New Delhi: Speculations are rife that Ajit Jain may succeed the legendary investor Warren Buffett as chief of the Rs 36.74 lakh crore firm Berkshire Hathaway. After Sundar Pichai, Shantanu Narayen and Satya Nadella, Jain might just become the fourth Indian to head an International firm.
Eighty-eight-year-old Buffett kept the world guessing but mentioned that either Jain and Gregory Able would in the near future join him and long-time business partner Charlie Munger on the stage to answer shareholder questions.
Buffett had earlier said, “Ajit has probably made a lot more money for Berkshire Hathaway than I have. I really feel about him like I would a brother or a son.”
Jain was born in 1951 in Odisha, one of India’s poorest states. In 1972, he graduated in mechanical engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur following which he joined the sales team at IBM.
After IBM, he joined the Harvard Business School for an MBA and graduated in 1978. Soon Jain joined the consultancy McKinsey & Co. where he had two stints before joining the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group in 1986. He joined the company at a time when the insurance business was fledgeling and built it to one of the largest in the world. Over the years, Jain has been credited with generating more profit and more revenue than any other Berkshire employee.