YC Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Group, passed away this morning. He was 72 years old and suffering from cancer for the last few years. Deveshwar joined ITC in 1968 and was elevated as its executive chairman in 1996. Under his leadership, ITC was successful in warding off a takeover threat from its largest shareholder BAT and made a successful diversification in the FMCG category. Deveshwar moved to the role of non executive chairman in 2017.
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. 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