Rajiv Agarwal, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO), Essar Ports Limited, has over 30 years of experience across industries such as ports and shipping, telecom, retail and business process outsourcing.
As MD and CEO, a position Agarwal has held since 2010, he has formulated plans to increase the capacity of Essar-owned ports from 46 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) (2009-10) to 95 mtpa at present. Plans to further increase the capacity to 110 mtpa by 2019 are under implementation.
Essar Ports is one of the country’s premier infrastructure companies, with all the characteristics of a large, long-term and stable infrastructure business. Diversifying its customer profile with enhanced volumes of third-party cargo is the key to Essar Ports’ expansion strategy. Under Agarwal’s leadership, the third-party cargo share is expected to increase from a negligible level to over 35 per cent (approximately) in the short term. During 2017-18, under his astute leadership, Essar Ports saw the successful divestment of the 58 mtpa Vadinar oil terminal. Besides, he has been instrumental in the setting up of the greenfield dry bulk terminal in Salaya, Gujarat, and the commissioning of the iron ore terminal at Visakhapatnam port.
Agarwal says, “The maritime industry is at the centre of world trade and economy and plays a pivotal role in economic development. It is important to invest in innovative, environment-friendly and long-term sustainable solutions which will generate returns over the long term for all stakeholders.”
Agarwal joined the Essar Group in 1997 as chief operating officer of Essar Telecom and was executive director of Essar Shipping Limited from 1998 to 2002. He is a trained chartered accountant, cost and works accountant and company secretary. He has contributed immensely to the development of various start-ups. These include The Mobile Store, Telecom Towers and Infrastructure, and Aegis Communications.
He is the recipient of the Maritime Personality of the Year, 2017 award at the Gujarat Star Awards; Port Personality of the Year, 2017 at the Maritime and Logistics Awards; and Maritime Standard Excellence Award, 2016 in Dubai for his contributions to the sector. Agarwal was also the recipient of the CEO of the Year Award, 2009 at the Asia Retail Congress and was among the finalists for CNBC’s Asia Business Leadership Awards, 2015.