New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the death of ITC executive chairman and CEO YC Deveshwar, who passed away in the morning after suffering a prolonged illness.
Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said, “Shri YC Deveshwar made a strong contribution to Indian industry. His efforts helped ITC become a professionally-run Indian company with a global footprint. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts are with his family, friends and the ITC group in this hour of grief.”
The news of Deveshwar’s demise came to light after Sanjiv Puri, MD, ITC issued a statement. He said, “His ( YC Deveshwar) 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 us in the journey ahead. In his hour of immense sadness, our hearts go out to his family, wife Mrs. Bhartu Deveshwar, children Gaurav and Garima and to their families to whom we offer our sincerest condolences.”
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.
In 2011, Deveshwar received the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award.
Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also condoled the death of Deveshwar. He said, “Deeply shocked by the news of passing away of @ITCCorpCom Chairman Shri YC Deveshwar. Madhya Pradesh has lost a true friend & a brand ambassador. This is a personal loss for me. He had a key role in MP’s development & industrialization. My condolences to his family & ITC Pariwar.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Twitter wrote, “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.”
Deveshwar became the executive chairman of the company in 1996 and grew revenues from Rs 5,200 crore to more than Rs 51,500 crore. He 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, he 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.