Kolkata: ITC group Chairman Y C Deveshwar passed away on Saturday morning at the age of 72 after a long bout of illness.
He is survived by his wife and son.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee posted the news on her official Twitter handle.
“Saddened at the passing away of Y C Deveshwar Ji. He was a giant in the corporate world. I have many memories of him as a distinguished captain of industry. Condolences to his family, his colleagues and his admirers,” she said.
In 2011, Deveshwar received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award.
Deveshwar was one of India’s longest-serving corporate chiefs with over two decades at the helm of ITC. He joined ITC in 1968 and was the architect of its aggressive transformation from a tobacco company to an FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) major.
He became Executive Chairman of the company in 1996 and grew revenues from Rs 5,200 crore to more than Rs 51,500 crore.
Deveshwar also battled British American Tobacco (BAT) to ensure that ITC remains an Indian company.
Born on February 4, 1947, in Lahore, Deveshwar studied at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi before taking a management course at Harvard University.
Between 1991 and 1994, Deveshwar led government-owned Air India as the Chairman and Managing Director. He was also a Director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
In 2017, Deveshwar stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of ITC Ltd and was serving as a Non-Executive Chairman.