Executive Director of Tata, the largest private corporate group in India
R Gopalakrishnan (known as Gopal) is one of India’s best known and most experienced business leaders.
Gopal worked for thirty years in India’s most multi-national company, Hindustan Unilever. Since then, he has worked for the most multi-national Indian company Tata. He has recently stepped down as the Executive Director of Tata. He remains as the senior advisor to Tata and keeps an office at their headquarters. He is also the Chairman of Tata AutoComp Systems, Rallis India and Advinus Therapeutics, Vice Chairman of Tata Chemicals, and a director of Tata Power and Tata Technologies. He also serves as an independent director on the boards of the Indian subsidiaries of Akzo Nobel and BP Castrol.
Gopal worked for Hindustan Unilever for over thirty years in various capacities. The appointments he held included Chairman of Unilever Arabia, followed by Managing Director of Brooke Bond Lipton India, followed by Vice Chairman of Hindustan Lever. He joined Tata in 1998 as Executive Director and was responsible for managing and leading the entire business all over the world.
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Gopal is involved with education through his board memberships of a school and two management institutes. He is a past president of All India Management Association. He has delivered guest lectures in India and abroad. His articles have been published in management journals and financial newspapers.
In 2007, he authored his first book, The Case of the Bonsai Manager, published by Penguin India. In 2010, he published his second book called When The Penny Drops: Learning What Is Not Taught. In 2012, he published his third book called What The CEO Really Wants From You: The Four As For Managerial Success.
Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, India. In terms of market capitalisation and revenues, Tata Group is the largest private corporate group in India. It has interests in chemicals, steel, automobiles, information technology, communication, power, beverages, and hospitality. The Tata Group has operations in more than 80 countries across six continents and its companies export products and services to 80 nations. The Tata Group comprises 114 companies and subsidiaries in eight business sectors, 27 of which are publicly listed. 65.8% of the ownership of Tata Group is held in charitable trusts. Companies which form a major part of the group include Tata Steel (including Tata Steel Europe), Tata Motors (including Jaguar and Land Rover), Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Technologies, Tata Tea (including Tetley), Tata Chemicals, Titan Industries, Tata Power, Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices and the Taj Hotels.
The 2009 annual survey by the Reputation Institute ranked Tata Group as the 11th most reputable company in the world. The survey included 600 global companies. The Tata Group has helped establish and finance numerous quality research, educational and cultural institutes in India. The group was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2007 in recognition of its long history of philanthropic activities.