News from Cass Business School

Obituary - Dr Shiv Sahai Mathur

Wednesday, 18 November, 2009

Friends, colleagues and former students at Cass are mourning the loss of Shiv Mathur, who passed away on 8 November. Having joined City University Business School (now Cass) in 1980, Shiv taught Strategy, Marketing and International Business until he retired in 2003, when he was made an Emeritus Fellow of the University.
Shiv was born in Mussoorie in the Himalayas and spent his early years in India.  Educated at St George’s College, Shiv earned a first class honours Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. After working for three years at Pilkington Fibreglass, Shiv left India for the London Business School, where he earned an MSc in Business Administration. After marrying Shobha, he returned to LBS to complete a PhD, having won a British Overseas Board Fellowship.
The two books he co-authored with his late friend and mentor Alfred Kenyon, capture the essence of his teaching and research. The first, Creating Value: Shaping Tomorrow's Business, published in 1997, won the MCA prize for the best management book and was reprinted in paperback in 1998. A second edition followed, Creating Value through Business Strategy. Alfred died before the book was completed and Shiv was determined to see it published as a lasting memorial to him. Shiv’s key articles appeared in The Journal of Marketing Management and Long Range Planning. A perfectionist when it came to academic work, he put quality above quantity, saying, In the final reckoning they won’t measure my contribution to the subject by how much it weighs.
Shiv is remembered by us for many qualities - his powerful intellect, clarity of thought, careful use of language, and wit. Friends, students and fellow researchers could rely on Shiv to give them well considered, lucid, insightful feedback on anything they had written. His comments were always courteous and constructive. A professor at another business school said he had completed a paper which he intended to send to Shiv for careful scrutiny. He reasoned that once Shiv had been through it, the article would be ready for submission to the rigours of peer review by an academic journal. It is rare to trust another academic with one’s cherished fledging ideas, but Shiv was highly valued for the quality of his insight and the courtesy and integrity of feedback.
Shiv was dedicated to his fellow Faculty members and believed there was no greater calling than to teach.  Shiv considered education to be an end in itself, not a means to an end. He believed feedback to students must always be gentle on the grounds that they had not been in management long enough to grow a skin as thick as that of a rhinoceros. Shiv was an integral part of the MBA in Export Management and International Business academic team, one of the most successful specialist MBAs offered in the 1980s and 1990s. Shiv was also tremendously loyal to the late Professors Hugh Murray and Alfred Kenyon, his two mentors, who also taught on this degree. Later the Faculty of Management was grateful to be able to draw on his considerable expertise in strategy and marketing.
Like many academics Shiv did not suffer fools gladly. His wry sense of humour made it much easier to deal with the dreary consequences of bureaucracy, and he delighted in helping anyone battling against it.
For Shiv, family came first. His children Tarun and Rittu loved the holiday time they spent with him, claiming they often learned more from Shiv during school breaks than they did at school. He was immensely proud of his beloved wife, Shobha, who built a happy home while working full time as an accountant.  His son-in-law describes him as the guru, imparting wisdom and advice to all who sought his counsel.
At his retirement party at Cass, Shiv said: People asked me if I have missed you. I have missed you. I have been looking forward to missing you for some time.
Now it will be our turn to miss him.
Shiv is survived by his wife of 35 years, Shobha, his son and daughter and three grandchildren.
Paul Raimond and Shelagh Heffernan

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