Harish Bhat (52), the new chief executive officer and managing director at Tata Global Beverages (TGB), could easily get lost in a crowd, given his diminutive frame. But as they say, looks are deceptive. The soft-spoken, Tata Administrative Services (TAS) officer has been a significant presence at Tata Group companies for the past 25 years.
This will be his second stint at TGB. He spent the 12 years between 1988 and 2000 at TGB in various roles. His next stopover, Titan Industries, saw Bhat as the chief operating officer of the jewellery division between 2000 and 2003. He was then assigned the role of president, marketing, Tata Teleservices, in 2004, and then moved back to Titan in 2006 as head of the watches division. He continued as COO till mid-January this year, following which he took a sabbatical to write a book.
Having stepped back into the thick of corporate action, Bhat will face a number of challenges. One main task will be to drive organic and inorganic growth when global and domestic markets both are slowing. The Rs 6,631-crore TGB derives 65 per cent revenues from global markets and 35 per cent from domestic market.
Bhat is a gold medallist from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, as well as the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani.