Shri Amitabh Kant
CEO, NITI Aayog
Shri Amitabh Kant is currently the CEO of NITI Aayog. He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, Kerala Cadre, 1980 batch.
He has authored Branding India: An Incredible Story (2009) and Incredible India 2.0: Synergies of Growth and Governance (2019), and edited The Path Ahead: Transformative Ideas for India (2018).
Mr Kant has been a key driver of award-winning initiatives, such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’, ‘Incredible India’, and ‘God’s Own Country’, that have positioned India and the state of Kerala as leading manufacturing and tourist destinations. He has conceptualized the ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’ (or the Guest is God) campaign to train taxi drivers, guides, and immigration officials as stakeholders in the tourism development process.
He was the National Project Director of UNDP’s Rural Tourism Project, which brought about a paradigm shift in spreading tourism to Indian villages with a core competency in handicrafts, handloom, and culture.
Mr Kant is the Chairman of Empowered Group 3--one of the 11 such groups constituted by the Government of India to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Empowered Group 3 is mandated to coordinate with the private sector, NGOs, and international organizations for Covid-response-related activities.
In his capacity as Secretary (Industries), the Government of India, Mr Kant drove the Ease-of-Doing Business initiative. He is also the Chairman of the committee to implement digital payments in India. He is a Member of the Steering Board, World Economic Forum, for ‘Shaping the Future of Production Systems’.
Mr Kant is the recipient of the Economic Times Policy Change Agent of the Year Award, the Bloomberg TV Personality of the Year Award, the NDTV Administrator of the Year Award, the One Globe Award, 2016, for Leadership in Transforming Governance in the 21st century, and the Golden Peacock Award for Leadership in Economic Transformation, 2017. He was also awarded the Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors and the Sir Edmund Hillary Fellowship by the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Mr Kant has previously worked as CMD, ITDC; Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Tourism; Secretary (Tourism), Government of Kerala; Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation; District Collector, Kozhikode; and Managing Director, Matsyafed.
During his tenure in Kerala, he structured the Calicut Airport as a private sector project and developed the BSES Power Project and Mattancherry Bridge under private-public partnership. He also introduced new technology (fiberglass crafts and outboard motor) in the fisheries sector and launched beach-level auctions that substantially enhanced returns to traditional fishermen.
Mr Kant has done his schooling from Modern School, New Delhi; graduation in Economics (Hons) from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University; and MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is a Chevening Scholar.