Political and business leaders paid heartfelt tributes to ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar, who passed away on Saturday morning after a brief illness. He is credited with having transformed the cigarette major into a diversified player with interests in FMCG, hospitality, IT and other sectors. passed away on Saturday morning after a brief illness.
Well-respected by his peers in the industry, YCD, as he was popularly known in corporate circles, was also a past president of CII, besides being on the National Executive Committees of some of India's premier trade and industry bodies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted he was 'saddened' by Deveshwar's demise.
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.
" Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 11, 2019
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted: "Saddened by the death of Yogi C Deveshwar, Chairman ITC. Yogi excelled as a corporate professional and an entrepreneur and took his company to great heights. May God render peace to the departed soul & give to his family strength to bear this loss."
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharam tweeted:
A stalwart of the Indian industry, Shri. Y C Deveshwar is no more. #ITC achieved remarkable milestones in building Indian brands under his leadership. Condolences to his family and the entire ITC fraternity.
" Chowkidar Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) May 11, 2019
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described him as a "giant in the corporate world". "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," Banerjee said in a tweet.
Former president of India Pranab Mukherjee tweeted:
Deeply saddened at the passing away of Padma Bhushan Shri YC Deveshwar. India's longest-serving CEO at the time of his death, he spearheaded the FMCG revolution through his unwavering commitment & stewardship. An acquaintance for long, my prayers are with his friends and family.
" Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) May 11, 2019
In a statement, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) expressed its condolences at the demise of Deveshwar, terming it a great loss for Indian industry. Deveshwar was the president of CII in 2005-06.
"A titan and guiding luminary of Indian industry, Mr Deveshwar's commitment and passion for sustainable business was an inspiration for all. Mr Deveshwar's devotion to inclusive growth in India was laudable and he led by example," CII President Vikram Kirloskar said.
As ITC Chairman, Deveshwar transformed the cigarette major into a diversified player with interests in FMCG, hospitality, IT and other sectors.
"For me personally, Mr Deveshwar, Yogi to all, was a warm and generous leader who always found time to engage with all. We will deeply miss his erudite guidance and sage advice. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time, Kirloskar said.
In a tweet, Assocham President B K Goenka said he was a "tall leader of India Inc who immensely contributed to the industry and society".
Deveshwar (72), who stepped down from executive role as chairman and CEO in 2017 but remained as a non-executive chairman, breathed his last at a private hospital in Gurugram.
He joined ITC in 1968 and was appointed as a director on ITC's board on 11 April, 1984. He rose to become its chief executive and chairman on 1 January, 1996.
--With PTI inputs