India Inc mourns KK Birla's demise

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New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) Indian industry today mourned the demise of industrialist Krishna Kumar Birla, saying his death has left a vacuum that would be difficult to filled.

''With the death of Dr Birla, a vacuum has been created, which would be difficult to be filled in,'' Assocham President Sajjan Jindal said.

Ficci President Rajeev Chandrasekhar described him as one of the greatest Indian entrepreneurs, who left an indelible mark on the Indian society and industry by upholding moral and spiritual values in creating landmark business enterprises.

''He was an outstanding visionary, a great parliamentarian, a business leader par excellence and the builder of modern educational and scientific institutions,'' Mr Chandrasekhar said.

''India has lost an eminent industrialist, statesman and educationist. With his sad demise the nation has lost a visionary industry leader,'' PHD Chamber Secretary General Krishan Kalra said.

Birla's empire spans some 40 firms in fertilisers, chemicals, heavy engineering, textiles and shipping.

He was for long considered the force behind the Indian sugar industry, which he joined as a 22-year-old.

The companies include Zuari Industries, Chambal Fertlizers, Paradeep Phosphates, Sutlej Industries, Birla Textile Mills, Oudh Sugar Mills, Texmaco, Simon India, India Steamship, ISG Novasoft, and Hindustan Times Media.

At the helm of Indian industry, he headed several institutions like the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC).

''A leading industrialist and an eminent member of society-Dr K K Birla's demise is a great loss to India and the Indian Industry,'' said CII President K V Kamath.

A former member of the Rajya Sabha for 18 consecutive years, Birla was also the chair of the Hindustan Times group, which is one of the largest circulated national dailies.

Along with another legendary second-generation industrialist, late JRD Tata.

They had co-authored what is called the ''Bombay Plan'' that outlined the role of businesses and the government in building a nation.

The document spoke about the role of industries, entrepreneurs and policy makers in modernising and developing what was then a backward India and highlighted the importance of corporate social responsibility.

Dr Birla had also served as the Chairman/Chancellor of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science since 1983.

He served the Central Board of State Bank of India and on the Board of ICICI for many years. He was a member of a number of committees appointed by the Indian government.

UNI SR MIR HT1815

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