A Chartered Accountant by profession, R. Seshasayee started his career with Hindustan Lever Limited in 1971. He joined Ashok Leyland Ltd. in 1976 and was appointed as Executive Director in 1983, Deputy Managing Director in 1993 and elevated as Managing Director in April 1998. He is presently the Executive Vice Chairman.
At the helm, Seshasayee has spearheaded the growth and development of Ashok Leyland into a globally competitive manufacturer of commercial vehicles. The company has one the most comprehensive product portfolios in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment besides being a leader in defense vehicles and power solutions. Under Seshasayee's leadership, Ashok Leyland has maintained and vastly improved its unbroken track record of profitability.
As the Chairman of IndusInd Bank since 2007, Seshasayee has been playing a pivotal role in its transformation into a successful enterprise.
On the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for over twenty years, he was the National President of CII during 2006-2007. He was also the President of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, the apex body representing automobile industry in India during 2001-2003.
Seshasayee has served on several government committees, including the JJ Irani Committee on Company Law. He is a member of the Board of Trade, an advisory body on policies relating to trade and commerce. He has been a member of several government delegations including Doha Ministerial Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and the Hong Kong Ministerial in 2005.
He was the Chairman of the Board of Governors of National Institute of Technology Tiruchirapalli (NITT) and is presently Chairman of Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITD&M), Kancheepuram. Seshasayee has been a part of several professional committees such as the Accounting Standards Board and the Research Committees of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Seshasayee was also a director on the Boards of various companies, including ICICI Bank, E.I.D Parry (India) Ltd., etc. He is also associated with several charitable, educational, cultural and social welfare organizations, including the Cancer Institute, Chennai.
Recognizing his contribution towards the enhancement of economic and social ties between Italy and India, Seshasayee was accorded the 'Star of Italian Solidarity' award by the Italian Government. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial and Social Peace by XLRI, Jamshedpur. In the same year, he was conferred the 'Lifetime Achievement Award, by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Seshasayee has also been the recipient of the 'For the sake of Honour' award from the Rotary Club.