A tribute meet was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Mumbai on Friday for late professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group. The event was attended by leading Industrial figures, including Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata.
Bhattacharyya, a British-Indian engineer and educator had founded the Warwick Manufacturing Group, a department in the University of Warwick, to strengthen the manufacturing sector in the UK through research and knowledge transfer.
The Indian government had awarded Lord Bhattacharyya the Padma Bhushan in 2002 in recognition for his services to the manufacturing industry. He was appointed a commander of the Order of the British Empire and knighted in 2003.
Ratan Tata said that Bhattacharyya had encouraged the Tata Group when it had embarked on an ambitious plan to enter the automotive sector. “I met him nearly 18 years ago. I had a crazy idea of producing a car in India… Many friends distanced themselves but Kumar encouraged me.”
CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee called Bhattacharyya a “mentor and guide of the Indian industry”.
“He had the ability to make dreams true. With his advise, Margaret Thatcher created a revolution. He turned old struggling names into global competitive companies… During the time when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, India was in a serious crisis internationally. He was instrumental in diffusing tensions India had with the world,” TVS Motor company Chairman Venu Shrinivasan said.
“He always had one question: what are you guys doing to build India into a manufacturing superpower?… He was known for driving ideas beyond norms,” Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Kant Munjal recalled.
Godrej and Boyce Manufac-turing Company Limited Chair-man Jamshyd N Godrej; associate vice-president (HR) of Bharat Forge Limited, Leena Desh-pande; University of Warwick professors Sujit Banerjee and David Mullins; and CII Chairman Tarun Das also paid tributes. It was announced that the CII Centre in Gurugram will be named after Bhattacharyya.