of Economic Studies (IES) has bestowed on Harish Bahl, founder and chief executive officer of Smile Interactive Technologies Group (SITG), the Udyog Rattan Award for his outstanding performance and contribution towards the industrial development of the country.
Commenting on the award, Bahl says, "The award is a recognition that the digital arena is growing in India."
The IES has also awarded Smile Interactive with an Excellence Award for excellence in productivity, quality, innovation and management.
The IES is an independent organisation established in 1980 by a group of economists, parliamentarians and industrialists. Every year, it honours 15 business leaders with the Udyog Rattan Award based on their contributions to and achievements in their business.
SITG was started as Smile Multimedia in 1999 by Harish Bahl and CP Singh. In 2004, it ventured out into interactive marketing and launched a digital agency called Quasar. In 2006, SITG launched Tyroo, an online ad network, and Zoomtra, an online travel search engine. Advertising giant WPP acquired 75 per cent stake in Quasar, while Yahoo! forged a strategic partnership with Tyroo in 2007.
Some of the earlier recipients of the Udyog Rattan Award include prominent business leaders such as Vijay Mallya , chairman, UB Group; JR Tanti, director, Suzlon Energy; SK Gupta, chairman and managing director, VSNL; and KG Ramachandran, chairman and managing director, BHEL.