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Gurcharan Das is an author and former CEO of Procter & Gamble India. He is the author of a much acclaimed trilogy based on the classical Indian ideal of life's goals. India Unbound was the first, on artha, 'material well-being' — the Guardian called it 'a quiet earthquake' – is available in 19 languages and filmed by the BBC. The second, The Difficulty of Being Good, on dharma or 'moral well-being', is a contemporary meditation on the epic, Mahabharata, and 'one of the best things I've read about the contribution of great literature to ethical thought,' according to the philosopher, Martha Nussbaum. Kama: The Riddle of Desire is on the third goal and 'not just about sex or desire, and not even pleasure more broadly conceived, but love in its deepest and richest sense', says the Indologist, Wendy Doniger.

Gurcharan Das studied philosophy at Harvard University and later attended Harvard Business School (AMP) where he is featured in three case studies. After heading Procter & Gamble India and South East Asia, he became Managing Director, Procter & Gamble Worldwide (Strategic Planning). At 50, he took early retirement to become a full-time writer. He writes a regular column for the Times of India and five Indian language papers, and contributes to Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and the New York Times. He is a speaker to some of the world's largest corporations.

He has recently published a memoir, Another Sort of Freedom, which describes his lifelong struggle to find meaning and purpose in life, and a longish essay, The Dilemma of the Indian Liberal. His other books include India Grows at Night: A liberal case for a strong state, which was on the FT's best books for 2013. He is also the author of a novel, A Fine Family, a book of essays, The Elephant Paradigm, and an anthology, Three Plays, consisting of Larins Sahib, a prize-winning play about the British in India, which has been presented at the Edinburgh Festival; Mira, which was produced off-Broadway to critical acclaim from New York critics; and 9 Jakhoo Hill which has been performed in major Indian cities. He is presently editing for Penguin The Story of Indian Business in 15 volumes and lives in Delhi with his wife.

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Happy Milestones: A Photo Album

Troublemaker, Age 2

In Lyollpur, 1945

Scholarships to Harvard, Princeton and Yale, age 16

The Washington Post, 1959

At Harvard

Student of philosophy, age 18

A prize for Larins Sahib, age 25

The Times of India, 1968

Mira premiers Off-Broadway

New York, 1970

Wedding photo

Delhi 1970

CEO of Procter & Gamble India

Mumbai 1980, age 37

A Fine Family

With Bunu and the boys, Kim Kanishka and Puru Pulakesin

Another Fine Family

A novel about three generations a Punjabi family, 1991

Full-time writer at his desk

Jor Bagh, New Delhi, 1995

Regular columnist, The Times of India, 1997 - 2022

Laxman’s caricature which initially accompanied the column


Published 2000. Looking sceptical in a BBC interview.

Awarded Harvard University’s Highest Honour

for high attainments in liberal scholarship

The Difficulty of Being Good, 2009

Explaining a moral dilemma

India Grows at Night, 2013

when the government sleeps

Kama: The Riddle of Desire, 2018

on the third aim of life

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