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ITC chairman YC Deveshwar passes away

ET Online|
Updated: May 11, 2019, 01.09 PM IST
Under his leadership the ITC group became a diversified group having ventured into the FMCG space.


  • The cause of his death is not known. He was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.
  • Deveshwar joined ITC in 1968 and became the executive chairman of the company in 1996.
YC Deveshwar, chairman of the ITC group, passed away this morning. He was 72.

The cause of his death is not known. He was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago.

Deveshwar joined ITC in 1968 and became the executive chairman of the company in 1996. Under his leadership, ITC was successful in warding a takeover threat from its largest shareholder BAT and it made a successful diversification in the FMCG category.

Deveshwar moved to the role of non executive chairman in 2017. Sanjiv Puri is the current CEO and MD of the company

ITC Ltd MD Sanjiv Puri said Deveshwar had passionately championed the cause for sustainable and inclusive growth and the transformative role businesses could play in creating larger societal value. This vision drove ITC to pursue business models that today supports over 6 million livelihoods, many amongst the weakest in society.

"Inspired by a patriotic fervour, manifest in his clarion call of ‘Lets Put India First’, he led ITC's strategic thrust to create an exemplary Indian enterprise dedicated to serving national priorities," said Puri.

Deveshwar, who spearheaded ITC as its chairman for over two decades, was conferred Padma Bhushan by the government. He was also ranked the seventh best performing CEO in the world by the
Harvard Business Review.

"His leadership transformed ITC into a valuable and admired multi business conglomerate with a robust portfolio of front-ranking businesses in FMCG, hotels, paperboards and paper, packaging and agri-business. His Vision to make societal value creation a bedrock of corporate strategy also led ITC to become a global exemplar in sustainability and the only company in the world to be carbon positive, water positive and solid waste positive for over a decade," said Puri.

Puri said Deveshwar's "superordinate vision to build an exemplary Indian enterprise, to serve national priorities, create the businesses of tomorrow, impeccable values and personal integrity, the width and depth of his strategic thinking and his compassionate conduct of business" will continue to inspire ITC going ahead.

Ten things you need to know about YC Deveshwar:

*Deveshwar is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Harvard Business School.

*Under his leadership the ITC Group grew into a diversified conglomerate having interests ranging from tobacco to hotels. The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, ITC Infotech India Limited, is also a player of promise in the Information Technology sector.

*He was nominated as a director on the board of ITC in 1984 and became the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board on January 1, 1996.

*He served as the chairman and managing director of the Air India between 1991 and 1994.

*Deveshwar has served as a director on the central board of directors of the RBI. He was nominated to the central board in September, 2012.

*Under Deveshwar, the FMCG giant unveiled the e-choupal project which aimed at changing India's rural economy.

*The pioneering farmer empowerment initiative, ITC e-Choupal, is today the world's largest rural digital infrastructure and is a case study at the Harvard Business School, besides receiving several global awards.

*Deveshwar received many accolades as a widely respected business figure among which was the Global Leadership Award by the US-India Business Council of the US Chamber of Commerce.

*Deveshwar also served as the president of the industry body CII. He also served on the national executive committees of some of India's premier trade and industry bodies.

*He was conferred the CII President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in April 2018.

(With inputs from Bureau)

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