BS Shantharaju, Ex-CEO of Indus Towers Limited

“Authenticity is really important. Don’t wear a façade.”- B. S Shantharaju

In this episode, Ashutosh Garg engages in a conversation with B. S Shantharaju, Ex-CEO, Indus Towers Ltd. Shantharaju, an alumnus of London Business School,  is a qualified accountant and a senior professional. BS Shantharaju’s inspirational life story has been inspiring people and would inspire generations to come. He tells the story of how he started his career as a porter boy in a vegetable market at the age of 12 and how he became the CEO of a highly successful company. He talks about the three key milestones in his life.

“I failed in 9th standard”, he says with a smile. He shares the most important qualities a CEO should have. “As long as your intentions are right, the people around will forget about your weaknesses and work along with you”- he comments.

Shantharaju defines his leadership style and methods. He shares what he looks for while hiring an employee. He defines success in a peculiar way. Before concluding, the self-made corporate virtuoso leaves a treasure for the viewers- he gives invaluable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.


I am a qualified accountant and MBA, alumni of London Business School. I have 37 years of experience comprising 9 years as CFO of Blue Chip Listed MNC SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals and 17 years as CEO for four diverse set of companies, namely Country Head of Bangladesh for SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, MD of listed company Gujarat Gas Company Limited (majority controlled by then British Gas), CEO of Delhi International Airports Limited (GMR Owned) and last 7 years as CEO of Indus Towers Limited, the world’s largest telecom tower company owned by Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and IDEA. Growth Focussed Strategy – Both as CFO and CEO, my focus is always to grow business both organically and inorganically. I led some brand acquisitions like Augmentine and Crocin (both are Market Leaders in their Category), involved in buying Hydrocarbon asset for US$350 mn, completed acquisition of Bangladesh business, etc. Organically, major growths have been spearheaded for SB in Bangladesh (new brand launches and focus on key brands) Gujarat Gas (Volume led and new verticals), Delhi Airports (Retail led) and Indus Towers (more towers and more tenants on the same towers). All the businesses added tremendous shareholder value during my tenure in excess of higher teens CAGR both in profit and shareholder value. Indus Towers is valued in excess of US$15 Billion.

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