In a business career commencing 1973, Sanjeev Aga held senior positions in Asian Paints, Chellarams (Nigeria), and in Jenson & Nicholson. In 1987, he became head of the Furniture business of Blow Plast, later CEO of Leo-Mattel Toys, and in 1993 became the Managing Director of the BlowPlast Group (now VIP Industries) with multi-business responsibility, including the flagship VIP Luggage business.
In November 1998, Sanjeev Aga was appointed CEO of Birla AT&T. He led the telecom JV through the merger with Tata Cellular, and the acquisition of RPG Mobile, to be the CEO of the merged entity Birla Tata AT&T, later renamed Idea Cellular.
In July 2002, Aga left Idea Cellular to be with the Aditya Birla group, where in 2005 he became Managing Director of Aditya Birla Nuvo. In this capacity, Sanjeev Aga had five group businesses, BPO, IT Services, Chemicals, Fertilisers, and Insulators reporting to him. He was also on the Business Review Council for Madura Garments and Birla SunLife Insurance.
With Idea Cellular’s shareholding changing to become an Aditya Birla group entity, November 2006 saw Sanjeev Aga back once again as Managing Director. The next four years were a marathon of progress for Idea Cellular. The company improved its national market position from No 6 to No 3, joined the ranks of the 10 biggest global telcos, more importantly became a razor sharp, profitable, and highly regarded company in a fiercely competitive sector. Aga also provided personal and thought leadership to the industry association, the COAI. Sanjeev Aga stepped down as Managing Director of Idea Cellular in March 2011.
Sanjeev Aga now engages in advisory, mentorship, and board roles for corporates and not-for-profit organizations. Among others, he is presently on the boards of Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Mahindra Logistics, Pidilite Industries, and Idea Cellular, and an Advisor to Kedaara Capital. He writes and speaks on business and current affairs.
Sanjeev Aga studied in Scindia School, Gwalior; graduated with B.Sc. Honours (Physics) from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi; and post-graduated from IIM Kolkata. He and his wife are based in Mumbai.
Awards and Recognitions
- For 2009, Idea Cellular was the “ET Emerging Company of the Year"
- For 2009, Indira Innovation Summit awarded "CEO of the Year"
- For 2010, tele.net awarded "CEO of the Year" & "Outstanding Contribution to the Telecom sector"
- December 2010, Forbes India magazine shortlisted as a "Person of the Year"
- October 2014, The Scindia School conferred the Madhav Award for "Old Boy of Eminence"
- 2015, CEO Magazine awarded "Guru of the Year"