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About Bharat Wakhlu

Transformational and Ethical Business Leader,  Keynote Speaker and Author

Thought-Leader, Innovative and Ethical Value Creator

Bharat is a committed, results-oriented business leader and cross-functional manager with a demonstrated record of success, transforming enterprises and guiding leaders to deliver outstanding and lasting value to chosen stakeholders. A collaborative, open and assertive communicator who focuses on impeccable planning and execution to help achieve client goals, Bharat is cross-culturally sensitive and engaging, and a technologically perceptive facilitator of beneficial change. He commands an inspiring presence, is an exceptional speaker and is adept at motivating and guiding senior leaders to deliver admirable results. He is fluent in German, English and four Indian languages.

His areas of expertise include:

Manufacturing | Performance Excellence & Quality | Leadership & Team Development
Governance | Policy Advocacy | Strategy | Supply Chain Management
Ethical Sourcing & Sustainability | Future-proofing
Professional Experience

The Wakhlu Advisory, New Delhi, India / Andover, MA, USA
President, 2016 – Present

Corporate adviser, leadership mentor and keynote speaker. Provide consulting for performance excellence and competitive manufacturing, policy advocacy, ethical leadership, socially and environmentally responsible business processes, personal growth and business transformation / change management.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, CT, USA
Managing Director, India; Stratford / New Delhi, 2014 – 2016

  • Increased visibility and developed future business in India by engaging and working collaboratively with Indian Ministry of Defense, other Government Agencies and civilian prospects.
  • Built new relationships and alliances for enhanced manufacturing in India and created robust supply chain for competitive production in the US.
  • Managed difficult transition in India following Sikorsky’s sale to Lockheed in November 2015 by effectively engaging with and handling key customer interfaces, preventing loss of potential business.

TATA SERVICES LTD., New Delhi, India
Resident Director, 2008 – 2014

  • Forged lasting business alliances between Aerospace OEMs in the US and Tata by managing challenges associated with setting up JV, and ensuring that new factory was set up in record time of 18 months.
  • Linked Tata Industries with potential business partners, including Academia / VCs, and facilitated new business opportunities and collaborations with corporations and start ups.
  • Projected Tata group’s values and enhanced group’s brand and safeguarded reputation by interacting ethically with State and Federal Government on behalf of Tata Sons.
  • Advised Group company CEOs on Public Affairs and Reputation Management that led to systematic mitigation of reputational risk, enhanced brand-equity and reduced litigation.

Tata Inc., New York, NY, USA
President, 2003 – 2008

  • Turned around 65 year-old under-performing company by introducing new lines of business, cutting wasteful costs and ramping up top-line revenues from $28M in 2003 to over $180M in 2006; company’s steel operations were smoothly amalgamated with those of Tata Steel North America in 2007.
  • Formed business alliances between Steel Majors in Turkey, Singapore, The Netherlands and the US, creating new opportunities for monetizable value creation. Introduced Tata Group companies to opportunities in North America, including aerospace, mining, retail and logistic sectors for increased business growth.
  • Enhanced brand visibility and reputation of Tata Group through programming of systematic and regular engagement with Congressmen and Senators at Capitol Hill, ensuring continuation of business without dumping duties or expensive litigation.

Tata Steel, India
Chief of Supply Chain, 2000 – 2003

  • Built alliances with global vendors and involved them in co-creating value through Strategic Sourcing Partnerships.
  • Managed annual spend of over US$800M and enhanced efficiencies in material and informational flows through use of suitable technologies by cutting down wasteful costs within system to tune of over $30M within a span of just over 2 years.

Head of E-Commerce, 1999 – 2000

  • Led Tata Steel’s entry into e-commerce and Digital Marketing arena and leveraged enhanced availability of Optic Fiber Cable (OFC) broadband.
  • Developed business case, firmed revenue model and Technology platform for first-Indian B2B e-business Metal Junction (MJ Services) that resulted in forging a joint-venture alliance between Tata Steel and public-sector company, SAIL; ensuring Metaljunction’s success and making Metal Junction India’s most profitable e-company. Today MJ is one of the world’s largest and most successful e-marketplaces.

Senior Division Manager, Corporate Relations 1996 – 1999

  • Streamlined company’s interface with external stakeholders, including labor unions, state-level political leaders and government agencies that led to setting transparent and enforceable standards for engaging with political parties and other critical stakeholders with integrity.
  • Managed interactions with labor unions, opinion leaders and political parties during sale of Tata Steel’s cement plant to M/s Lafarge, during acquisition of land for new steel plant in Gopalpur, and period of steel mill closures and downsizing.

Division Manager, Technical Training and Head SNT Institute 1992 – 1996

  • Transformed the Technical Training Division of Tata Steel and SNT Institute to one of India’s most effective technical training schools by eliciting systematic and focused investments in new training technologies, documentation and training of trainers overseas. Employees trained in school were ranked among top in the country consistently in competitive, nationwide skill assessments.
  • Introduced and implemented systems for making technical school the 1st in Asia to acquire ISO 9001 certification.
  • Created learning opportunities for regular employees using variety of innovative, online technologies, making skill and knowledge enhancements effective and doable at learner’s pace.
Previous Positions Held at TATA STEEL Include:

Manager, Total Quality Initiatives
Graduate Engineer

Education and Training
  • Senior General Management Executive Education Programme, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Advanced International MBA (Modular); INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
  • The Juran Quality Improvement Methodology, The Juran Institute, USA (through its Indian Affiliate)
  • Quality Engineering and TQM, Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers, Tokyo
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, India
  • First-Class Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India
Current and Previous Board / Advisory Level Positions
  • Founder Member of the Foundation for Restoration of National Values and its Honorary General Secretary, 2008 to date
  • Chairman, American Society for Quality (ASQ) South Asia, 2014 to date
  • Member, Advisory Board of SustainAbility, UK, till 2015
  • Adviser, CSR and Women’s Empowerment at Schneider Electric Co. India, July 2014 – October 2014
  • Member of the Governing Board of the Quality Council of India (QCI), till July 2014
  • Member of Board of the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), New Delhi, India since its founding in 2009, till June 2014
  • Member Tata Sons’ Committees for Innovation and Sustainability, till 2013
  • Member, Board of Directors, Tata Inc., USA, till June 2014
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Society for Quality, USA, till December 2013
  • Founder – Director of MJ Services, an E-commerce JV, India, till 2003
Books / Publications

Have authored 4 bestselling books:

  • Total Quality: Excellence through Organizationwide Transformation”, Revised e/2010; S. Chand and Co.
  • Restoring Values Keys to Integrity, Ethical Behaviour and Good Governance”, SAGE, 2010, (jointly with Dr. E. Sreedharan, )
  • Close Call in Kashmir“, fiction – Penguin, 2011
  • Navigating the Maze Simple, Smarter Strategies to Fasttrack Success”, SAGE Publishers, 2016, (Co-authored with Savita Bhan Wakhlu)
Other Achievements
  • Fellow, American Society for Quality (ASQ), USA, since 2015
  • Fellow, All India Management Association, India, since 2012
  • Created and deployed improved Human Resources Management system for Quality Council of India (QCI), 2013
  • Mentored and Guided over 800 senior leaders in the course of the past 10 years
  • Scripted and created short-training films for use by Tata Training organizations, on Assertiveness, Teamwork and Quality (1998 – 1999). These films also widely used by trainers in other corporations today.
  • Contributed to writing of the UN Global Compact’s 10th Principle (Anti Bribery Elements)