CEO of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd
Lalit Jalan (no relation to Bimal Jalan, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India) is the Director of Corporate Strategy and Affairs from 7 July 2014 to steer future growth initiatives and was for about seven years the CEO of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, part of the Reliance (Anil Ambani) Group, one of India’s largest corporate houses. He was relegated to the post of CEO from the Board level Director position in Reliance Infra as per the decision taken during the financial year ending March 2013. Apart from his major responsibilities in the Reliance group owned by Anil Ambani, he is also a Director of several other firms which are from his native town Kolkata and some bear his family name “Jalan” (for example Jalan Brothers Private Limited (CIN U17299WB1941PTC010594), Jalan Properties Private Limited, Jalan Infosystems Private Limited, Jalan Reality Private Limited, Data Ware Private Limited, Sunrise Engineering Private Limited, Shree Amrit Properties and Investment Private limited, Devine Dealers Private Limited, Data Management Systems Private Limited and Integrated Bureau and Maintenance Private Limited), which are not part of the Reliance Group or belonging to Anil Ambani.(Source Registrar of Companies, Kolkata where these companies are registered). He continues to hold the post of Chairman, BSES Rajdhani & BSES Yamuna Pvt. Ltd, the Electricity Distribution companies in Joint Venture with Government of New Delhi though the CEOs of these companies are removed frequently facing mismanagement of the Power Distribution System very often in the last 12 years. RInfra is one of India’s largest integrated infrastructure company developing projects, through various Special Purpose Vehicles, in several high growth areas in the infrastructure sector including power, roads, metro, cement and EPC.
Lalit Jalan joined Reliance Industries Limited as Chief Executive Officer, Polypropylene Business in 1995. At 39, he was the youngest ever CEO at Reliance.
Jalan is a B. Tech from IIT – Kanpur in 1979. He did an MBA (Finance) from Wharton School and MS (Computer Science) from Moore School of Engineering, (where the first computer was built in 1945), University of Pennsylvania, 1982.
Lalit Jalan was born in Kolkata in a Marwari family. He did his schooling from St. Xaviers School during the early 1970s.
Lalit Jalan resides in Mumbai with his family which includes his parents, wife Anita who is a fashion designer and two sons, who are also Wharton graduates and handle his family business.
Nothing is much known of the career of Jalan from 1979 to 1996 except that he claims to have started his career at General Electric as a Strategic Planner where he learnt the ropes from Jack Welch at his peak. and having worked there for two years, he returned to India and joined his own family venture – ‘Jalan Brothers’( a distributor of plastic products( PVC, HDPE, LLDPE) ) in his hometown Kolkata. Jalan claims to have turned it into a Rs 250-crore business before acceding to his Wharton School batchmate Anil Ambani’s wish to join the Reliance Industries Limited. Jalan’s entrepreneurial experience, during which he tried almost everything from real estate, software, logistics, distribution to even cement, is now an over Rs 1,000-crore business looked after by his son.
In 1995, Jalan joined Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) as the Head of Polypropylene business. Jalan made the fastest ‘billion dollar hit’ in the industry by ramping up the business from zero to a billion dollars in 42 months flat, despite having no background in the petrochemicals industry. He also served as Head of the E-business at RIL, where he initiated practices such as e-procurement and SAP within the group.
Jalan has served Reliance Group in many roles, including holding charge as CEO of RInfra’s Delhi power distribution company, where he reduced power theft from 55% to 4-5% and turned around its operations. At 39, he was the youngest ever CEO at a Reliance company.
From 2003 onwards, Jalan has led the metamorphosis of Reliance Energy, a plain vanilla distribution company into the over Rs 23000 crore RInfra. Today RInfra is India’s largest integrated infrastructure development firm with interests in power, roads, metros, airports, cement and other urban infrastructure projects with a turnover exceeding $4.5 billion.
The areas of oversight given to Lalit Jalan in Reliance Group of Anil Ambani ( Called ADAG) have had their good share of controversies and complications. Power Distribution Companies in New Delhi: BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani Power companies for which Lalit Jalan has been the Chairman are always centre of controversies be it excess energy metering, removal of CEOs frequently and the recent controversy about CAG audit ordered by the Govt of New Delhi ( When Arvind Kejriwal was the Chief Minister) and threat of Revocation of License and Non Payment of dues to Power Suppliers like NTPC.