Dinesh C. Paliwal (born 17 December 1957) is an Indian businessman. Paliwal is known for being the President and CEO of Harman International Industries – a provider of audio and infotainment systems for the automotive, consumer and professional markets.
Paliwal, a US citizen, has lived and worked in Australia, China, India, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States. He earned an MS degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee, India); MS in Applied Science and Engineering and MBA in Finance from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio). Before joining Harman he worked at the ABB Group as President Global Markets and Technology. During his 22 years with ABB, he held management positions in five countries and was instrumental in the company’s dramatic turnaround during the period 2002–2007.
In addition to the Harman board, Paliwal serves as a member of the board of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Raytheon Company. He has served on the boards TYCO International, ADT and Embarq Corporation and is a member of the CEO Business Roundtable, the U.S.-India CEO Forum and serves on the board of the U.S. India Business Council (USIBC). He has served previously as Chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council, ABB India Ltd., Lummus Global (an oil and gas technology company) and as a Director for the US China Business Council, and International Swimming Hall of Fame. He also served for three years as Economic Advisor to the Governor of Guangdong Province, China.
In 2010, Paliwal was named Metro New York Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young, and received the Indian American Achiever Award by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). He received the Pinnacle Award as one of the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business 2012 by Asian American Business Development Center. In 2014, Fortune Magazine named Paliwal in their “Businessperson of the Year” list. He was honored by the T. J. Martell Foundation in 2015 and also by Breakthrough, a global nonprofit, for his contributions in advancing women’s causes in 2016. Paliwal received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2017 and in the same year also made a donation to Miami University’s Farmer School of Business along with his wife to create the Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Innovation Chair and the Dinesh and Ila Paliwal Scholarship.
Samsung announced its intent to acquire HARMAN for approximately $8 billion in November 2016, with Paliwal continuing to lead the company post-acquisition. The transaction was completed in March 2017.
Paliwal was born on 17 December 1957 in Agra, India as one of seven children in a family of modest means. He married Ila Sharma after attending University of Roorkee. Paliwal’s father, Ram Chandra Paliwal, was a nationally renowned social leader who worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders in India’s freedom movement. He obtained an engineering degree with merit from the University of Roorkee (now renamed as the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee), India. He was later awarded a full scholarship to pursue advanced degrees in Engineering and Management at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA.
Paliwal left India in 1981, but still visits frequently with his family and for business activities. His wife, son and daughter are all accomplished musicians.