Karan Adani© Narendra Bisht

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Karan Adani

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Ananya Shankar

Why he matters: Seated in the driver’s seat today is the second-gen Adani, whose long list of accolades speaks for itself. Fueled by an innate sense of compassion, this logistics and infrastructure titan has earned his spot right at the top.

When it comes to this young scion’s success mantra, the one he swears by is a three-fold process — raising operational benchmarks, bringing in tech-savvy talent and transitioning to a “transport utility” model. Karan Adani has perfected this formula through his years of experience — unlike many second-gen heirs, he believes in cultivating a work ethic that goes beyond his last name. His career began at the very place the company did, at Mundra Port.

“I was not given any special treatment. I wasn’t even a trainee for the first year. I got my appointment letter only in 2010,” he had revealed of his early days with the company his business magnate father, Gautam Adani, founded.

Despite his obvious privilege, he was determined to not take his opportunities for granted, truly earning the badge he wears today. After graduating with a degree in economics, this Purdue alumnus joined Adani Ports & SEZ in 2009 and leads the firm today that boasts 13 ports, 15,000 hectares of industrial land, over 8 lakh sqft of warehouses and nine logistical parks.

An Eye For Sustainability

Determined to revolutionise Indian infrastructure, Karan aims to enhance port capacity and cut down on logistical costs. But while everyone’s jumping aboard the sustainability train in 2023, Karan had drafted his plans years ago: “Our vision is not only to become the world’s largest port operator, but also carbon positive by the end of this decade.”

Be it mangrove reforestation, a zero-waste management policy, or the use of renewable energy, he had pulled out all the stops, in a sincere effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

A Game of Numbers

Karan also spearheads the group’s cement business, crowned India’s second-largest manufacturer following the acquisition of Holcim’s stake in Ambuja Cement and its subsidiary ACC for US$10.5 billion.

As the chairman of ACC, Karan believes that the cement trade is simply a “game of economics” dependent on energy, logistics and distribution costs — each of which is a core business for the Adani Group. The young mogul’s five-year plan involves doubling their cement capacity to a whopping 140 million tonnes.

No stranger to striking phenomenal deals, he was the mastermind behind key acquisitions like the Mumbai International Airport from the GVK Group, as well as the Kattupalli Port from Larsen & Toubro.

The Art of Giving

Karan’s success is cemented by his empathy, a trait he imbibed from his mother, Priti. The duo is deeply involved in initiatives around education, community health, sustainability and rural infrastructure. And to his father, he credits his innate sense of self. Karan is married to lawyer Paridhi Shroff, the daughter of Cyril Shroff. The couple raise a beautiful daughter together.

All in all, be it with regard to industry, philanthropy or sustainability, Karan Adani is the architect of India’s future.

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!