Ahimsa Center Hosts Dialogue with a Top Indian Business Executive

Ahimsa Center Hosts Dialogue with a Top Indian Business Executive
R. Gopalakrishnan

What is the role of business in society, and how can business leaders rise to meet the  challenges of this role? R. Gopalakrishnan, a top executive from the Tata Group, one of India's largest and most respected business conglomerates, will address these vitally important questions during a program on Sept. 8 at Cal Poly Pomona.

Gopalakrishnan will share with the audience his vision of the “Real Purpose of Business,” and will discuss in a dialogue format how business actions and practices should, and can, be grounded in values such as care, compassion, nonviolence, and courage, according to Ahimsa Center Director Tara Sethia.

An executive director of Tata Sons Ltd., Gopalakrishnan is also chairman of Rallis India Ltd. and Advinus Therapeutics Private Ltd., vice chairman of Tata Chemicals, and a director of several Tata companies including Tata Motors, Tata Power and Tata Teleservices.

Previously, for more than three decades, he was with Hindustan Lever Ltd. (now Hindustan Unilever Ltd.), where positions he held included chairman of Unilever Arabia in Jeddah, managing director of Brooke Bond Lipton India, and then vice chairman of Hindustan Lever Ltd.

His recently published book, “The Case of the Bonsai Manager: Lessons from Nature on Growing” is about nature, management and intuitive leadership.

The event is being organized by the Ahimsa Center, established at Cal Poly Pomona in 2004 by Professor Sethia. The center is dedicated to interdisciplinary teaching and learning about nonviolence and its practical applications, and has just launched a degree program for a minor in Nonviolence Studies. In October 2008 the center will hold a world-class conference titled Rediscovering Gandhian Wisdom: Building a Peaceful Future.

The dialogue with Gopalakrishnan is co-hosted by the Center for Business and Design in the College of Business Administration.

The event will be held at the Collins School of Hospitality Management from 10:30 a.m. until noon on Sept. 8. For details, e-mail ahimsacenter@cpp.edu, call (909) 869-3868 or visit the center's Web site at www.cpp.edu/ahimsacenter.