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Obituary

HUL’s Sudhir Sitapati pens heartfelt memoir for Govind Rajan

Rajan who passed away on 18 Jan 2021 was the COO at Cuemath and had previously worked at places like Unilever, Freecharge, and Airtel in a career spanning over 20 years.

Govind Rajan, the COO of edtech startup Cuemath passed away on the night of January 18, 2021. In a career spanning over 20 years, he had held positions such as the CEO of Freecharge, CEO of Airtel Payments Bank and CMO of Airtel, and Vice President at Unilever.

Sudhir Sitapati
Sudhir Sitapati

Sudhir Sitapati, executive director and vice president, Foods & Refreshment, HUL penned a heartfelt memoir for his late friend on LinkedIn.

Is Work Worth it – Remembering Govind

My friend Govind died 2 weeks ago. He was 2 days short of his 47th birthday.

I haven’t seen someone who worked harder, more selflessly and with more integrity.

The night he died, I was awake thinking of whether he had led the right life. The HUL shareholders for whom he worked so hard don’t know he ever existed and even within the company he left 8 years ago, he was a fading memory among the younger generation. Why not flit through working life like a butterfly rather than work like an ant.

The tremendous outpouring of affection for Govind in the subsequent days have shown me how wrong I was. Not that eulogies after a person goes matter.

But that Govind’s goodness had made such an impact on so many people, that they had each imbued a bit of Govind. And if they pass on that bit of Govind to others and then ad infinitum, Govind would have achieved a measure of immortality.

In a world where ‘the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity’ it is a blessing that those like Govind ‘do not go gentle into the good night’, but ‘rage', rage against the dying of the light’.

47 years of a manic life that creates meaning for others is far nobler than 100 years of gentle self-centred existence.

(The post has been reproduced with permission from the author.)