Ram Charan Speaker

Ram Charan

Ram Charan is a globetrotting business consultant and author whose clients include some of the most powerful CEOs in the world

Ram Charan: Biography highlights

One of the most sought-after business consultants in the world.  He has championed the idea of business acumen as a skill which can be developed and in 1999 he created a business acumen course for the Ford Motor Company. He is well known for his many in-house education programmes which have won several awards.

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Full biography of Ram Charan

Ram Charan’s background

Born in a small city in India near Delhi, Ram Charan was the sixth of seven children. He spent his early years in poverty without access to plumbing or electricity helping out in his family’s shoe shop. At 15 he got the chance to attend the elite Banaras Hindu University as an engineering student, in Varanasi, a 250-mile train ride away. After college Charan was invited to participate in a work exchange programme in Australia. His grandmother pawned her jewellery to buy him a plane ticket and he went to work as a draftsman at a utility company. Encouraged by his bosses, Charan left Australia after four years to attend Harvard Business School where he got an MBA in 1965 and a doctorate 1967. He taught at the Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management, and Boston University but despite being a tenured Professor his flair was always for the practical and he gave up the academic life to consult full time in 1978.

Awards, Accolades, Achievements, Honours

  • 2009 Ranked 13 in the Thinkers50 top management gurus.
  • Won the Bell Ringer (best teacher) award at GE’s famous Crotonville Institute and best teacher at Wharton and Northwestern.
  • BusinessWeek one of the top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.
  • 2010 Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance – The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).
  • 2010 Global Indian of the Year – The Economic Times of India.


Ram Charan has unparalleled access to the most important boardrooms in the world and is friend to some of the most powerful CEOs. From the outset he was fascinated with studying the books at every company he worked for, taking on their complex and difficult problems, which has led him to this life as a globe-trotting consultant. Famously he has always lived out of a suitcase but now owns an apartment. His dedication to work has led to some important long term partnerships – General Electric (GE) nearly 40 yrs and at Du Pont over 30. His great skill is said to be listening, summarising and reducing problems to their essentials. KLM, Verizon, Novartis and Bank of America are among the many other companies on his books.

He has written more than 18 books including the best-seller Execution written with Larry Bossidy. Execution was first published in 2002 and is an analysis of how to get things done” – it was re-written in 2011 for a new era in which growth was slower and competition tougher. Other titles include Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty and What The CEO Wants You To Know.
Charan was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources in 2000 and named a Distinguished Fellow in 2005. He is a director of Austin Industries and Tyco Electronics.

A frequent contributor to Fortune magazine, they describe him as the most influential consultant alive, he also writes for the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Director’s Monthly, and Strategy and Business.

Current/Past Roles and Positions

  • He has been described as ‘the most influential consultant alive’ by Fortune magazine.
  • Ranked 13 on the 2009 Thinkers50 list of top business gurus.
  • His new book ‘Global Tilt’ calls on leaders to recognize the shift in business gravity towards a more global outlook.

Speaking Style

Ram Charan is a highly effective coach and speaker, passing on his vast knowledge and practical experience with both energy and efficiency.



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Watch Ram in action

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Ram Charan creates an interactive discussion at Fortune's Global Forum | Fortune
Ram Charan creates an interactive discussion at Fortune's Global Forum | Fortune

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