He grew up in Pune, India. He did his schooling from Bishop's School, Pune and studied at Sydenham College in Bombay (now known as Mumbai) before receiving his designation as a chartered accountant in London.
He held a variety of accounting and commercial positions with Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) and Unilever, HLL's parent company, in India and London, starting in 1973. He became executive director and head of detergents for HLL in 1991, vice-chairman and managing director of HLL in 1995, and chairman of HLL in August 1996. He became Director, Home and Personal Care of Uniliver in January 2001. He retired from Unilever in May 2005