Mahindra Group today announced the appointment of Abanti Sankaranarayanan as Chief Group Public Affairs Officer effective July 1, 2022. In this role, Abanti will lead Group Public Affairs (India & international), Group Sustainability and the Group Risk & Economist functions. Abanti will be a part of the Group Executive Board reporting to Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra Group.
She will be taking over the Group Public Affairs portfolio from Manoj Chugh, President, Group Public Affairs, who will be retiring on April 1, 2023.
Speaking about the announcement, Dr. Anish Shah, Managing Director and CEO, Mahindra Group, said, “At the Mahindra Group, Public Policy and Sustainability are pivotal and we are committed to leading ESG globally. It is paramount that we engage with all our relevant stakeholders proactively and effectively. This is a diversified role, which needed a seasoned leader to manage multiple stakeholders. Abanti is an accomplished business leader with vast experience across corporate affairs, social impact, strategy and managing large businesses. I am confident that she will be able to build the functions and help us in achieving our goals. I would also like to thank Manoj Chugh for his exemplary services to the Mahindra Group. He has been an integral part of our growth journey, contributing significantly to the organization in his various roles. I wish him all the best.”
Prior to joining the Mahindra Group, Abanti was Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer & Member – Executive Committee at Diageo India where her responsibilities included Public Policy, Regulatory and Trade, Market Access, Corporate Communication, Corporate Social Impact, Strategy and Ventures. Abanti joined Diageo India as Marketing and Innovation leader in 2010 and was subsequently promoted to Managing Director, Diageo India Pvt Ltd, leading Diageo’s business mandate for international spirits in India. She assumed the role of Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director for the region in 2015, setting up these new functions as core and strategic to the business and a strong and integrated business partner to the rest of the company.
Prior to Diageo, Abanti served as a member of the Tata Administrative Service (TAS) cadre since 1992 in various General Management and Marketing roles, across Tata Global Beverages (India & UK), the Taj Group of Hotels (India & the US), Tata Housing and Tata Finance.
Abanti has been recognized by Business Today (Most Powerful Women in Business and Economy – 2019, 2020), Fortune India (The Most Powerful Women in Business – 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016), IMPACT (50 Most Influential Women in Media, Marketing and Advertising – 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017), India Today (India’s 25 Most Influential Women, 2013) and Fast Company, New York (100 Most Creative People in Business, 2012).