Brand Custodian, Tata Sons Ltd.
Harish Bhat is Brand Custodian, Tata Sons. He joined the Tata Group in 1987, as an officer in the Tata Administrative Service. He is Chairman of Tata Coffee Ltd. He is also a Director on the Boards of several other Tata Companies, including Tata Global Beverages Ltd., Titan Company Ltd., Trent Ltd., Tata Starbucks Pvt. Ltd., Infiniti Retail Ltd., Tata Unistore Ltd. and Tata AIA Life Insurance Company. During his career of 31 years with the Tata Group, Mr. Bhat has served in several senior roles. These include stints as Managing Director of Tata Global Beverages Ltd., Chief Operating Officer of the Watches and Jewellery businesses of Titan Company, and also in the telecom business of the Group. He has played a key role in several strategic moves over the past two decades, including the launch and nurturing of many iconic brands of the Tata Group, the successful turnaround of the jewellery business, as well as the acquisition of Tetley.
Mr. Bhat is an alumnus of BITS Pilani and IIM Ahmedabad, graduating at the top of his class in both Institutions. He won the IIM Ahmedabad Gold Medal for scholastic excellence in 1987. In 1997, he won the Chevening Scholarship for young managers, awarded by the British Government. In 2017, BITS Pilani honoured him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2017, he was also awarded the “Champion of Excellence” recognition by the Advertising Agencies Association of India, for his three decades of contribution towards nurturing great advertising and building great brands. He has strong professional interests in consumer behavior, marketing, strategy and business history. He has been a member of the Consumer Insights Panel of the Economic Development Board, Government of Singapore. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Two of his personal interests are fitness and great food. Mr. Bhat is passionate about writing, and is a prolific writer who contributes regularly to national newspapers such as Hindu Business Line and Mint. In 2012, his first book was published by Penguin. Titled “Tata Log”, the book narrates stories from the modern history of the Tata Group, set to an overarching theme. His second book, titled “The Curious Marketer” was published in 2017 by Penguin Random House. This book discusses why curiosity is very important to marketers, and how we can improve our curiosity quotient.