Keshub Mahindra, Chairman Emeritus, Mahindra Group passes away at 99


Pioneering industrialist and one of India’s oldest philanthropists, Keshub Mahindra, Chairman Emeritus, Mahindra Group passed away on April 12. The 99-year-old, philanthropist had redefined good corporate governance in India and was an exemplary statesman.

Keshub Mahindra was chairman emeritus of Mumbai-listed conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra which has a revenue of $16.4 billion. He joined his father’s company in 1947, became chairman in 1963, and stepped down in 2012, ceding the spot to his billionaire nephew, Anand Mahindra. During his long tenure, Mahindra transformed the company from an assembler of Willysjeeps in India to a diversified conglomerate. Today, the company is best known for its tractors and SUVs but is also present in sectors such as software services, hospitality, and real estate.

Considered to be an irreplaceable figure in Indian industry, revered for his vision, his business acumen, his leadership by example, and above all, for his uncompromising professional integrity, Mahindra was born on October 9, 1923, in Shimla. He was an alumnus of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and had joined Mahindra & Mahindra in 1947.

Founded in 1945, the Mahindra Group is one of the largest and most admired multinational federations of companies with 260,000 employees in over 100 countries. It enjoys a leadership position in farm equipment, utility vehicles, information technology, and financial services in India and is the world’s largest tractor company by volume. It has a strong presence in renewable energy, agriculture, logistics, hospitality, and real estate.

Under his stewardship, the company was transformed from its beginnings as a steel trading company to a diversified federation of companies. Mahindra contributed significantly to the industry and had been appointed by the Government of India to serve on many committees including the Sachar Commission on Company Law & MRTP and the Central Advisory Council of Industries.

From 2004 to 2010, Mahindra was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry, New Delhi. He was also a member of the Apex Advisory Council of ASSOCHAM and was serving as the President Emeritus of the Employers’ Federation of India. He was an Honorary Fellow of the All India Management Association, New Delhi, and a member of the Council of the United World Colleges (International) in the United Kingdom.

In 1987, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur by the French Government. Speaking about him, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, said, “Mr. Keshub Mahindra was and will always remain a source of inspiration for me and the entire Mahindra Group. He was a man of principles and led from the front to preserve the legacy of our founders which has ensured that the organization has remained rooted in ethics, values, and good corporate governance. He was known for his astute business acumen that helped in transforming Mahindra into a diversified federation of companies. His compassion, and people-centric approach made him a global business icon, who was much loved and respected”.

Mahindra has also served on several Boards and Councils in both the private and public domain, including SAIL, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, IFC, and ICICI. He was also the Founder Chairman of HUDCO (Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited); Vice-Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd; Chairman Mahindra Ugine Steel Co. Ltd; Director of Bombay Dyeing & Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Limited.



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