13 December 2021 14:05:50 IST

Notable deaths in the business world 2021

Remembering TT Rangaswamy, M Narasimham, Jagdish Khattar, MG George Muthoot and others who died this year.

MG George Muthoot, Chairman of Muthoot Group of Companies, died on March 5. He was 71. He became the MD of the Muthoot Group in 1979 and its Chairman in 1993. The Forbes India’s Richest List named him as the 50 th richest man in India in 2011, and in 2019, his ranking climbed to 44 th richest in India.

Former SEBI Chairman GV Ramakrishna , who held some of the most high-profile jobs in the Indian government, passed away on March 20. The 91-year-old started his career as a biochemist with the Rockefeller Foundation doing research in Haematology in the Bowring Hospital in his hometown Bangalore, opted for the civil service and joined the IAS in 1952 from Andhra Pradesh cadre.

Former Reserve Bank of India Governor M Narasimham passed away on April 20. He was 94. The recommendations of the two committees he headed – Committee on the Financial System, 1991 and the Committee of Banking Sector Reforms, 1998 – formed the bedrock of reforms in the Indian financial and banking sectors. When the Emergency ended in 1977 and the new Janata Government was installed, it appointed Narasimham as Governor from May 2, 1977, to November 30, 1977.

Former Managing Director of Maruti Suzuki India (then Maruti Udyog Ltd), and veteran of the Indian automobile industry, Jagdish Khattar passed away on April 26 due to cardiac arrest. He served Maruti Udyog from 1993 to 2007. He had joined the company as Director (marketing) in July 1993 and went on to become Managing Director in 1999 — first as government nominee, and then in May 2002 as Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) nominee.

Debapratim Purkayastha succumbed to Covid on May 7. From IIMs in India to the best B-schools in the world, he trained many teachers and carved a special niche for himself as a thought leader in the world of case research and business management education. Deb accomplished quite a bit in such a short span of time. He’s a brand owned not just by ICFAI, but by many in the fraternity of case research; many more in the classrooms of the world.

Siddharth Shriram lost the battle to Covid-19 on May 17. He was from one of the mightiest business families of Delhi — his grandfather Sir Shriram was the founder of the DCM group — which eventually splintered and lost its pre-eminence. Shriram also led the Usha Internartional group in forming two joint ventures with Japan’s Honda Motor Co for passenger cars and power products. But in 2012, Usha International exited from the Honda Siel Cars India joint venture.

Mohan Kumar , head of Michelin India, lost the battle to Covid on May 22. The 53-year-old. He had joined Michelin after stints elsewhere as head of the passenger car tyre sales and rose to head the company he was devoted to. A mechanical engineering graduate of NIT (then REC), Tiruchi, he had a two-year stint with then Telco and joined IIMB for his MBA.

Renowned economist P Mohanan Pillai, who has had a long association with the Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, as Member of Faculty, passed away on June 29. He was 71. Pillai was also a member of the Ninth Pay Revision Commission of the Government of Kerala headed by Justice R Rajendra Babu.

Bala V Balachandran (J L Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting & Information Management (emeritus in service), Northwestern University; and Founder, Chairman, and Dean (emeritus) of Great Lakes Institute of Management passed away at Chicago after a brief illness on September 28. He was 84.

Former Executive Director (Finance) and Company Secretary of Brakes India TT Rangaswamy (97), father of former Managing Director of Sundaram Finance TT Srinivasaraghavan (TTS), passed away on November 25. He was associated with several companies of TVS Group that include Lucas TVS, Brakes India and Turbo Energy for over five decades.