R Venkataramanan (Venkat) is an independent consultant and a venture capital advisor. His current assignment is with Reliance Industries, India’s largest private sector company wherein he is engaged as an Advisor in establishing social enterprises especially in the areas of Healthcare and Agriculture.
Venkat till recently was the Managing Trustee of the Tata Trusts and was responsible for the operations, oversight and co-ordination between the various Tata Trusts The Tata Trusts are public charities and are the principal shareholder of Tata Sons, the parent company of the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate.
In his role as the Principal Executive Officer of the Tata Trusts, Venkat was engaged in redefining the Tata Trusts’ strategic approach with a view to making it relevant and responsive to the current needs of society while remaining within the mandate established by the Settlors. He till recently was directly overseeing three large initiatives within the Trusts viz “Lakhpati Kisan – an program that aims to significantly enhance rural prosperity in under privileged and deprived communities, redefining Cancer Care across the country and the nutrition project.
He has over 23 years business and operations experience in the areas of finance, business support and strategy. From early 2007 to end 2012, he was Executive Assistant to Mr. Ratan N. Tata, the former Chairman of the Tata Group. He continues to support Mr. Tata in the office of the Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons. During his stint in the Chairman’s office of Tata Sons, Venkat was part of several significant projects including the Tata Motors acquisition of Jaguar Land Rover, launch of the small car Nano, creation of several Joint Ventures, responses in operating companies during the financial crisis etc., and was also privy to several leadership transitions and change management processes in the Tata Group. On behalf of the Chairman, he was the key point person to several entities in India and abroad.
Prior to his association with Mr. Tata, Venkat was Head of Business Support at the Qatar Foundation, a not for profit entity engaged in Education, Science and Community development based in Doha, wherein he played a key role in establishing partnerships with a number of leading US universities. He had also worked in Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited, Mumbai (VSNL), India’s former international long-distance telecommunications monopoly, now known as Tata Communications and the Gujarat State Finance Corporation based in Ahmedabad.
Venkat is a Science graduate and has done his MBA from the Sri Satya Sai University, Puttaparthi. He is also a Law Graduate from Mumbai University and has completed his Advanced Management Program (AMP) from the Harvard Business School. He is currently pursuing his PhD from University of Warwick on role of Technology in Health Care Systems.
Over the past several years, in his personal capacity, Venkat actively supported Mr. Ratan Tata in his investments in the technology, digital and e-commerce space that have now begun to attract significant attention in India and abroad. He was also a member of the Board of Mr. Tata’s personal investment vehicles and functioned as its Chief Executive Officer. He oversaw a US$ 350 million Venture Capital Fund (UC-RNT) that has been established between Mr. Tata and the University of California. A key proponent of societal platforms, he is the midst of incubating alternative investment vehicles that work in the intersection of business, philanthropy, non-profits and governments on the notion of sustainable shared value creation for societal benefit.