How this farmer’s son become the CIO of EssarBy Vanshika Sharma

Coming from a village on the outskirts of Mangalore, Jayantha Prabhu, CIO of Essar and Head of India and SAARC Country Business at AGC network, set his journey from being a farmer’s son to a successful CIO & CEO. He overcame the hurdles due to his four principles -Honesty, Humility, Innovation, and Perseverance.

The passion and enthusiasm to succeed in life despite diversity, he believes to be imbibed from his mother. “My mother is my biggest inspiration. She knew how to make the business successful in a complex and challenging environment. Being with her has been the best “On the Job” Training”, he says while mentioning his mother’s role in his life.

Breaking the societal norms and backed by his uncle, he completed his Graduation at MIT Manipal. Growing up in village life taught him the mantra of being grounded and connected to the core beliefs of the social ecosystem.

“We have a strong family connection. We have family values inculcated within us and believe in working hard towards our goals. We are proud of our culture, religion and respecting elders is a part of our value system. I am proud that my children have also developed the same values,” he says while describing his family environment.

Path to Self-Discovery

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, Prabhu understood the significance of finding his path in life and shifted to Bangalore to pursue the same. The excitement to try new fields urged him to explore the technology, which led him to become an accomplished leader. Starting from scratch, he built his skills and expertise in the technology field by working with various tech companies.
Since his early days, he put himself through the grind and delivered his best performances by contributing 16 to17 hours in a day towards learning at his assigned work. “I always wanted to work towards the path where I can learn and deliver. I have my own set goals and I dedicated myself to achieve and follow the independent route,” says Prabhu.

Heading the technical branch to transform into a senior engineer, he grabbed the opportunity to dig into something un-explored. Prabhu synced with the different roles when he was offered a job at Lloyds Steel Industries due to the shortage of employees.
Reminiscing on his experience, he spoke, “I did not know much about the networking & IT landscape that deeply at that time. But I took the opportunity presented to me, and it was necessary. It is the opportunity that you are getting. A degree has its role but, it is equally important to take the chance. Whenever there is an opportunity, grab it fast. If you lose it, then do not blame anybody.”

24 Years at Essar and New responsibilities

How this farmer’s son become the CIO of EssarStamping achievements on the way, his journey for greater heights started by joining the Essar group, enabling him never to look back. Rising at every step, he has been a star performer with multiple recognitions for his achievements. As a result, he has quickly moved from his starting role as an engineer to his present responsibilities of Group CIO of Essar and Head Sales for the India & SAARC region for AGC Networks.

Delivering successfully on the strategic objectives, Prabhu has built a successful team under him at Essar. By taking up responsibilities of CIO & CTOs of group companies, multiple individuals into the various ecosystems still revere him as a mentor for life.

“My team has always been by my side personally and professionally for many years and built world Class IT solutions & landscapes using cutting-edge technologies for Essar Group. Many of my team members have gone out into the industry and taken up challenging positions of CIO, CTO and, CEO. I consider all of my team as a family and get a sense of deep satisfaction that I have contributed to making their lives better and facilitating them to realize their potential,” Prabhu says with pride.

Empathy and Leadership values

Establishing the Essar Group as a leader in technology with his team for more than two decades and heading Essar group as a CIO, he is also handling the additional responsibility of the Head of India and SAARC Country Business at AGC networks.
“I love to learn new things and always love challenges. So, I do not hesitate to take up the critical roles and responsibilities which are new. Even in Covid times, I continued working and traveling across India to achieve my goals as it keeps me focused on achieving a brighter future for everyone associated,” he says.

Carrying the down-to-earth mindset, he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to helping others personally & professionally. Prabhu mentions, “I’ve always believed in developing leaders within the team while ensuring they get the right opportunities and platform to deliver the best for the Organization. While I’ve gone through various adversities in life, I’ve always felt empathy towards others when it comes to difficult situations”.

Family and Passion

How this farmer’s son become the CIO of EssarNot only a veteran leader, but Prabhu is also an open-minded and proud father. With his son winning notable titles as a star national footballer who plays ISL as part of the Hyderabad FC team and his daughter pursuing computer science in the US. He believes passion plays a vital role in their growth and says, “It is important to follow your passion. As I followed mine, I wanted my kids to move forward with their passion. Of course, I can provide support but it is the passion which will make the individual excel and, they showed the results.”

Owing up his children’s accomplishments to his wife, he adds, “All the credits go to my wife. She is incredible and, without her support, it was not possible.” He likes to spend his time with family by watching football matches together or going for a long drive with family every weekend. Still today, he joins courses, certification workshops, seminars and keeps himself hooked with the latest trends. Continuing his zeal for learning and heart towards happiness, he aims to “live every moment”.





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