RK Krishnakumar
RK Krishnakumar

Ratan Tata confidante and group veteran RK Krishnakumar dies at 84

The Padma Shri awardee suffered a heart attack at his home in Mumbai on Sunday, officials said.

CHENNAI: RK Krishnakumar, a close confidante of Ratan Tata, died Sunday evening. A group veteran who spent his formative years in Chennai where he did his schooling, graduation and postgraduation, Krishnakumar had served in multiple positions in the group, including heading its hospitality arm Indian Hotels. He was 84.

The Padma Shri awardee suffered a heart attack at his home in Mumbai on Sunday, officials said. After passing out of Presidency College in the then Madras where his father was the police Commissioner, he joined the Tata group in 1963. “Words cannot describe the deep sense of loss I feel on the passing of my friend and colleague RK Krishnakumar. I will always fondly remember the camaraderie we shared both within the group and personally. He was a true veteran of the Tata group and the Tata Trusts and will be missed dearly by all,” said Ratan Tata.

Offering his condolences, Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran recalled his “enormous contribution” to the group. “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. We… will sorely miss him,” Chandrasekaran said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted that Thalassery-born Krishnakumar helped strengthen the ties of the group with the state and offered condolences. After retiring from executive roles, he was active with the Tata Trusts and was reportedly a part of the team that worked alongside Ratan Tata to oust late Cyrus Mistry from the chairman post.

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