Mr. Lalit Kumar Jalan is the Director, Corporate Strategy and Affairs of Reliance Group. He resides in Mumbai with his family which includes his parents, wife Anita who is a fashion designer and two sons, who are also Wharton graduates and handle his family business. In 2002, he was conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT Kanpur for his outstanding managerial skills.
Born in Kolkata in a Marwari family, he did his schooling from St. Xavier's during the early 1970s. In 1979, he completed his B. Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur, where his scores were consistently in the top two percent bracket of his class. He later pursued an MBA in Finance from Wharton School and MS in Computer Science from Moore School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania in 1982.
Mr. Jalan started his career at General Electric as a Strategic Planner where he got the opportunity to learn the ropes from the legendary Jack Welch at his peak. Having worked there for two years, he returned to India and started his own venture-Jalan Brothers in his hometown Kolkata. He turned it into a Rs. 250 crore business before acceding to his Wharton School batchmate Anil Ambani's wish to join the Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). His entrepreneurial experience, during which he tried almost everything from real estate, software, logistics, distribution to even cement, is over a Rs 1,000 crore business now and is looked after by his son.
In 1995, Mr. Jalan joined RIL as the Head of the polypropylene business. In less than four years, he grew this venture into a Rs. 6000 crore revenue company despite having no background in the petrochemicals industry. He also served as the Head of the E-business at RIL, where he initiated practices such as e-procurement and SAP within the group. He has served Reliance Group in many roles, including holding the charge as the CEO of RInfra's Delhi power distribution company, where he reduced power theft from 55% to 4-5% and turned around its operations. At 39, he was the youngest ever CEO at a Reliance company.
From 2003 onwards, Mr. Jalan has led the metamorphosis of Reliance Energy, a plain vanilla distribution company into over Rs. 23,000 crore RInfra. As a CEO of Reliance Infrastructure, he has transformed it from a power distribution company to India's largest integrated infrastructure development firm with interests in power, roads, metros, airports, cement and other urban infrastructure projects. He concurrently holds the post of Chairman of BSES Rajdhani & BSES Yamuna Pvt. Ltd.
Achievements and Honors
Recognized as one of the 100 Most Powerful CEOs by the Economic Times in 2009.
Selected to the prestigious IITK@50 at the Golden Jubilee Alumni Convention, which honored the top 50 Alumni of IIT, Kanpur in the last 50 years who have excelled and had a visible and lasting impact in their areas of work.
Showcased as one of the IIT system's top 15 achievers at the 1st PAN IIT meet in California in 2003.
Winner of the Directors Honors and Dean's List at Wharton School of Business.