Birla Group patriarch and a doyen of the Indian industry Basant Kumar Birla passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday at the age of 98. His family said Birla had been suffering from age-related ailments.
Birla is survived by daughters Manjushree Khaitan and Jayshree Mohta, who run Kesoram Industries and Jayshree Tea and Industries respectively. His wife Sarala Birla predeceased him in 2015. His only son Aditya Vikram Birla had died in 1995.
His grandson Kumarmangalam Birla had taken him to Mumbai due to his failing health.
Birla's body would be brought to his house at Birla Park in Kolkata and the cremation will take place on Thursday.
The seat of the Birla brothers in the city -- Birla Building -- will remain closed on Thursday as a mark of respect.
Who was Basant Kumar Birla?
Born in 1921, Birla was the youngest son of philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla.
By the time he was 15, he was already actively associated with a large number of companies and eventually became the chairman of Kesoram Industries.
He focussed on industries such as cotton, viscose, polyester and nylon yarns, refractory, paper, shipping, tyrecord, transparent paper, spun pipe, cement, tea, coffee, cardamom, chemicals, plywood and MDF Board.
The BK Birla group comprised Century Textiles, Century Enka and Jayshree Tea and Industries besides Kesoram Industries.
Birla was also the chairman of the Krishnarpan Charity Trust, which runs BK Birla Institute of Engineering and Technology at Pilani.
He was instrumental in a slew of business initiatives, starting with his stint as the chairman of Kesoram Industries.
He was also a patron of nearly 25 educational institutions across the country - from BITS Pilani and Birla Institute of Liberal Arts and Management Science to BK Birla Centre for Education in Pune, Birla Institute of Management Technology in Delhi, and Ashok Hall Girls' High School in Kolkata.
(With PTI inputs)