Bengaluru: "Innovative and quick thinking, leading from the front, highly knowledgeable with a remarkable memory, excellent communication skills, a cool and calm demeanour and dynamism are the hallmarks of Gowtama MV, CMD, BEL," says a statement released by Bharat Electronics Limited and it isn't an exaggerated one. Gowtama is known in the defence manufacturers' circle for his exceptional memory and professional ethics. MV Gowtama, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), retired on Wednesday, June 30, on superannuation after an illustrious career in BEL spanning over 38 years.
Early life in BEL
Gowtama joined BEL at Ghaziabad Unit in January 1983 as a Probationary Engineer after completing his B.Tech in Electronics and Communications from Sri Venkateswara University College of Engineering, Tirupati, in 1983. He was transferred to Hyderabad Unit in May 1986. He was one of the founding members of BEL’s Hyderabad Unit, which was established in 1986 to cater to the highly specialized Electronic Warfare business segment. He was instrumental in the design, development, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the first major EW System manufactured in the country.
Despite being extremely busy at work, the outgoing CMD obtained M.Tech in Advanced Electronics from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad, in 2002.
Gowtama took charge as General Manager (Technology Planning) at BEL’s Corporate Office on February 1, 2010. Under his leadership, a Knowledge Management Portal was created. He was instrumental in bringing out a comprehensive R&D Manual and the R&D Vision Document. He initiated the drive for Collaborative R&D. He later served as General Manager (Military Communications)/BEL-Bengaluru Unit, where he spearheaded the development and production of Software Defined Radio (SDR) for the defence forces.
Gowtama as CMD BEL
He was Executive Director (Missile Systems) at BEL’s Bengaluru Unit before he took charge as the Chairman and Managing Director on November 08, 2016. During his tenure, BEL grew at a CAGR of 12%. Under his leadership, BEL achieved the landmark turnover of Rs.13,818 Crores during FY 2020-21 despite the challenges posed by the COVID19 Pandemic & intense competition. Under his dynamic leadership, BEL’s order book has grown at a healthy pace. BEL's Order Book is over Rs.53,000 Crs.
The 30,000 ICU ventilators supplied to the Govt of India to combat the pandemic in a record time is a feather in his cap.
He was instrumental in pursuing business in the non-defence segment – Homeland Security solutions, Smart City, Energy Storage Products including e-Vehicle Charging Stations, Solar, Space Electronics including Satellite integration, Network & Cyber Security, Railways & Metro Solutions, Airport Solutions, Medical Electronics, Composites and Software Solutions. He set up new Strategic Business Units and micro SBUs to address these new areas.
Gowtama has engineered strategic partnerships with leading global players as well as in the domestic segment for long-term business growth and expansion. He has expanded the global footprint of BEL by opening marketing offices in Vietnam, Myanmar, Oman and Sri Lanka.
Gowtama has given greater thrust to R&D for increasing indigenization and value addition in products/systems. BEL’s total investment in R&D as a percentage of turnover is the highest among defence PSUs.
Gowtama was instrumental in setting up Product Development & Innovation Centre (PD&IC) at Bengaluru. He spearheaded setting up the BEL Academy for Excellence.
Awards and Recognition
With Gowtama MV at the helm, BEL has won a host of prestigious awards including the CII EXIM Bank Business Excellence Award (2018) for Bangalore Complex and the Jury’s Commendation for Role Model Organisation. Gowtama has won many accolades for being a wonderful leader: ‘Business Leader of the Year’ Award; CEO with HR Orientation Award; Engineering Council of India's Commendation Award; Great Son of the Soil Award; Hall of Fame Award by Manufacturing Today; Amity Leadership Award for Business Excellence and Most Enterprising CEO in Electronics Sector.
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