Harish Bhat, the distinguished Brand Custodian of Tata Sons, concludes his illustrious career with the company on December 31, 2023, as he retires. In a LinkedIn post, Bhat conveyed his appreciation for the honor of spearheading initiatives for India’s most valuable brand, TATA, during the past seven years.
Accumulating 36 years of experience within the Tata group, Bhat has occupied key positions, including the role of COO at Titan and the positions of Managing Director and CEO at Tata Consumer Products.
In his farewell LinkedIn post, Bhat dedicated his tenure as Brand Custodian to N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, citing inspiration from Chandra’s commitment to achieving world-class standards for the Tata brand.
Harish Bhat wrote on LinkedIn, “Looking back, looking forward.
Today, 31st December 2023, I retire from my role as Brand Custodian at Tata Sons. This follows my superannuation from the Company.
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead the initiatives of India’s most valuable brand, TATA, for the past seven years. My grateful thanks to the Tata group for providing me this incredible opportunity.
During my career of 36 years with the Tata group, I have learnt from many iconic leaders. This wonderful stint as Brand Custodian I would like to dedicate to N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons, whose team I have been part of.
In one of his first meetings with me, Chairman Chandra made it clear that brand Tata deserved world-class in everything we did, and no less. He has repeatedly challenged me to do better than the best. He has inspired me with his own work ethic, which is incredible. From him I have learnt to think big, work hard and deliver results, no matter what the lay of the land.
Under Chairman Chandra’s leadership, the valuation of the Tata brand doubled during this period – from US$13.1 billion in 2017 to US$26.4 billion in 2023 (as per Brand Finance Global 500 reports). The brand strengthened its No. 1 rank in India and has been the only Indian brand to be ranked amongst the top 100 in the world. I am truly proud of this, and the best is yet to come.
I am also proud that for the past two years, Forbes has listed me amongst the top 10 most influential Chief Marketing Officers in the world. It was my privilege to bring this global honour home to the Tata group and to India. Indian brands and marketers can compete with the best in the world, and win.
Personally, it gave me great satisfaction to take the stories of the Tata group to tens of thousands of Indian homes, through my books “Tata Stories” and “Tata Log”, and through the SHO-T-S (Short Tata Stories) that I post (and will continue to) on Linkedin. These are not just stories of Tata; they are inspiring tales that belong to every Indian.
My sincere gratitude to members of the brand & marketing team at Tata Sons, all my colleagues in the Tata group, all brand partners & well wishers for supporting me so well during my tenure as Brand Custodian.
Many of you have asked me, what next? I have three abiding professional passions – the Tata group, marketing, and writing. I hope to use my experience to contribute actively to all three in the years ahead. More on this in due course.
If there is one principle that has guided me at all times, it is this quote from JRD Tata, which stands on the windowsill in my lovely corner office in Bombay House.
“One must forever strive for excellence, or even perfection, in any task however small, and never be satisfied with the second best.”
I think this will continue to be my North Star as I steer the ship that God Almighty has blessed me with, into beautiful new seas.
Best wishes for a very happy new year 2024!”