Arun Maira, Chairman, HelpAge International

Arun Maira, Chairman, HelpAge International

Arun Maira is the Chairman of HelpAge International. He is a former member of the Planning Commission of India. And is the Former Chairman of Boston Consulting Group in India.  



“The purpose of your existence cannot be just to serve someone else.” 

The Brand Called You welcomes Mr. Arun Maira on the show today. Mr. Maira is the Chairman of HelpAge International. He is a former member of the Planning Commission of India. And is the Former Chairman of Boston Consulting Group in India. He is also a celebrated author. 

In conversation with Ashutosh Garg, Mr. Maira talks about his career. And the work done by his Non-Profit organization – HelpAge International. He explains how the value of the work done is contributory to the GDP of the country. Mr. Maira shares three very interesting stories about his experiences that have taught him a lot and helped him grow. He speaks passionately about the various things he has learned from his mother. 

They discuss in detail the status of retirement for most Indians. Mr. Maira mentions that retirement and planning are important aspects of one’s life. And it is essential to make decisions that contribute to one’s growth.

Mr. Maira shares insightful learnings and messages for the audience. His years of experience and hard work show through his words of wisdom. His work experience and ethics are commendable and inspiring!


Discussions on policy and the future of India are enriched with Arun Maira’s views, and not just because he was a member of the Planning Commission of India for five years till June 2014. He is one of those rare people who have held leadership positions in both, the private as well as the public sector, bringing a unique perspective on how the two can work together to foster growth for India. He has led three rounds of participative and comprehensive scenario building for the future of India: in 1999 (with the Confederation of Indian Industry), 2005 (with the World Economic Forum), and 2011 (with the Planning Commission).

In his career spanning five decades, Arun has led several organisations, including the Boston Consulting Group in India. In the first part of his career, he spent 25 years in the Tata Group at various important positions from 1965 to 1989. From 1989 to 1999, Arun was in the USA, with Arthur D Little Inc (ADL), the international management consultancy, and its subsidiary, Innovation Associates, where he advised companies across sectors and geographies on their growth strategies and handling transformational change. 

Arun returned to in India in 2000 as the Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group, a position he held for nine years till 2008. The other leadership positions he has held include Chancellor the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Chairman of the Foundation of MSME Clusters, Chairman of Axis Bank Foundation and Save the Children, India, and Chairman, Quality Council of India. He was also board member of the India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, and the UN Global Compact. 

He has served on the Boards of several large Indian companies in the Tata, Birla, Mahindra, Godrej, and Hero groups. He has been involved in several government committees and organisations, including the National Innovation Council. He has been on the boards of several educational institutions and has also chaired several national committees of the Confederation of Indian Industries.

In 2009, Arun was appointed as a member of the Planning Commission, which is led by the Prime Minister of India. In this position, he led the development of strategies for the country on issues relating to industrialisation and urbanisation. He also advised the Commission on its future role. 

With his vast experience and expertise, Arun is respected as a thought leader. He is invited to speak at various forums and has written several books that capture his insights.

His most recent book is The Learning Factory: How the Leaders of Tata Became Nation-Builders. Some others are: Transforming Systems: Why the World needs a new Ethical Toolkit;; Listening for Well-Being: Conversations with People Not Like Us;; An Upstart in Government: Journeys of Change and Learning;; Transforming Capitalism: Improving the World for Everyone;; Remaking India: One Country, One Destiny; and Shaping the Future: Aspirational Leadership in India and Beyond. 

Arun Maira was born in Lahore on 15th August 1943. He has a B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc degree in Physics from St. Stephens College, Delhi University.

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