Harsh Vardhan Goenka is an Indian industrialist and businessman and the chairman of RPG Enterprises (popularly known as RPG Group) since 1988. Harsh Goenka is the eldest son of R. P. Goenka, the founder and chairman Emeritus of the RPG Group. He is one of India’s prominent industrialists with an experience of more than 35 years.
Harsh Goenka was born on Tuesday, 10 December 1957 (age 66 years; as of 2023) in Kolkata, India. His zodiac sign is Sagittarius. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Economics at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. He pursued an MBA at the International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland. Since his graduation at IMD, he has been on the Board of IMD, Lausanne. Growing up in Calcutta (now Kolkata), Goenka was deeply influenced by Marxism. Harsh wanted to become a Journalist or ‘red’ economist, but his family wanted him to join the family business. According to Harsh, they “brainwashed him” into choosing a capitalist path, removing his leftist approach and making him lead the family business as its fifth generation.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Harsh Goenka belongs to the Marwadi community of money-lenders, and tradesmen in Rajasthan.
Parents & Siblings
Harsh Goenka’s, father, Rama Prasad Goenka, was an Indian businessman, and his mother, Sushila Goenka, was a businesswoman. Rama Prasad Goenka was the founder and chairman Emeritus of the RPG Group, and Sushila was a director of Saregama India Ltd. Harsh has a younger brother, Sanjiv Goenka, who is an Indian industrialist and the chairman of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. Harsh’s father passed away on 14 April 2013 and his mother passed away in July 2018. The Telegraph
Wife & Children
Harsh Goenka is married to Mala Goenka. They have 2 children, a son, Anant Goenka, and a daughter, Vasundhara. His daughter Vasundhara is married to Apoorva Patni of the Patni Group.
Harsh Goenka follows Hinduism. Talking about his religious views in an interview, he said,
Am I ritualistic? No. Do I believe in God? Once in a while. Ultimately, you know what’s right and wrong. I wish the world had one religion which taught one how to live. But that would be an ideal world.”
14/15-a , Il Palazzo, B.g. Kher Marg, Malabar Hill, Mumbai, 400 006
After completing his formal education, Harsh returned to Bombay from Switzerland and was appointed as the managing director of the CEAT in 1983 at the age of 24. He played a major role in many joint ventures and partnerships of the RPG group, the family-owned business of the Goenka clan, with the Fortune 500 companies in India, including Vodafone, Fujitsu, Phelps Dodge, Yokohama, and Rolls-Royce. In 1990, Harsh succeeded his father, Dr. R. P. Goenka, as the chairman of the RPG Group.
In 2010, R. P. Goenka divided the RPG group among his sons, Harsh Vardhan Goenka, and Sanjiv Goenka. At the time, the RPG group had a market capital of Rs 9,150 crore and sales of Rs 13,313 crore. After the division, Harsh got the company’s power supply business KEC International, the software firm Zensar Technologies, the drug manufacturing unit RPG Life Science, and the tyre production firm CEAT. Spencer International Hotels Ltd was the only company that remained under the joint ownership of Sanjiv and Harsh Goenka.
Goenka’s RPG ventures back startups, such as seniority.in, an e-commerce site for senior citizens. He is the former president of the Indian Merchants’ Chamber, an Indian organisation representing interests of Indian trade, commerce, and industry, and a member of the executive committee of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, a non-governmental trade association and advocacy group based in India. He is a former Member of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE). He is the director of Bajaj Electricals Ltd and a Trustee of Breach Candy Hospital Trust.
Harsh Goenka VS Twitter
In March 2023, Harsh Goenka, who remains very active on Twitter, shared a meme on his account, which was a series of distasteful cartoons that made fun of the women battling fluctuating weight. This meme created an uproar among the Twitterati, claiming Harsh Goenka to be a misogynist and a fatphobic. The cartoon depicted a saree-clad woman in 1995 ready to grind spices in a stone mortar. The second featured a dress-wearing woman looking at a mixer grinder. The main difference was that of the sizes and weights. Many of his followers retweeted it with captions pointing him out for his fat shaming. As a result, Goenka deleted the tweet. Moneycontrol
Harsh Goenka tried to calm the situation by posting another meme, depicting the same situation, but this time using men in the meme. However, this was also not taken well by the Twitter users.
Balancing act pic.twitter.com/2ms3KO7bx1
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) March 5, 2023
Awards & Honours
- In 2023, Harsh Goenka received an award for his Corporate Leadership and Contribution to Society at NBT Utsav 2023.
- In November 2020, under his leadership, the RPG group was awarded the Most Innovative Company by The Economic Times.
- Food: Bhoger Khichuri
- Dessert(s): Malaipuri, Jalbhara Sandesh, Alfogato
- Artist: Raqib Shaw
- Painting: Akbar Padamsee “Metascape”
- Restaurant: Izumi in Bandra, Mumbai
- In an interview, talking about his early days, before he became the chairman of RPG Enterprises when he had left-leaning ideologies, Harsh said,
- Harsh Goenka is a contemporary art enthusiast and has hosted multiple art exhibitions in Bombay. He has a huge collection of artworks at CEAT Mahal, RPG’s headquarters in Mumbai, which is nothing less than an art gallery. He owns the works of many famous artists like M F. Hussain, Laxman Shrestha, Atul Dodiya, and Bikash Bhattacharjee. Business Standard
He is also the member of the National Art Advisory Committee for the National Gallery of Modern Art and a member of the Council of the National Culture Fund, Ministry of Culture.
- According to Forbes 2022, Harsh Goenka was the 95th richest man in India, and as per the 2023 list of Forbes Richest Billionaires, he was listed at the 1434th position. Forbes
- According to the company’s website, the RPG group has a turnover of $4 billion and has its base setups in many countries across the globe. RPG
- Goenka is a cricket lover and promotes the CEAT Cricket Ratings for International and Domestic Cricket, which is a rating system that rewards outstanding cricketers around the world.
- Harsh Goenka serves many social causes including primary education, women empowerment, health, and city beautification.
- Harsh Goenka’s hobbies include travelling, collecting art, trying new food, and watching cricket. Harsh also critiques food from different restaurants on Instagram and has more than 14 thousand followers on Instagram. His Instagram bio says,
- Harsh Goenka believes that the working environment makes productivity better and has not implemented any strict rules for the employees to follow as the employees can work from anywhere, there is a no cabin policy, and even the CEO has no cabin at one of the companies owned by him, and there is no mandatory attendance system.