Krishna and Suchitra Ella, Cyrus Poonawalla, Prahlad Rai Agarwala and Jagjit Singh Dardi were the others to receive the award in the trade and industry category.

N Chandrasekaran, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadellapti
news Padma Awards Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 08:44

Founders of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developer Bharat Biotech —  Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella, along with Cyrus Poonawalla, the chairman and MD of another vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) and Tata group chief N Chandrasekaran were among the top industry leaders who were on Tuesday, January 25, conferred the country's third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan. The Padma Bhushan was also awarded to Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella and Alphabet and Google's Sundar Pichai. 

Satya Nadella: Global tech giant Microsoft's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Nadella had joined the company in 1992. Before being named CEO in February 2014, he held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company. 

Satya Narayana Nadella was born on August 17, 1967 in Hyderabad. His mother Prabhavati was a Sanskrit lecturer, and his father, Bukkapuram Nadella Yugandhar, was an IAS officer of the 1962 batch. Nadella studied at the Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, before receiving a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka in 1988. He then moved to the US to study for an MS in computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning the degree in 1990. Later, he received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1997.

He is currently the Executive Chairman and CEO of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer in 2014 as CEO and John W. Thompson in 2021 as Chairman. Before becoming the CEO, he was the Executive Vice President of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms. He also serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and his alma mater the University of Chicago, as well as the Starbucks board of directors.

Sundar Pichai: Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc and its subsidiary, Google, was born in Chennai. He joined Google in 2004, where he led the product management and innovation efforts for a number of Google's products. 

Born on June 10, 1972 in Madras (now Chennai), Pichai Sundararajan — better known as Sundar Pichai — earned his degree from IIT Kharagpur in metallurgical engineering. Moving to the US, he earned an MS from Stanford University in materials science and engineering and further earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Pichai began his career as a materials engineer. After a short stint at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, he joined Google in 2004. 

Pichai was picked to be the next CEO of Google on August 10, 2015, after previously being appointed Product Chief by CEO Larry Page. He was appointed to the Alphabet Board of Directors in 2017. He was included in Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in 2016 and 2020. Pichai is married to Anjali Pichai and has two children. His recreational interests include cricket and football.

N Chandrasekaran: N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of all Tata group companies, leads the conglomerate which is present across 10 business verticals with an aggregate annual revenue over $110 billion. He had joined the board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was appointed chairman in January 2017, after leading global IT solution and consulting firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in a 30-year business career at the firm.

Krishna and Suchitra Ella: Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director and Suchitra Ella, co-founder and joint managing director are behind the success of Bharat Biotech, which indigenously developed the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

A research scientist in molecular biology, Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella had co-founded Bharat Biotech in 1996 after returning from the US to set up a company dedicated to creating innovative vaccines and bio-therapeutics. Today, Bharat Biotech is among the global leaders in innovative vaccines.

Cyrus Poonawalla: Cyrus S Poonawalla is the chairman and managing director of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer by number of doses produced and sold globally (more than 1.5 billion doses) which includes polio vaccine as well as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, measles, mumps and rubella vaccines.

It is estimated that about 65% of the children in the world receive at least one vaccine manufactured by the Pune-based company.

Both SII and Bharat Biotech have played roles in the country's fight against COVID-19 pandemic, while also enabling India to supply vaccines to various countries across the globe.

The other winners from trade and industry are Prahlad Rai Agarwala, chairman of leading knitwear maker Rupa & Company Ltd, and Chandigarh-based Jagjit Singh Dardi.

With PTI and IANS inputs

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