Padma Shri R. K. Krishna Kumar, Former Tata Sons Director, passed away yesterday. A key pillar of the Tata Group, and close confidante of Mr. Ratan Tata.
I once had the privilege of meeting Mr. Krishna Kumar at the Tata Sons office a few years ago; on a special request through someone. I had some views about Tata Motors strategy and some car designs, and simply wanted to share them with him. He was extremely humble, and patiently went through my report, shared a few views, and then offered to have the report sent to the then CEO of Tata Motors. It right after that meeting I also saw Mr. Ratan Tata for the first time ever.
Today, I heard another incredible story about the Tata stalwart, Mr. Krishna Kumar.
Apparently in the early 2000’s, Mr. Krishna Kumar visited Tata Memorial Hospital and was speaking to the Dean. He knew the patients were well cared for, but he saw a lot of patients who had come from out of town to consult a doctor. And he wondered what they might be doing for lunch. He asked the Dean roughly how many patients visit the hospital for consultations each day.
It seems from the very next day, to this day, there is good quality food available for 300 patients who visit the hospital each day for a consult.
In an age where ‘business=monetize’, and non-profits tend to deploy funds in areas that maximize optics, greats like Mr. Krishna Kumar and the Tata Group show us that there was a better way to work and to live. A more respectable way.
Rest in peace, Mr. Krishna Kumar.
Read a bit about his life here: https://www.livemint.com/news/india/tata-veteran-krishna-kumar-dies-11672597446130.html