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by CSO Online staff

New CSO appointments in India

Mar 03, 202216 mins
CareersCSO and CISO

Here is a comprehensive list of CISO/CSO movements and new appointments in the Indian cybersecurity space in recent months.

executive with city montage enterprise businessman executive
Credit: Thinkstock

With security taking centre stage across the enterprise, the role of the CSO or CISO is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, but exciting, nonetheless. As these executives find new roles in which they can bring their experience and vision to bear, we’ll keep you up to date on new appointments and movements in the world of cybersecurity.

If you have any appointment or job news to share, please let us know.

February 2022

Airtel appoints Varun Singla as CISO

Varun Singla has joined Airtel as chief information and security officer. Previously, he was CSO at Micron Technology.

Singla brings in over 17 years of experience in the IT industry. His expertise includes building sustainable and cost-effective security organizations that partner with business, IT, and engineering teams to solve enterprise risks. He has also held leadership positions at Veritas Technologies and Deloitte.

January 2022

Quantiphi names Amit Dhawan as CISO

amit dhawan quantiphi 1x1 Quantiphi

Amit Dhawan

Data science software and services vendor Quantiphi has appointed Amit Dhawan chief information and security officer. Dhawan was previously the CISO and data protection officer at Birlasoft.

Dhawan served in the Indian Navy for 17 years before entering corporate life. He has worked in banking and IT/ITeS, gaining expertise in risk, computer forensics, information security, security, project planning, and team management.

November 2021

Akhil Verma joins Paytm Money as CISO

akhil verma 1x1 Akhil Verma

Akhil Verma, CISO at Paytm Money

Paytm Money has appointed Akhil Verma as its new chief information security officer. He will be based in Bangalore.

Verma has over 15 years of experience in the BFSI sector. He was a CSO100 India winner in 2019. Before joining Paytm Money, Verma was the CISO for Airtel Payments Bank. He has also held leadership positions in Fincare Small Financial Bank, Janalakshmi Bank, Canara Bank, and Oriental Bank of Commerce.

August 2021

Wipro Enterprises appoints Vikram GR as CISO

vikram gr 1x1 IDG

Vikram GR

Vikram GR has joined Wipro Enterprises as chief information and security officer. He will be based in Bangalore.

A former CSO India 100 winner, he was previously CISO at Diageo and has also held positions at EY, Protiviti, and Paladion. While at Diageo, he was responsible for information security management, audit and controls, compliance and data privacy.

July 2021

Mohit Gupta named group CISO at Motherson

mohit gupta motherson 1x1 Motherson

Mohit Gupta

Auto parts maker Motherson has made Mohit Gupta its group chief information security officer, reporting to the group CIO. In his new role, he will work to improve the overall security posture of Motherson group companies, which employ 135,000 staff in 41 countries. 

Gupta has over two decades of experience in IT. Previously, he was CISO of MothersonSumi INfotech and Designs (MIND), Motherson’s IT services subsidiary.

April 2021

Gomeet Pant joins ABB Global Business Services—Information Systems

gomeet pant IDG India

Gomeet Pant, vice president and head of infosec services

Gomeet Pant has been appointed as vice president and head of infosec services at ABB’s Global Business Service – Information Systems (GBS IS).

Pant, who had recently been appointed as CISO and head of IT operations at Vedanta Zinc International, moved to ABB in April 2021 to take on his global role.

ABB’s GBS-IS provides IT services to over 90 countries in which ABB has a presence. 

Ambarish Singh is the new CISO at Godrej & Boyce

Former senior manager of information security at Flipkart, Ambarish Singh has been appointed as the new chief information security officer (CISO) at manufacturing firm Godrej & Boyce.

A seasoned cybersecurity leader, Singh served as associate director of the Indian Navy’s cyber incidents response team, where he oversaw digital forensics and was involved in the planning, implementation, and execution of vulnerability and risk assessment. He also played a key role in defining and implementing processes and policies.

Singh is an EC-certified certified ethical hacker, and holds Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) and Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM) certifications from ISACA, as well as a Master’s degree in cybersecurity and cyber law from the National Law University.

December 2020

Kapil Madaan is the new CISO at Spark Minda

kapil madaan ciso spark minda cso Kapil Madaan

Kapil Madaan, chief information security officer at Spark Minda

Formerly global leader of cybersecurity at Max Healthcare, Kapil Madaan is taking over as chief information security officer at auto component manufacturer Spark Minda. His career in cybersecurity started during a stint at Ashtech Infotech, where he was responsible for managing core IT infrastructure and security. He has more than 12 years of experience in managing cybersecurity operations, audit and accreditation, infosec, data privacy, strategic planning, and disaster recovery planning. He also built expertise in the area of regulatory compliance—specifically in Service Organization Control 2 (SOC2), ISO27001, and Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS). 

September 2020

Ashok Kumar N joins Encora as Sr Director, Global GSRC and Head of Digital Security

ashok kumar nanda Ashok Kumar N

Ashok Kumar N, Sr Director, Global GSRC & Head-Digital Security, Encora

Former CISO at Amazon Pay India, Ashok Kumar has joined Encora as Sr Director, Global GSRC (Governance Security Risk and Compliance) and Head of Digital Security.

Encora is a global digital engineering organization headquartered in Arizona, US with a 4000+ strong team and growing.

The company assists organizations in driving innovation in AI/ML, cloud, IoT, automation, and mobility in addition to other enterprise technology solutions.

In his new role, Kumar will actuate Encora’s digital security practice. He will also be developing and instituting the framework for technology pertaining to Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC). Additionally, he will be responsible for the implementation of international security, risk, and compliance standards and frameworks at the firm.

Kumar accrued extensive experience for his current role during his tenure at Unisys, where he developed and set up the company’s security and compliance Centre of Excellence for global operations covering over 30 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

He has implementation experience in multiple standards and frameworks, including ISO 27001, ISO 22301, ISO 20000-1, ISO 31000, NIST, HIPAA/HITECH, ISAE 3402 SSAE 16 SOC 1 & SOC 2, SOX, FedRAMP, Fisma and PCI-DSS.

In his stint with Amazon, he led the adoption, implementation and localization of corporate, transactional and regulatory security requirements from US & China to India & South Asia.

Gomeet Pant to head IT Ops & Cybersecurity at Vedanta Zinc International

gomeet pant cso100 Gomeet Pant/CSO100 Awards

Gomeet Pant, Head-IT Ops & Cybersecurity, Vedanta Zinc International

Gomeet Pant has been appointed Head of IT Operations & Cybersecurity at South Africa-based Vedanta Zinc International (VZI).

In his previous role Pant was heading cybersecurity at Cairn Oil and Gas – a vertical of the Vedanta group. In his new role at Vedanta Zinc International (VZI), he will be overseeing IT infrastructure in addition to cybersecurity.

The seasoned cybersecurity leader has been associated with Vedanta since June 2013 when he joined the company as Group Lead, IT Security and Compliance.

His new role makes him responsible for Operational Technology (OT) security at VZI. Explaining his new role, Pant said: “I’m now on the Vedanta Group’s security committee and will be leading as the group’s security anchor.”

As Vedanta Zinc International is a South African entity, Pant will be relocating to SA in two months from now. In addition to his new responsibilities, there’s a portion of IT security he will continue to manage for the Vedanta Group in India.

Being responsible for OT systems’ security, Pant shared his thoughts on what makes OT security more important than IT security: “Data can be recovered after an attack on a company’s IT, but if there’s a cyberattack on OT systems, it can cause a significant impact on human safety and the environment.”

He added that a cyberattack on IT results in monetary loss, but unlike attacks on OT systems, human lives are not at stake.

Neha Taneja takes over as Head-Cybersecurity at Cairn Oil & Gas

Neha Taneja will now be heading cybersecurity at Cairn Oil and Gas. A tenured cybersecurity leader, Taneja was previously Asst. VP-IT at GE Capital Business Process management services.

She then joined SBI Card as Deputy VP-IT and served 7 years 6 months in the company before her exit as VP-IT Controllership.

July 2020

Dharmesh Rathod joins Welspun Group as Head-Cybersecurity

dharmesh b rathod CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Dharmesh B Rathod, Head-Cybersecurity, Welspun Group

Former CISO at Adani Enterprises, Dharmesh Rathod has joined the Welspun Group as Head of Cybersecurity. Founded in 1985, Welspun Group is a multinational conglomerate with investments in steel, energy and textiles.

Prior to his stint at Adani, Rathod played the role of a CISO as Head-IT Assurance and Information Security at Essar Services India Ltd. for six years. 

At Adani Enterprises, he led security strategy, audits, risk management and compliance, threat management, and IT & OT security. He is credited with setting up a security assessment framework in line with global security standards. He also designed the OT security program, including POCs and evaluations and played a key role in driving ISO27001 certification and assessment for the group.

In a career spanning over 22 years, Rathod has been the recipient of several leadership awards. He has made his mark as an eminent speaker at global and domestic platforms and has authored articles on cybersecurity for reputed publications.

Rathod is certified in ITIL V3, ISO27001 LI and LA, to name a few, and is also a trained Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). In addition to being a cybersecurity chief, he has also played the role of an IT & cybersecurity strategist, architect & adviser and was an industry mentor for the Standford Advanced Cybersecurity Program.

June 2020

Unique Kumar, former CISO at Max Healthcare, joins CK Birla Group as Group CISO

Unique Kumar Unique Kumar

Unique Kumar, Group CISO, CK Birla Group

Unique Kumar, who in the past, headed security operations at Max Healthcare, Aviva India and Aptara, has been appointed as the Group CISO at CK Birla Group.

In addition to his extensive experience in cybersecurity, in his previous stints,  Kumar was responsible for implementing new IT technologies, digital transformation, IT infrastructure, datacentre, large scale ERP rollouts, IT automation and cloud computing.

He also has experience in mergers & acquisitions and maintaining stakeholder relationships. He has the know-how in managing risk and audits and is certified in ISO 27001 compliance, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

In 2018, Kumar bagged his second consecutive CSO100 Award for spearheading key security initiatives at Max Healthcare – this included intrusion detection systems, email security, phishing simulators and Identity and Access Management (IdAM).

May 2020

Maya R Nair appointed as Director & CISO at Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL)

maya r nair ciso crisil Image supplied by Maya R Nair

Maya R Nair, Director & CISO, CRISIL

Maya R Nair, former CISO at Reliance Capital Ltd. and Head-Information Security at Idea Cellular has joined Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited (CRISIL) as Director & Chief Information Security Officer.

In her previous stints, Nair also served as head of security operations at Reliance Jio and was CISO & Head-IT Infrastructure at Lentra AI Ltd.

An experienced veteran in the credit information space, Nair served as Assistant Vice President-InfoSec at TransUnion Credit Information Bureau Limited (TUCIBIL) for close to a decade. In addition to protecting TUCIBIL from internal and external threats, she played a key role in setting up the ISMS framework to conform to ISO 27001:2013; she helped revamp and migrate the datacentre with zero downtime and also set up the BCP and DR site for the company.

Nair is a Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and a certified Information Security Management System (ISMS) lead auditor for ISO 27001. Among her list of credentials are BS 25999 Lead Implementer and DSCI-certified privacy lead assessor.

March 2020

Rajesh Hemrajani appointed CISO at Paytm Payments Bank

Rajesh Hemrajani, CISO at Paytm Payments Bank CSO100 Awards

Rajesh Hemrajani, CISO at Paytm Payments Bank

Former CISO at IDFC FIRST Bank, Rajesh Hemrajani has joined Paytm Payments Bank as the Chief Information Security Officer.

He has over 28 years of experience in framing corporate information and cybersecurity policies & procedures, setting security standards for IT infrastructure, risk assessment, and developing business continuity plans and service standards.

At IDFC First Bank, Hemrajani managed four global information security functions and verticals with an 85-member team of skilled cybersecurity and risk professionals. He was a winner of the CSO100 Award in 2019.

February 2020

Former CISO at YES Bank, Rajesh Thapar joins OakNorth as Head of IT and InfoSec

Rajesh Thapar at the CSO100 Awards CSO100 Awards

Rajesh Thapar, Head-IT & InfoSec at OakNorth Bank

Former CISO at YES Bank, Rajesh Thapar has been appointed as the Head of IT and Information Security at OakNorth. OakNorth is a UK Bank providing loans to small and mid-sized businesses in the UK. A veteran CISO in the banking space, Thapar has extensive expertise in ISO 27001, IT Strategy, Management, Pre-sales, and Management Information Systems (MIS).

Prior to working at YES Bank, Thapar was with IBM India as Information Security and Risk Management Lead, delivering IT security and risk management functions across manifold strategic outsourcing clients. He has also worked with Citigroup Global Services (now TCS eServe) and IDBI Bank.

December 2019

Kiran Belsekar joins Aegon Life as Vice President – Information Security

Kiran Belsekar, CISO, Aegon Life Insurance  Kiran Belsekar

Kiran Belsekar, CISO, Aegon Life Insurance 

Former SVP – Head of Information Technology & Cybersecurity at ENAM, Kiran Belsekar joined Aegon Life as Vice President – Information Security. Belsekar has accrued over 16 years of experience in IT services in BPOs & KPOs, manufacturing, retail, banking, life insurance & the media domain.

He has proven his expertise in managing IT, information security & risk management, IT operations, IT infrastructure, ERP, managing IT budgets, and enterprise mobility solutions. In addition, Belsekar has demonstrated the ability to work in established organizations as well as startups.

November 2019

Former Sr. GM-Information Technology at WNS Global Services, Allwyn Pereira,  joins SPi Global as Head of IT Security

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Allwyn Pereira at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Allwyn Pereira has joined SPi Global as Head of IT Security. Pereira is an ISACA-certified Information Security Manager and was the Sr. Group Manager – Information Technology at WNS Global Services. 

Prior to joining WNS, Pereira was the Director of Information Technology at Sutherland Global Services, where he worked for over 4.5 years.

Former Head of Technology at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, Amit Jaokar joins NKGSB Bank as CISO & CDO

amit jaokar choice international 1118 2 1 Amit Jaokar/IDG CSO100 Awards

Amit Jaokar at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Amit Jaokar, who was previously Head of Technology at Motilal Oswal Financial Services, has been appointed as the Chief Digital Officer & Chief Information Security Officer at NKGSB Bank.

A seasoned IT professional, Jaokar is passionate about creating business opportunities for the connected world.  He has expertise in cloud computing, mobility, virtualization, IT infrastructure, IoT, digitization, BYOD and information security.

October 2019

Fal Ghancha appointed Chief Information Security Officer at DSP Mutual Fund

fal rameshchandra ghancha reliance nippon life asset management 2 CSO100 Awards/IDG

Fal Ghancha at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Former CISO at Aegon Life Insurance, Fal Ghancha joined DSP Mutual Fund in October 2019. In his current role, he is solely responsible for information and cybersecurity governance, policies & processes, security audits, formulating business continuity plan, and running disaster recovery drills. He won the CSO100 Award in 2019 as well as in 2018.

September 2019

Prateek Mishra appointed Head-Information Security at IIFL Wealth

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Prateek Mishra at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Prateek Mishra was the CISO at IDBI Federal Life Insurance prior to joining IIFL Wealth. He has experience in various domains of information security and has worked with companies like Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank, in addition to his stint at IDBI.


August 2019

Shashank Bajpai joins Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India as CISO

shashank bajpai Shashank Bajpai/IDG

Shashank Bajpai at CSO100 Awards

The former Chief Information and Security Officer at Acko General Insurance, Shashank Bajpai, is now the security chief at Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC).

He brings more than a decade of experience in the information security domain, with an extensive background in leading corporate IT infrastructure strategy, creating an end-to-end infosec risk posture, and implementing key cybersecurity policies and controls.

June 2019

Manikant R Singh joins DMI Finance as Chief Information Security Officer

Former Head-IT & CISO at Orbis Financial, Manikant R Singh, has joined DMI Finance as CISO. At DMI Finance, Singh will be Reporting to the Jt. Managing Director. 

In his current role, his priorities include API & information security, developing in-depth defence, formulating cybersecurity strategies, business automation, cloud strategies, BCP & DP, ensuring high availability and other security compliances.

May 2019

Mohd Shadab Siddiqui joins Hotstar as head of information security and trust

shadabsiddiqui Mohd Shadab Siddiqui/IDG

Mohd Shadab Siddiqui at the CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Mohd Shadab Siddiqui has joined Hotstar as head of information security and trust. Siddiqui was the head of information security, trust, fraud, risk and compliance at Ola.

He stated that being responsible for security, privacy and trust at that scale is an exciting experience.


March 2019

SafexPay appoints Deepak Kalambkar as its new AVP-Infrastructure & CSO

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Deepak Kalambkar at the CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Former IT Head and CISO of Marvel Data Services, Deepak Kalambkar has joined SafexPay as the AVP-Infrastructure. At Safexpay, Kalambkar is responsible for the total Infrastructure and the compliance of ISO 27001 and PCI-DSS.

He shared that at SafexPay, he would be looking after the total Infrastructure and also play parts of the CISO’s role. In a career spanning over two decades, he has previously worked at Progressive Infotech, Nextstep Infotech, Seeinfobiz, CMS Computers and Alphabetic Business Machines.

OYO appoints former Paytm security leader Aditya Khullar as Head-Cybersecurity (Sr. EM)

aditya khullar oyorooms Aditya Khullar

Aditya Khullar at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Paytm’s former tech security leader, Aditya Khullar has been appointed as the head of cybersecurity (Sr. EM) at India’s largest hotel network – OYO Rooms.

In the past, Khullar has worked for various global firms such as Aricent Technologies, HCL Infosystems, Bank of America and Interglobe Enterprises.


Former TransUnion CIBIL security leader Shiju Rawther joins India Infoline as Executive VP-IT

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Shiju Rawther at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

The former head of IT infra and security operations at TransUnion CIBIL, Shiju Rawther has now joined financial services major, India Infoline as Executive VP-IT.

With close to two decades of experience accrued across India’s top companies like Sify, Wipro Infotech and Fullerton India Credit Company, Rawther has bagged the prestigious CIO100 as well CSO100 awards in 2016 and 2018 respectively. He is also an advisory board member of CSO Online.

February 2019

Nissan Motors appoints Dr Lopa Mudraa Basuu as global head of cybersecurity, governance, risk & compliance

lopa mudraa basuu Dr Lopa Mudraa Basuu/IDG

Dr Lopa Mudraa Basuu at CSO100 Awards by IDG India

Cybersecurity veteran and evangelist, Dr Lopa Mudraa Basuu, was appointed Global Head of Cybersecurity, Risk Governance & Compliance at Nissan Motor Corp.

Prior to joining Nissan, Basuu headed security, risk and governance functions for industry majors such as OCWEN Financial, SLK Global and contributed her career to MetLife and Infosys Technologies in leading roles.