Mr. Ashok Barat
Managing Partner
MERX Business Advisors LLP

Ashok Barat is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary.He is based in Mumbai, India. Ashok retired in 2016 as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes & Company Limited.

Mr. Barat has held responsible and leadership positions in various Indian and multinational organizations, both in India and overseas. He began his career with Hindustan Lever Limited (as it was then known), and thereafter in positions of increasing responsibility, with amongst others, RPG Group, Pepsi, Electrolux, Telstra and Heinz (now Kraft Heinz). His major areas of influence and impact have been finance, M&A, strategymanagement assurance and governance. He has worked in different roles, operational, staff and oversight, as a CFO, CEO, Managing Director and Country Manager. His industry exposure covers a wide span of FMCG, Durables, Telecom, Engineering, IT Enabled Services, Shipping, Oil & Gas, and Trading. 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. He has effectively led complex commercial, partnership and dispute negotiations with established counterparties.

Mr Barat is on the Board of various companies, including DCB Bank, Cholamandalam Investment & Finance, Mahindra Intertrade, Bata, Wacker and Birlasoft. He has also been a Trustee of the Mumbai Port Trust for some years. He mentors budding entrepreneurs and advises companies on ‘Strategy’, ‘Performance Improvement’ and Governance initiatives. He is a Past President of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is presently a Member of the Managing Committee of ASSOCHAM and Past President of the Council of EU Chambers in India. He is the Convenor of the Committee set up by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish the country’s first institutional Mediation Centre for the resolution of commercial disputes.

He graduated in Commerce from the Allahabad University in 1975 with the Chancellor’s Gold Medal and was the First Rank holder. He was a Rank Holder and won the prestigious A F Ferguson and R Venkatesan Awards of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (November 1978). Mr Barat is a regular speaker in educational and management institutes and various public forums. He is a Certified Mediator empaneled with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India.