‘He was destined for greatness’: India Inc grieves Cyrus Mistry’s death
Understated, warm congenial, low-profile, man of substance, and gentle – this is how most who have ever interacted with Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, 54, former chairman Tata Sons and scion of Shapoorji Pallonji Group, describe the man whose life was cut cruelly short in a car crash on Sunday. His untimely death has left the leaders of Corporate India in stunned disbelief.
“Hard to digest this news. I got to know Cyrus well during his all-too-brief tenure as head of the House of Tata. I was convinced he was destined for greatness. If life had other plans for him, so be it, but life itself should not have been snatched away from him,” Anand G Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, said on Twitter.
Gautam Adani, chairman, Adani Group described Mistry as “one of the finest gentlemen” with “one of the best business minds of his generation”.
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“It is a tragic loss. He was called away too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family,” he wrote on Twitter.
“So sad to hear of the shocking news of the passing away of Cyrus Mistry in an accident. He was a friend, a gentleman, a man of substance. He was instrumental in creating the global construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji and ably led Tata Group,” Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Group, tweeted.
The low-profile scion of Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group) was handpicked by Ratan N Tata to run Tata Group in 2012. He was the youngest and second from outside the Tata family to be appointed to the corner office of the salt-to-software conglomerate.
ALSO READ: Cyrus Mistry: SP Group to Tata Group, and beyond – A look at his journey
Following a boardroom coup, he was unceremoniously removed from the top post on October 24, 2016. With Mistry at the helm, what followed was a bitter and protracted battle between SP Group and Tata Group.
On March 26, 2021, the Supreme Court pronounced the verdict, ruling in favour of Tata Group, bringing the curtains down on one of Corporate India’s most fractious boardroom brawls.
Earlier this year, Mistry made an appeal to the apex court to remove adverse personal remarks in the year-old order. His appeal was accepted on May 19.
The court allowed the prayers made by him to delete the observations, including the one where the earlier ruling mentioned that, “Cyrus Pallonji Mistry himself, invited trouble, by declaring an all-out war, which led to his removal from the directorship” and “he set his own house on fire”.
ALSO READ: Union ministers, industry leaders condole death of Cyrus Mistry
In his condolence message, N Chandrasekaran, chairman, Tata Sons, said, “I am deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely demise of Mr Cyrus Mistry. He had a passion for life and it is really tragic that he passed away at such a young age. My deepest condolences and prayers for his family in these difficult times.”
Sajjan Jindal, chairman and managing director, JSW Group, in his tweet on Mistry described him as “a very nice and gentle person. Indian industry will certainly miss him”.
Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Group, said, “Mistry was a prominent person and it is very sad to hear about his demise. It is a loss for India.”
“My dear friend, ex-boss, and chairman of Tata Sons! Thank you for the life lessons. Inconsolable. We shared a laugh last month on a park bench in London,” wrote Nirmalya Kumar, professor of marketing of the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University. Kumar was part of Mistry’s core team during the latter’s tenure as Tata Group chairman and stood by him in his fight against the Tatas.
Most in Tata Group who worked closely with Mistry describe him as a leader who empowered the chief executive officers to take independent decisions, even as he was closely involved in scripting a turnaround of the underperforming companies.
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