Tata Group veteran RK Krishnakumar dies; Ratan Tata pays tribute
Former Tata Sons director RK Krishnakumar died due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai on Sunday. He was 84. Over six decades, he held multiple positions at various Tata Group companies. Despite retiring from executive roles a few years ago, he was involved in Tata Trusts' activities. Ratan Tata—Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and Tata Group—paid tribute to Krishnakumar, describing him as a "true veteran."
Survived by wife, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter
Krishnakumar complained of discomfort after a shower on Sunday evening, as per The Times of India. His doctor Pravin Amin was immediately called, but he died before the former could arrive. Krishnakumar is survived by his wife Ratna, son Ajit, daughter-in-law Joey, and granddaughter Arya. Ajit was reportedly away with his family in Andaman & Nicobar Islands at the time of Krishnakumar's demise.
From entry-level employee, KK rose to top posts
Krishnakumar, popularly known as KK, was associated with the Tata Group for nearly 60 years after joining Tata Industries in 1963. Subsequently, he served in different Tata entities. In 1982, he became part of Tata Consumer Products' senior management team. During the 1997 Assam crisis, he became a member of Tata's inner circle when several Tata Group employees were held hostage by Ulfa terrorists.
Padma Shri awardee Krishnakumar was Tata's close confidant
Kerala-born Krishnakumar was considered a close confidante of Ratan Tata. He served in top posts at several Tata Group companies, including heading its hospitality arm Indian Hotels and Tata Global Beverages, and was part of the team that worked alongside Tata. After retiring from executive roles, he continued as a Tata Trusts trustee. Krishnakumar was awarded India's fourth-highest civilian honor Padma Shri in 2009.
Played vital role in acquisition of Tetley
Krishnakumar served as the managing director of Tata Global Beverages (now Tata Consumer Products) from 1991-98. According to TOI, KK also played a crucial role in Tata Global Beverages' £271 million acquisition of Tetley in 2000. It propelled the company to the second position among the world's tea manufacturers and gave a boost to Tata Group and India Inc. in the global arena.
Fondly remember camaraderie we shared: Tata's tribute
Tata took to Twitter to pay tribute to KK. "Words cannot describe the deep sense of loss I feel on the passing of my friend and colleague," the 85-year-old industrialist tweeted. Tata said they shared great camaraderie within Tata Group and personally, too, which he will always fondly remember. "He was a true veteran of the Tatas and will be missed dearly by all."
Veteran industrialist Ratan Tata's tweet
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran also paid respects
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran also paid respects to Krishnakumar. "I had the good fortune of knowing him and what stood out was his deep sense of compassion as a human being. He always wanted to help the less privileged and positively impact their lives."