R Mukundan

Passion - a part of our DNA

R Mukundan, Managing Director and CEO


Passion has always been a driving force at Tata Chemicals. Setting up a plant in the remote corner and rough terrain of Gujarat required a good deal of passion – and probably a lot of courage – on the part of Kapilram Vakil. John Brunner and Ludwig Mond were driven by passion when they invested their families’ savings to start their soda ash plant in Winnington. The adventurers who discovered trona and mined at Green River and those that built a road into the Rift Valley to extract the resources of Lake Magadi wouldn’t have succeeded if they weren’t driven by passion.

So, when we reviewed our vision, mission and values and introduced passion as a value, I didn’t see it as something new. It has always been part of our DNA and one of the reasons we’ve been able to succeed, often when fighting against the odds. We’ve had to do so on several occasions when we’ve been under threat either from market forces or from the natural elements. It’s the passion of our people that’s seen us through and given us the determination to go beyond what was expected.

Some said we couldn’t be a leading player in the Consumer Products market. It required a bit of madness and an ability to see beyond the reality to achieve our leadership position in the branded salt market and then use our trusted place in India’s kitchens to build a portfolio of other consumer products.

There’s always someone who’ll tell us it can’t be done. Our strength has been in our willingness to pursue our vision with passion. It’s passion which fuels the relentless pursuit of goals that leads to pioneering and path-breaking work.

Lucy Kaburia

Each one of us symbolises passion

Lucy Kaburia, Head of International Sales and Market Development, TCM

With soaring temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celcius, all first time visitors to Magadi always ask us, “How do you survive in this heat?” We Magadians relentlessly brave this harsh environment every day to harness our potential and achieve the company’s objectives. This level of commitment against all odds, I believe, can only be stirred by an inner force. Our commitment is testament to our passion.

In a competitive world a passionate employee will always have a lasting impression on his or her customers’ experience and this is guaranteed to lead to repeat business. Passion is intrinsic and exists in each one of us. We as members of the Tata Chemicals family should help one another discover the tasks that we love. Then we will view our jobs as our unique calling. This will elevate the Tata brand.

Karl Cleary

Scaling new heights with passion

Karl Cleary, Director - Surface Operationsr, TCNA

Karl thinks of every new commissioning project like he does a mountain peak. He is a passionate rock and ice climber. “I approach each new commissioning project like I do a new peak. On the way to the top, there will be difficulties and challenges, but I try to never lose perspective and sight of the goal.”

Since that Karl has climbed many an uphill course, both at work and at play. He is currently testing himself in Green River, Wyoming, both at work and in the countryside.

Martin Breeze

Never switch off

Martin Breeze, Supply Chain, TCE

For Martin, TCE’s major soda ash industrial customers are not only business colleagues. Some have become his close friends over the 15 years he has known them. Most of them have his mobile number and can often call him even on the weekends, if they have an issue. “We talk so regularly and have been doing for so long that I know all about their business, the way their organisations work, their requirements and operational strategy. I know some of their families and the names of their kids,” he explains.

Alka Talwar

It is seeing the bigger picture

Alka Talwar, Chief CSR & Sustainability Officer

Alka’s recent trip to Antarctica and the Peruvian Amazon helped her see why she and her colleagues at Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development (TCSRD) do what they do. If the Amazon with its 390 billion individual tree variants is the earth’s lungs, the state of Antarctica’s delicate ecology is an indicator of the blue planet’s health.

“It helped me see the big picture. We, the inhabitants of this planet, are all connected. Every action, or inaction, on our part has an impact on the earth’s ecology. It made me realise how important the work we do is to our future on this planet we call home. It filled me with passion for my job,” says the honorary secretary of TCSRD.


Navin Goyal

Passion is making yourself an asset

Navin Goyal, Assistant General Manager, TCL

Navin says that the Tata Chem Finance team is increasingly seen more as a strategic partner rather than a writer of history. This is because of a passionate desire to contribute to the success of businesses. “We’ve created a change of philosophy. In the past our colleagues in the businesses saw us as a hurdle to be overcome. Now we are allies, completing routine tasks more quickly and focused on finding solutions,” says Navin.

Raj Gilra

Exploring the unknown

Raj Gilra, Product Manager, Spices Portfolio, Consumer Products Division

Raj has the spirit of a pioneer and is always on the lookout for opportunities to explore uncharted territory. “I am passionate about my work, backpacking and cooking. All three of these activities let me challenge the norms and go out and do something, or see something, or make something that I have never done before.” Tata Chemicals’ spices portfolio has product variants the market had never seen before, packaging that set it apart, and new price points; which could be why the business has generated market interest in a short space of time, Raj explains.

Manoj Nair

It is about thinking outside the box

Manoj Nair, Senior HR Manager, Mithapur

Manoj brings the energy from his previous positions in the services and telecoms industries to the industrial chemicals manufacturing business. He is piloting a number of initiatives that are designed to celebrate achievement and recognise the passion that people exhibit while doing routine tasks. A new year’s celebration, monthly birthday bash, graduation ceremonies for graduate engineering trainees (GETs) are some of the visible events. A new approach to individual development plans will encourage employees to apply their passion towards achieving their objectives, says Manoj.

Pradnya Aher

Doing things in a better way

Pradnya Aher, Research Associate, Innovation Centre

The Centre is working to create new, efficient and cost-effective materials that benefit farmers as well as the environment. Pradnya and her colleagues work with new technologies for agricultural applications. “Our cross discipline team of scientists has the tools and are encouraged to think outside the box. This is how the organisation has been able to channel our collective passion.” This passion has led her to research other innovative plant essentials for applications in agriculture. “I am passionate about doing things better, more efficiently,” she says. Pradnya has now moved to IP (Patent) department.

Satish Trivedi

Persevering against the odds

Satish Trivedi, Assistant Manager - Community Development

It is Satish’s undying passion for the environment that has kept him going through the years. “I want Tata Chemicals to be a global leader in promoting biodiversity in the corporate world,” he says. Today, the Okhamandal region, Tata Chemicals’ home, is also home to 30 different species of rare marine life, some of whom are endangered or very rare; 12 species of birds, and some very unique flora. Satish’s passion for nature and preserving the local ecology has spawned initiatives as diverse as the Biodiversity Park at Mithapur, restoring the coral reef to strengthen the marine ecosystem, conserving waterfowl, monitoring marine turtle breeding patterns. The one that Satish thinks will have a long-term impact is the Prakruti Eco Clubs Programme, which takes young children from schools around Okhamandal and involves them in the conservation effort.