The International Data Corporation (IDC) celebrated India’s trailblazing innovators in its 7th Future Enterprise Awards (FEA), honoring 30 outstanding entities for their groundbreaking strides in the digital landscape.
Among the notable recognitions were the prestigious Future Enterprise of the Year awards bestowed upon Bennett, Coleman and Co. and Mahindra and Mahindra.
Additionally, Tapan Singhel of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. was hailed as the CEO of the Year, with ten other luminaries acknowledged as the CIO/CDO of the Year for their instrumental role in leveraging emerging technologies.
The awards ceremony highlighted India’s swift progression towards digital adoption, reflecting a paradigm shift where technology integration and digitalization are no longer optional but imperative.
Sharath Srinivasamurthy, Associate Vice President of IDC India, emphasized this evolution, stating, “Enterprises, irrespective of the industry and size, have realized that technology adoption and digitalization are no longer a choice but a necessity.”
The IDC Future Enterprise Awards have evolved as a platform recognizing the pioneers of the digital business age, with over 500 winners emerging from a pool of 5,000 nominations in the past six years. These accolades specifically honor those who embrace a digital-first approach and employ technology-driven operational models.
The award winners exemplify the essence of the digital transformation journey, showcasing remarkable achievements across various sectors:
Future Enterprise of the Year
Bennett, Coleman and Co. (BCCL) led the charge with a commendable digital transformation, leveraging cloud technologies, agile methodologies, and real-time analytics, resulting in expedited product launches and enhanced talent acquisition.
Meanwhile, Mahindra and Mahindra flourished with their initiative, Project Aarohan, emphasizing cost leadership and efficiency through cloud transition and modernized applications, which ultimately reduced carbon footprint and amplified both customer and employee experiences.
CEO of the Year
Tapan Singhel of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. garnered recognition for steering a remarkable digital transformation, pioneering touch-free policy renewals and fostering innovation and customer satisfaction.
CIO/CDO of the Year
Individuals like Sandeep Bansal of Manipal Academy of Higher Education and Neelima Sharma of ESL Steel Vedanta were celebrated for their visionary leadership, driving digital transformations that enhanced efficiency, customer satisfaction, and cost savings through innovative technological integration.
Following a two-phased approach, each nomination is evaluated by IDC analysts, with country winners then qualifying for a regional competition judged by a panel of international experts. The following are the best out of all the nominations received from India:
Future Enterprise of the Year | Times Special by Bennett, Coleman and Co.
Bennett, Coleman and Co. (BCCL) has achieved remarkable digital transformation, establishing itself as a front-runner in the digital age. Adopting cloud technologies, agile practices, and real-time analytics, BCCL expedited its product launches by 40 percent. Their innovation labs and incubators fostered a culture of creativity. This digital pivot significantly enhanced talent acquisition, leading to a 15 percent improvement in hire quality. Furthermore, their dedication to learning and development saw a 10 percent surge in employee retention.
Future Enterprise of the Year | Project Aarohan by Mahindra and Mahindra
Mahindra and Mahindra embarked on Project Aarohan, an initiative driven by a vision of cost leadership and optimized efficiency. By transitioning to a secure, managed cloud and modernizing applications, the company has not only boosted developer efficiency by 35 percent through API and low-code platforms but also enhanced real-time reporting and reduced its carbon footprint, paving the way for a future-ready platform that elevates both customer and employee experiences.
CEO of the Year | Tapan Singhel, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co.
Under Tapan Singhel’s guidance, BAGIC achieved a remarkable digital transformation. Singhel’s focus on employee training and process reengineering enhanced efficiency and collaboration. Notably, his touch-free renewal concept revolutionized policy renewals, eliminating paperwork and in-person hassles. This visionary approach exemplifies BAGIC’s commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Sandeep Bansal, Manipal Academy of Higher Education
Sandeep Bansal’s visionary leadership revolutionized his organization, positioning it as a digital transformation leader. Innovative solutions, from student management to finance, boosted efficiency and the overall experience, driven by his forward-thinking strategies. His dedication to shaping the future of education through technology marks it as an industry pioneer.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Neelima Sharma, ESL Steel Vedanta
Under Sharma’s guidance, ESL leveraged cutting-edge technologies like cloud computing, big data analytics, AR/VR, RPA, and AI, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Cloud migration saved costs and boosted agility. A culture of innovation empowers employees, making ESL agile and adaptable in Industry 4.0.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Kushal Kumar Varshney, Virescent Infrastructure
Kushal Varshney spearheaded a transformative IT landscape during the pandemic, paving the way for exponential organizational growth. His vision shifted decision-making toward data-driven processes, resulting in a 100 percent improvement in reporting efficiency, 80 percent travel cost savings, and a 50 percent reduction in errors. Advanced ML-AI capabilities centralized monitoring of 20 solar farm sites, increasing revenue by 15 percent and improving energy generation predictions.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Deepak Keni, Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals
Deepak Keni drove organization-wide transformation through digital literacy, fostering a data-driven culture and innovation. The RAPID Data framework now places digital and data at the core, fostering a leadership mindset. Data literacy, governance, knowledge mining, and execution are pillars of the data strategy, structuring the organization as a data-driven enterprise. Deepak also championed data-driven decision-making at all levels, underpinned by integrated data architecture.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Akhil Handa, Bank of Baroda
Under Akhil Handa’s leadership, Bank of Baroda introduced a digital transformation initiative and a financial super-app, “Bob’s World”, consolidating 300+ services. This initiative boosts customer experience, streamlining access to banking, investing, and shopping all in one platform. As of March 2023, the app boasts 30 million active users.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Manish Grover, Indian Oil Corporation
Manish Grover, CIO/CDO of the Year, led IndianOil’s digital transformation. He established a Digital Center of Excellence (DCOE), tripling its size and enhancing technical capabilities. SIS initiatives expanded, optimizing refinery units and creating a metaverse platform for product marketing. Grover’s leadership empowers the team, fostering innovation and high-quality product development.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Abhijit Chatterjee, TCG Lifesciences
Abhijit Chatterjee leads TCG Lifesciences in a comprehensive digital transformation. This strategy digitizes research, integrates AI/ML for synthesis planning, enhances collaboration, and improves drug discovery with predictive analytics. It ensures regulatory compliance, employs data analytics for BI, and strengthens cybersecurity infrastructure.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Rajendra S Bisht, Bajaj Finance – Auto Finance (BFL-AF).
Rajendra Bisht, a visionary leader, has shaped Bajaj Finance’s IT strategy and driven digital innovations. His achievements include a new loan origination system, robust cybersecurity, and a cloud-based loan management system. Rajendra’s QR code ecosystem transformed lead capture and collection, making BFL-AF the first with a 100 percent digital process. He fosters an innovative culture, highlighting technology’s role in enhancing processes, customer experiences, and revenue.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Nikhil Kumar Nigam, Amity Education Group
Nikhil Nigam drives Amity Education Group’s digital transformation, enhancing processes and customer experiences through digital platforms, automation, AI, data analytics, and cybersecurity. The Campus Diagnostics Center Dashboard centralizes and automates data management and analytics, providing real-time insights for informed decision-making and continuous improvement.
CIO/CDO of the Year | Vinod Bhat, Vistara (Tata SIA Airlines)
Vistara’s digital transformation, led by Vinod Bhat, is a success story. Strategic initiatives under his leadership include a robust cybersecurity shift to XDR, unified dashboards, and data-informed decision-making. Customer-centric web and mobile apps like DigiYatra and process automation drive efficiency, delivering up to 50 percent cost savings.
Best in Future of Connectedness | Data Platform Modernization by Bharti AXA Life Insurance
Bharti AXA Life Insurance unveiled a cloud-based data platform, focusing on seamless data ingestion, storage, and processing. This platform addresses growing data demands, and integrates features like auto-scaling, container orchestration, and advanced data processing to cater to both OLAP and OLTP workloads.
Best in Future of Customer Experience | Digital Lending Platform to Deliver Enhanced Customer Experience by Bank of Baroda
Bank of Baroda launched a digitized lending platform, transforming loan processes for customer convenience. Leveraging internal data, fintech partnerships, and AI/ML, the platform streamlines lending, underwriting, and customer servicing, pushing for digital growth.
Best in Future of Customer Experience | Insta-Verify by Bharti AXA Life Insurance
Insta-Verify, by Bharti AXA, is a groundbreaking WhatsApp-based bot for pre-issuance video verification. This customer-centric initiative enables users to complete verifications in under 2 minutes from their devices, promoting real-time communication, security, and cost-effectiveness.
Best in Future of Digital Infrastructure | Visionet Digital Infrastructure Transformation Project by Visionet Systems
Visionet Systems introduced a platform bolstering digital business innovation through robust infrastructure, agility, and enhanced engagement. This pivotal move drives long-term digital business transformation, boasting a 99.9 percent uptime for cloud-deployed products.
Best in Future of Digital Infrastructure | GBDI-Udaan by Godrej Infotech
Godrej Infotech’s GBDI-Udaan focuses on elevating customer experience using software-defined datacenter technology. The strategy offers secure, agile infrastructure for data mobility and analytics. It ensures protection, productivity, and secure data sharing across various sectors.
Best in Future of Industry Ecosystems | Project Pragati — Digital Transformation of Supply Chain by Jindal Steel and Power
Project Pragati drives Jindal Steel and Power’s digital transformation with a focus on sustainability, safety, and partner collaboration. Leveraging Government of India’s ULIP Platform and new-age technologies like AI, ML, and advanced analytics, it reduces turnaround time by over 30 percent, trims logistic costs by up to 10 percent, and ensures high OTIF for end customers.
Best in Future of Intelligence | TCG Enigma by TCG Lifesciences
TCG Enigma merges molecular transformer models with ML and AI, focusing on retrosynthetic route planning and reaction prediction. By streamlining chemical workflows, TCG Lifesciences achieves a 50 percent reduction in synthetic steps, leading to considerable cost savings and efficiency.
Best in Future of Intelligence | i-DRIVE: Indian Oil’s Digital Transformation by IndianOil Corporation
IndianOil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has launched Project i-DRIVE, one of India’s largest digital transformation initiatives. It leverages AI, ML, and advanced analytics to address business challenges. IOCL scales up digitalization for a disruptive future, enhancing refinery technology for 1 percent fuel consumption reduction and 20 percent better unit utilization.
Best in Future of Intelligence | Project John — AI-Based Industrial Equipment Predictive Maintenance by Arjas Steel
Arjas Steel pioneers industry-first AI-based predictive maintenance for rotary machines. Specially designed sensors and IoT devices monitor vital equipment parameters. ML algorithms detect anomalies, sending alerts to key stakeholders with actionable infographics for timely solutions, ensuring seamless operations.
Best in Future of Operations | Digital Construction Life-Cycle Management by Tata Realty and Infrastructure
Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited (TRIL) revolutionizes construction management with an integrated platform. Collaborative efforts among stakeholders ensure cost savings and construction timeline improvements. With 15 million sq. ft. in development, TRIL reaffirms its commitment to quality life spaces.
Best in Future of Trust | Cyber DARE Program by Max Life Insurance Company
Max Life’s Cyber DARE framework addresses cybersecurity threats comprehensively, enhancing defensive-aggressive, responsive, and engaging controls. The transformation program introduces structural solutions, new capabilities, and a culture shift prioritizing security. With 500+ simulations and dark web threat monitoring, Max Life boosts confidence in growth through digital tech and customer trust.
Best in Future of Work | My Workspace by Sheela Foam (Sleepwell)
Sleepwell’s “My Workspace” revolutionizes work processes with AI and ML. It consolidates tasks, prioritizes work, and suggests actions based on historical data, increasing productivity by 10–15 percent in the first four months. Employee engagement soars by 30–40 percent.
Special Award for Digital Innovation| Magellan by Sterlite Power Transmission
Magellan, an in-house platform, transforms power transmission processes from bidding to execution. The “Release for PLS CADD” (RFP) Module digitizes route conversion, sag calculation, and tower scheduling, reducing import/export time from 4–5 days to minutes. It’s a game-changer for efficiency.
Special Award for Digital Innovation| DHL Corporate Data Lake by DHL Group
As part of DHL’s Strategy 2025 DHL is prioritizing digitalization and catering to future business needs. Through the creation of a specialized DevSecOps team, DHL revamped its Data Lake storage and Analytics Platforms ecosystem, enhancing service stability and resilience. Utilizing open-source innovation and platform strategies, the ecosystem now boasts a 99.9 percent availability.
Special Award for Digital Resiliency | Digital Trust and Resiliency by Aegon Life Insurance
Aegon Life Insurance’s industry-leading tech infrastructure supports secure and compliant virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). It offers work-from-anywhere (WFA) and bring-your-own-laptop (BYOL) options, enhancing digital resiliency and employee satisfaction. Seamless onboarding, resource optimization, and reduced operational costs demonstrate its success.
Special Award for Smart Cities — Best in Citizen Wellbeing | Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) by RailTel
Indian Railway hospitals embrace technology with a Hospital Management Information System (HMIS). Customized for diverse healthcare needs, HMIS digitizes workflows, reduces errors, and enhances transparency. It revolutionizes services, reducing turnaround time, providing authorized EHRs, online reports, efficient inventory management, and standardized procedures across multiple healthcare institutions.
Special Award for Sustainability | Digital and R&D initiatives by ITC, PSPD (Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division)
ITC Limited, PSPD, leads the way in adopting a digital culture since 2019. Digitization of data, IoT sensors, and automation in nurseries enhance economic, environmental, and social impact. Mobile apps streamline operations, from sapling bookings to FSC documentation, embracing technology for sustainable practices.