BRITISH-INDIAN engineer, educator, and government advisor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya – who helped to save Jaguar Land Rover from 2008 global recession – passed away today (1).
He was aged 78.
Lord Bhattacharyya breathed his last at home after suffering from a short illness.
India-born Lord Bhattacharyya was a high-profile figure in the West Midlands business and higher education community.
He founded the research institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), at the University of Warwick in 1980s; it now has a global reputation for its collaborative approach by combining educational excellence with practical relevance to industry.
Lord Bhattacharyya was the first professor of manufacturing in the UK and was a huge champion for the industry sector.
He was also a regular commentator on issues affecting the industry and was best known for lending his support to broker the 2008 deal for the Indian business giant Tata to acquire JLR from Ford as it teetered on the edge of collapsing.
Lord Bhattacharyyawas was also worked in the acquisition of Corus to form Tata Steel Europe.
Prof Dr Ralf Speth, chief executive officer, Jaguar Land Rover said: “It is with great sadness that we have been informed of the passing of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya.
“He was an exceptional mentor to many people at Jaguar Land Rover and will be greatly missed. Through his clear vision, strong sense of purpose and his warm charismatic personality, he energised people of all ages and backgrounds and created momentum for creativity and positive change.”
Sir David Normington, chairman of council and pro-chancellor of University of Warwick, said: “Long before I joined the University of Warwick Council, I knew of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya as an adviser to successive prime ministers and secretaries of state and a tireless advocate for UK manufacturing industry.”