Veteran industrialist Keshub Mahindra, a champion of self-reliance and homegrown business who envisioned independent India as an industrial force, died on Wednesday morning. He was 99.
Mahindra’s death came days after he had re-entered the Forbes list of India’s Richest Billionaires for 2023. With a net worth of $1.2 billion, he was India’s oldest billionaire.
Raymond Chairman and Managing Director Gautam Singhania and former Infosys board member Mohandas Pai paid their last tributes to the industry titan.
Singhania wrote, “Keshubji lived a glorious life guiding the growth of the Mahindra group for nearly five decades. With his endearing personality, he could navigate many challenging situations. My deepest condolences to the family, employees, and well-wishers of Mahindra Group. RIP Keshub Mahindra.”
After completing his graduation from Wharton, Keshub Mahindra joined the Mahindra Group in 1947. He went on to become the chairman of the Mahindra Group in 1963. Mahindra Group’s main business was to make the historic Willys Jeeps at the time. Mahindra retired as the Chairman of the conglomerate in 2012, handing over the reins to his nephew Anand Mahindra.
He has also been appointed to various government committees including the Sachar Committee on Company Law and Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Legislation and the Central Advisory Council of Industries.
He was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur by the French Government in 1987. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry from 2004 to 2010.
Mahindra was also a member of Assocham’s Apex Advisory Council and the President Emeritus of the Employers’ Federation of India. The veteran industrialist has also served on the boards and councils in companies like Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, ICICI, IFC, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), and Indian Hotels.
He was also the founder of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO), Vice-Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation, Chairman Mahindra Ugine Steel, Director of Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing, and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited.