R. Ramakumar is an economist and a Professor with the School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. Trained as an undergraduate and postgraduate in agricultural science, he received his PhD in Quantitative Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. He also serves as an expert member in the Kerala State Planning Board in the State of Kerala in India. Previously, he was the NABARD Chair Professor at TISS as well as the Dean of the School of Development Studies. He has held visiting appointments at the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Zurich, Queen Mary University of London, and Goa University. He is also a member of the Research Programmes Committee, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, and of the editorial board of the journal Review of Agrarian Studies.
His work has largely been on Indian economy, agrarian studies, and agricultural economics, with special focus on rural banking and agricultural research. His most recent book is Distress in the Fields: Indian Agriculture after Liberalisation, published by Tulika Books, New Delhi in 2022.