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Y.C. Deveshwar is the Chairman of the Indian Tobacco Company and the man who transformed it into the giant that it is now. With his biography, read through the profile of Y.C Deveshwar.

Y.C Deveshwar

Born On: 4th February, 1947
Career: Entrepreneur

Yogesh Chandar Deveshwar will always be remembered for the deep insight with which he led a multi-business corporation like ITC. Taking the reins at a time when the company was facing a hard time, with its senior officials under the scrutiny of investigating agencies, he helped ITC expand its business and make its presence felt in the hospitality sector. The company which was only into cigarette making was converted into a multi-diversified organization. He led the company into new forays of growth areas which included agricultural businesses, retail and distribution of branded FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods). He was also instrumental in coming up with strategic ideas which placed ITC among the value creating organizations of India. In a long career extending for over thirty-six years, Y.C. Deveshwar handled general management, strategic management and business leadership. Indian government conferred the Padma Bhushan on Y.C Deveshwar for his outstanding service to the country.

Early Life
Y.C Deveshwar was born on 4th February, 1947. In 1968, he finished his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He also received an AMP Diploma from the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts and did a course on advanced training in Hoteliering and Services from Cornell University in United States.

In 1968, Y. C. Deveshwar joined the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) as a management pupil. In 1972, he was made the MBO advisor to the Corporate Headquarters in Kolkata. In 1974, he took over as the factory manager in ITC's Packaging and Printing Plant in Chennai. In 1984, he was made a Director and since 1996 is serving as the Chief Executive and the Chairman of ITC Foods Limited. Under Y. C. Deveshwar's leadership, the sustainability efforts of ITC took new shape, courtesy innovative business models. In 2004, ITC became the first Indian organisation to submit its sustainability report as per the guidelines of the Global Reporting initiative. Under Deveshwar, ITC won the 'World Business Award' given jointly by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Business Leader's Forum (IBLF). ITC's 'e-Choupaw' which is a digital infrastructure plan to empower the farmers in India is being taught in the Harvard Business School. It won the organisation, the 'Development Gateway Award 'in Beijing in 2005.

Y. C. Deveshwar has been at the helm of ITC's affairs for about fifteen years and is the longest serving Chairman in the history of the organization. In 1991, he was chosen to head Air India as Chairman and Managing Director. He was successful in this assignment and was also a Member of the Board of Indian Airlines, International Airports Authority of India, Airports Authority of India and Air Mauritius Limited.

Y.C Deveshwar has also worked at the helm of affairs of the Confederation of Indian Industry, as its President. He is a member of the Board of Governors in the Indian School of Business and the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management too.

Contributions To Business
During Y.C Deveshwar's term at ITC, the business world witnessed the transformation of ITC from a 5,000 crore company to a 27,000 crore company. The company's profits grew from 260 crores to 4000 crores. The value of ITC grew from 5, 500 crores in 1996 to 1, 14, 000 crores in 2010. The market capitalization of the organization was around 147210 crores on April 2011.

Apart from guiding ITC from a crisis period which hit the company during the nineties, Deveshwar came forward with plans to decrease the company's dependence on tobacco sales. The business was becoming tougher in the wake of restrictive guidelines and anti-smoking campaigns. He continued with the hotel and paper back business, expanded the FMCG business to non-cigarette areas and extended the Wills brand to other products. Deveshwar took the initiative to set up 'The Welcome Group of Hotel Administration' in Manipal. In 1986, he was conferred with the 'Best Hotelier of the Year' award for his outstanding contribution to the industry.

Awards and Accolades
Honorary Fellowship of the All India Management Association
Alumni Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
'Marketing Man of the Year' Award, 1994
'Manager Entrepreneur of the Year' by Ernst and Young, 2001
'Business Person of the Year' Award, 2006
Inducted to the 'Hall of Pride' at the Indian Science Congress, 2006
Lakshya Business Visionary Award, 2006
Global Leadership Award by U.S - India Business School of the U.S Chamber of Commerce, 2010
SAM/SPG Sustainability Leadership Award, 2007
Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, 2011


1947: Born in the month of February.
1968: Finished his Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.
1972: Made the MBO advisor to the Corporate Headquarters in Kolkata.
1974: Took over as factory manager in ITC's Packaging and Printing Plant in Chennai.
1984: Appointed as the Director on the Board of ITC Limited.
1986: Conferred with 'The Best Hotelier of the Year' Award
1991: Chosen to head Air India as Chairman and Managing Director.
1996: Became Chairman of ITC Foods Limited.