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Cyrus Mistry (54), the former Chairman of Tata Sons, died on September 4th 2022 in a road accident, just two months after the death of his father, Pallonji Mistry, the largest individual shareholder in Tata Sons and Tata Group.
The accident occurred at Palghar, located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Mumbai. Mistry was traveling in a car with Darius Pandole, a former independent director in the Tata Group, his wife Anahita Pandole and her brother Jehangir Pandole. Mistry was not wearing a seatbelt. Neither was Pandole.
Their tragic deaths have shocked the nation into acknowledging that seatbelts can save lives, especially for people traveling on highways at high speeds. Citizens are driving home the message by changing their WhatsApp profile pictures to images from the FastenSeatbelt campaign.
On Twitter, Anand Mahindra, Chairman of The Mahindra Group pledged to always wear a seatbelt, even in the backseat of a car.
Vinay Pande, a TAS officer shared a message with his TAS colleagues.
In his untimely death, Cyrus Mistry will leave a lasting impact. Inadvertently he will save many lives.
A Chapter From Mistry’s Time As Chairman
Mistry, an Indian-born Irish businessman served as the 6th Chairman of the Indian business conglomerate, the Tata group, between 2012 to 2016. He helmed a new generation of leadership that sought to maintain the Tata Group’s strong values and reputation while creating a ‘Brains Trust’ to map the organization’s future.
Mistry also established the role of Brand Custodian which was responsible for formulating forward-looking company policies that were ahead of their time. Today, as corporations are increasingly tasked to focus on Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, there are valuable lessons they can take away from the Tata experiment under Mistry. In a chapter titled ‘A New Chairman’, in the book Tata’s Leadership Experiment: The Story of the Tata Administrative Service, authors and former TAS officers Wakhlu, Rajan and Bhasin writes about Mistry’s vision for new leadership and his five-member Group Executive Council.
In a tribute, Dr. Mukund Rajan (TAS 1995) wrote in the Times of India, “I saw at close quarters his deep commitment to the values that have made the Tata Group strong.”
Cyrus is survived by his wife Rohiqa, the daughter of leading lawyer Iqbal Chagla, and sons Firoz and Zahan.
Ritu Marwah was a Tata Administrative Services (TAS) officer. She has walked the halls of Bombay House Mumbai where Tata Sons is headquartered. She now lives in the Bay Area.