India UK Achievers Honours for LUBS alumnus

We are delighted Business School alumnus Harish Bhat (Managers for Leadership, 1997) has won a NISAU Achievers Honours.

The NISAU India UK Achievers Honours celebrate and showcase the extraordinary achievement of Indian students and alumni who have studied in the UK and are creating a significant impact on their profession and society at large. Criteria span various award categories, from Business & Entrepreneurship to Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Best Student Society and Lifetime Achievement. In partnership with the British Council, the UK Government, and the UK Higher Education sector, these awards foster a thriving community of global achievers whose contributions shape not only the India-UK bilateral relationship but also global discourse on critical issues.

Harish has won his award in the Business & Entrepreneurship category of the Achievers Honours. Harish is currently an advisor at Tata Sons and Director, Tata Starbucks, Trent and Croma. His career spans 36 years with the Tata group, most notably as former brand custodian, Tata Sons; marketer, author and columnist. Harish has held several senior roles, ranging from Managing Director and CEO of Tata Global Beverages, and as Chief Operating Officer of the Watches and Jewellery businesses of Titan Company.

As brand custodian, he led marketing and brand development for Tata, India’s most valuable brand. Harish has played a key role in the nurturing of many iconic brands of the Tata group, such as Titan, Fastrack, Tanishq and Tata Tea. He was a member of the leadership team that led the successful turnaround of the Group’s jewellery business, helping build India’s most admired brand in this sector.

Harish is also a prolific writer who explores diverse subjects relating to brands and consumer behaviour.  He has six published books to his credit, including the national bestsellers “Tata Log”, “#Tata Stories” and “Office Secrets”.  He is a regular columnist in national Indian newspapers such as Hindu Business Line and Mint. 

Harish holds a graduate degree in engineering from BITS, Pilani, and has completed his post graduate studies in business at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. A decade later, he was selected for the Chevening Scholarship for young managers, awarded by the British Government. In 2017, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) conferred on him their “Champions of Excellence” award acknowledging his role in inspiring great advertising. In 2022 and 2023, Forbes listed him as one of the world’s top ten most influential Chief Marketing Officers.

Harish Bhat said,

I am honoured to receive the India UK Achievers’ Honours this year and I am proud to be an alumnus of Leeds University Business School. The Managers for Leadership programme at Leeds was full of rich and relevant learnings which have stood me in good stead throughout my career. My colleagues and I learnt about many important aspects of leadership, strategy and decision making. We learnt about what makes for effective team work. Many of these learnings came to life for me through brilliant, incisive and very engaging teaching, which was one of the hallmarks of this programme. Equally importantly, the programme also opened up new perspectives for me, in particular about British business and culture. This was my first extended period of stay in the United Kingdom, and the exposure we received to British food, art, literature, history and theatre was fascinating. It helped me open up my mind to a culture which was quite different from my own, yet had so many themes in common. Today, I can confidently say that my days at LUBS in 1997 were amongst the most memorable in my life. They made me a better manager and leader, for sure. They also helped prepare me for my later career in the Tata group, which has been my professional home for over 36 years now.  Thank you, LUBS!  I would also like to thank my eleven batchmates at this programme, who made this stint such a wholesome, enjoyable team experience.

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