Monday, January 2, 2023

Veteran of the Tata Group RK Krishnakumar, 84, dies in Mumbai

 MUMBAI: R K Krishna Kumar, the trustee of Tata Trusts and a confidant of Ratan Tata, passed away on Sunday evening after suffering a cardiac arrest at his Mumbai residence. He was 84.KK, as he is known within the Tata Group. After taking a shower, he felt uneasy, and he passed away before his doctor, Pravin Amin, could get to his home. His wife Ratna, son Ajit, and grandson Arya survive him. Ajit is Tata Consumer Products' COO. When they learned of the news, Ajit and his family were in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

After graduating from Presidency College in Chennai in 1963, KK joined the Tata Group's investment company Tata Industries. He stayed with the Tata Group for almost 60 years. He in this way moved to various Goodbye elements, including Goodbye Buyer, Indian Lodgings (which runs the Taj chain) and Goodbye Children.

In 1982, he joined the senior management team at Tata Consumer and began having direct interactions with Ratan Tata. This marked the turning point in his career. During the Assam crisis in 1997, when some Tata Consumer employees were taken hostage by the militant group Ulfa, KK joined Ratan Tata's inner circle. He went on to become a director of Tata Sons, a trustee of Tata Trusts, and the VC of Tata Consumer & Indian Hotels.

He continued to serve as a trustee of Tata Trusts, the controlling shareholder of Tata Sons, even after retiring from the board of directors of Tata entities. KK, a Padma Shri recipient, is best known for his role in the 2000 acquisition of British tea brand Tetley for 271 million pounds. This move elevated Tata Consumer to the position of No. 2 in the world as a tea company and set the stage for the conglomerate to engage in a number of high-profile mergers and acquisitions around the world.

A Tata veteran stated that KK, a religious individual, supported the Tata Group through its various phases.

Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Trusts, stated: Words can't depict the profound feeling of misfortune I feel on the death of my companion and associate R K Krishna Kumar. The group and personal camaraderie we shared will always be fondly remembered.

"I had the good fortune of knowing R K Krishna Kumar, and what stood out was his deep sense of compassion as a human being," said N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons. He generally needed to help the less special and emphatically influence their lives."

Monday at 4.30 p.m., KK's final rites will be performed at the Banganga crematorium in this location.

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