Industry chambers mourn death of K.K. Birla

August 30th, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) India’s leading industry chambers Saturday mourned the death of business legend K.K. Birla, hailing him as a “visionary” business leader with a social conscience.Eminent industrialist and former Rajya Sabha member Krishna Kumar Birla died at his Birla Park residence in Kolkata Saturday after a brief illness. He was 90.

Birla is survived by three daughters - Nandini Nopany, Jyotsna Poddar and Shobhana Bhartia, the vice-chairperson and editorial adviser of Hindustan Times.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) president Rajeev Chandrasekhar described Birla as “one of India’s greatest entrepreneurs, who has left an indelible mark on Indian society and industry by upholding moral and spiritual values and creating landmark business enterprises through sheer dint of hard work and ethical practices”.

Expressing anguish at his passing away, Chandrashekhar said he was “an outstanding visionary, a great parliamentarian, a business leader par excellence, and the builder of modern educational and scientific institutions”.

A president of Ficci from 1974 to 1975, Birla was concerned about the problems of poverty and unemployment. During the economic crisis in 1974, he had recommended demand revival and supply expansion measures to address the issues of inflation and stagnation, said a Ficci statement.

He spoke forcefully and fearlessly, and highlighted the importance of select liberalisation to give a fillip to industrial production and economic revival.

In a statement, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) president Sajjan Jindal said Birla was a great visionary, who foresaw things much before times.

“A leading industrialist and an eminent member of society, K.K. Birla’s demise is a great loss to India and Indian Industry,” Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president K.V. Kamath said.

His demise marks the end of an era, he added.

Stating that Birla had given a new orientation to business, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary general Krishan Kalra said he followed high ethical standard in business and always espoused involvement of businesses in resolving social issues.

His contributions for upholding the objectivity and press freedom were commendable, Kalra added.

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