allocation decisions, investment management as well as consolidation and optimisation of the group’s business portfolio. We look forward to his contribution in driving financial performance of the group”.
Agrawal has been spearheading the biggest M&A transactions of recent times –the merger of Idea Cellular Ltd with Vodafone Group Plc, a deal worth $23 billion. He has also been instrumental in helping UltraTech Cement Ltd in its acquisition of Jaiprakash Associate Ltd’s cement assets.
Starting his career in 1995, Agrawal has a sterling record in both strategy and execution, covering a wide range of industries. He joins Tata Sons from the Aditya Birla Group, where he was head of strategy. Before that, he has been head of the corporate finance unit of Standard Chartered Bank in India and South Asia, and the head of the investment banking division in DSP Merrill Lynch.
Agrawal said, “I am honoured to join the Tata group. It is an exciting time for the group under the leadership of Mr Chandrasekaran, and I look forward to contributing to the group’s profitable growth with my experience in corporate finance”.
Agrawal is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, and has a post graduate management degree from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.