Business Leader of the Year

AJAY BANGA

Son Heung-Min

As president and CEO of MasterCard, Ajaypal Singh Banga is one of the most influential business leaders in the world. An outspoken advocate for gender equality around the globe, Pune-born Banga has steered his company to ever-greater success while helping 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan in a joint mission with the World Food Programme to end world hunger. Of course, among his philanthropic endeavours and various board and consultant positions, he has steered MasterCard – sponsor of the Brit Awards - to an unprecedented level of success and remains one of the most influential business leaders in the world. Banga received the Breakthrough Corporate Inspiration Award at the Breakthrough Inspiration Awards 2014 He is No. 40 on Fortune’s Business People of the Year 2016. In 2016, Banga was appointed by President-Elect Barack Obama to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour, the Padma Shri, in 2016. In 2017 he accepted the Hunger Hero award from the World Food Programme on behalf of MasterCard. Despite the position being taken in 2015 by John T. Chambers, Banga remains the longest-serving Chairman of the US-India Business Council.

Quotes and Praise

“We have the internet of everything but not the inclusion of everyone. Not having an identity is effectively like being in prison. It’s not about one woman being paid well. It’s about every single woman. If you are not willing to take a risk, you will achieve very little.”

 

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