Madhusudan Gopalan, CEO and MD of Procter & Gamble India, is a striking figure in the corporate world. He has ascended from his unassuming starting points to become one of the best business pioneers in the nation, and his process is a motivation to many. His name is inseparable from progress in the Indian corporate world. As the CEO and MD of Procter & Gamble India, he is leading the company to unprecedented growth and expansion. Catering to many brands like Tide, Ariel, Pampers, and Gillette, which have become household names in India, and its products are used by millions of consumers every day, making a turnover of roughly $1.9 billion, or Rs 15,000-crore-plus, stated in a report by Times of India. P&G India has also emerged as a market leader in various categories, such as fabric care, home care, and baby care. The company has been able to achieve this through a combination of product innovation, effective marketing, and strong distribution networks. 

Gopalan’s educational background is nothing short of impressive. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, and then went on to earn a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. During his time at IIM C, Gopalan gained valuable knowledge and expertise in a wide range of areas, including marketing, finance, operations, and strategy. He also had the opportunity to work on real-world projects and case studies, which helped him develop his problem-solving and analytical skills. This educational foundation provided him with a solid understanding of business and management principles, which he has been able to leverage throughout his career. 

Armed with an impressive educational background, he started his career at P&G India in 1999 in the sales function. The 42-year-old has also worked in the Cincinnati headquarters with the P&G-Walmart business team and later as India’s head of market, strategy, and planning. In 2018, Gopalan joined Procter & Gamble as the CEO and MD of its India operations. His appointment was seen as a significant move by the company, which was looking to expand its presence in the Indian market. 

Under his leadership, P&G has seen tremendous growth, with the company launching several new products and expanding its distribution network. Gopalan has over 20 years of experience with P&G and is an IIM Calcutta alumnus. His portfolio spans multiple business units across various regions, including India, the US, and ASEAN countries. 

Sharat Verma, chief marketing officer of P&G India and vice president of Fabric Care, P&G India, told Storyboard18, “I have always seen him navigate even the most difficult situation in a calm and collected manner while keeping the interests of the consumer as well as our people at the centre.” Verma adds, “He is leaving the India organisation stronger, more resilient, and externally focused than before.” 

He understands the importance of keeping good relations in the company by making sure all his employees feel like they’re at home. From commenting on new employees’ professional updates to leaving heartfelt farewell messages on LinkedIn, Gopalan makes sure people come and leave the company on a happy note. 

Gopalan has been pushing his teams to create brands that can be a force for good and a force for growth. In his last role, he led the Indonesia operations of the company, where he was instrumental in boosting sales growth, cash productivity, share turnaround, and strong value creation. Gopalan had brought the same culture to the India operations too. His colleagues, current and former, call him a man with a ‘clear vision’. 

Gopalan’s success as a business leader can be attributed to his ability to think outside the box and focus on delivering value to customers. He is known for his strategic thinking and ability to create a vision and execute with precision. Under Gopalan’s leadership, Procter & Gamble India has expanded its portfolio of products and brands, including the successful launch of premium products like Olay, Head & Shoulders, and Gillette. He has also been instrumental in driving innovation and digital transformation at the company, resulting in increased sales and market share. In the fiscal year 2020- 21, Procter & Gamble India reported a net profit of Rs 1,380 crore, a 24.9% increase compared to the previous year. The company’s strong financial performance can be attributed to Gopalan’s strategic vision and leadership, as well as his ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and consumer trends.  

Gopalan’s focus on sustainability and social responsibility has also been a key factor in the company’s success. Procter & Gamble India has launched several initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including a zero-waste-to-landfill program and a renewable energy initiative that aims to power all of the company’s manufacturing sites with renewable energy by 2030. In 2021, the company was ranked as one of the top 10 most innovative companies in India by Fast Company. P&G India has also received several awards for its sustainability efforts, including the GreenPro. 

He was awarded the CEO of the Year Award in 2021 by the Advertising Club and the Advertising Agencies Association of India, recognising his leadership at Procter & Gamble India. Under Gopalan’s leadership, Procter & Gamble India won several Brand Equity Marketing Awards, including the “Advertiser of the Year” award in 2020. He was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Marketing Leaders by the World Marketing Congress in 2017.In addition to his professional accomplishments, Gopalan is also actively involved in social causes. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is one of the largest NGOs in India that provides mid-day meals to children in government schools. He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in India.  

And as the CEO and MD & Exec. Director of Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care, the total compensation of Mr. Gopalan at Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care is ₨ 59,532,071. Gopalan’s rise from IIM Calcutta to P&G is a testament to the fact that with hard work, dedication, and a clear vision, anything is possible. His educational background, consulting experience, and leadership skills have made him one of the most successful business leaders in the country. His contributions to the Indian corporate world and his commitment to social causes make him a role model for aspiring business leaders. A story that is an inspiration to many, and he continues to be a role model for aspiring business leaders in the country.

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