Ashok Barat is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Fellow Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
Mr. Barat recently superannuated as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes & Company Limited (Forbes), a position he held since 2008, and having been on the Board of Eureka Forbes Limited between 1997 and 2000.
Forbes founded in 1767, and listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, is one of the key companies in the Shapoorji Pallonji Group (turnover ~ USD 3.0bn). The Mistry family is the single largest shareholder of Tata Sons; Mr Cyrus Mistry, the current Chairman being the scion of the Pallonji family.
Mr. Barat was instrumental in transforming Forbes into a focused conglomerate of businesses relevant to the overall strategy of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group) with interests in the Shipping, ITeS, Engineering and Oil & Gas sectors.
Forbes is a holding company of the SP Group with revenues of USD 600 million. Its main investments are in Water Purification (Eureka Forbes Limited), Oil & Gas, through an FPSO (Forbes Bumi Armada Offshore Limited), Shipping, through ownership and operations of Chemical Tankers (Shapoorji Pallonji Forbes Shipping Limited) and Banking & Retail Automation and Enterprise Mobility Solutions (Forbes Technosys Limited). His responsibilities included business growth, performance, and governance for the businesses and legal entities. In addition to his responsibilities in the Forbes companies, he was also a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the SP Group holding Board responsibilities in various key units including a green field Port project and a LNG Terminal in joint venture with HPCL.
Mr. Barat has held responsible positions in Indian as well as various multinational organizations, both in India and overseas. He began his career with Hindustan Lever Limited (now Unilever) and worked in positions of increasing responsibility, with Unilever, Pepsi, Electrolux, Telstra and Heinz. His major areas of influence have been finance, M&A, strategy and governance. He has worked in different roles, operational and staff, as a CFO, Managing Director and CEO and Country Manager. His leadership skills and attention to details combined with sensitivity to multinational and legislated environments has played a key role in transforming the organizations into successful and responsible businesses.
Besides the business organizations, he has actively contributed to the business community, society, public life and government institutions. He is the Past President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (the oldest chamber in India, established in 1836), Trustee on various Public Trusts, Member on the Board of
Directors of a number of public and private companies and a Managing Committee Member of the national apex chamber of commerce, ASSOCHAM. He has been on various committees of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He was a part time Faculty at the IIM, Lucknow during its early years (1987-89) and was Curriculum Advisor to BIMTECH.
He graduated in Commerce from the Allahabad University in 1975 with the Chancellor's Gold Medal and was the first rank holder. He won the prestigious A F Ferguson Award for the best paper in Auditing in the examinations conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Mr Barat is a Rotary Exchange Foundation Scholar (1986), an honor bestowed against tough international competition. He is a regular speaker in educational and management institutes and various public forums.