Ravi Rajagopal announced as Catalyst’s new Chair

Ravi Rajagopal has today (9 October) been announced as the new chair of housing association Catalyst.

Ravi brings with him extensive experience from a 35-year career including 19 years with Diageo. He has a rich and varied background of international and UK commercial and philanthropic experience

His core skills in finance, and control and risk have been developed over a career working in senior roles in strategy and management. 

Ravi became chair of Fortis Healthcare in June 2018, India’s second largest listed entity in hospitals and diagnostics with 23,000 employees, including 5,000 doctors.

He is also an independent director and audit chair of both Airtel Africa plc, Africa’s second largest telecoms company (turnover £3 billion) and Vedanta ltd, a diversified mining company.

Ravi is a trustee for a number of charities including the Science Museum foundation in London. He also chairs a project in partnership with the Indian government that builds and runs childcare centres across north India, providing nutrition and healthcare for 60,000 children, with a three-year plan to increase this to 160,000.

A qualified chartered accountant, Ravi has lectured at Oxford University and Imperial College. 

Ravi said: “I always wanted to devote my time post-career to societal and community improvement. The chair at Catalyst is a very appealing opportunity at a commercially minded business that makes a meaningful social impact at scale. The provision of social housing, done well, brings dignity to people and addresses inequality.”

Ian McDermott, Chief Executive of Catalyst, said: “I am excited to be welcoming Ravi to Catalyst as our chair. His skills and experience will be hugely valuable as we focus on delivering our corporate purpose, vision and values to deliver Homes People Love. Ravi brings experience of significantly improving businesses, blended with a strong personal commitment to charities and social improvement.” 

Ravi will join initially as chair designate to allow a handover with current chair Richard Brown before assuming full responsibilities when Richard retires.

Catalyst merged with Aldwyck Housing Group last year and has more than 34,000 homes in London and the South East. The organisation also recently announced early partnership talks with housing association Rosebery.