Cyrus Mistry, an Indian-born Irish businessman and former chairman of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, has died in an accident after his car crashed into a road divider in western India, police said. He was 54.
The crash occurred on a river bridge in Maharashtra state’s Palghar district near Mumbai on Sunday, police officer Prakash Gaekwad said.
Mistry served as chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the $300bn salt-to-software Tata conglomerate, for five years until he was removed by the board in October 2016. He challenged the board’s decision, but India’s top court upheld his dismissal.
Politicians and business leaders reacted with shock to news of Mistry’s death. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, said Mistry was a promising business leader who believed in India’s economic prowess.
“His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry,” he said.
Anand Mahindra, an Indian business leader, said: “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.”
Mistry was travelling to Mumbai from Gujarat with three others, said B Patil, the top police official in Palghar district.
The car in which Mistry was travelling had rammed into a divider and he died at the scene, a senior Mumbai police official said.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in which Tata Sons owns a majority stake, said it was mourning its former chairman’s untimely death. “He was a warm, friendly and congenial person who built a strong relationship with the TCS family during his time as the chairman of the company,” it said in a statement.
Mistry owned an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons through his company, Cyrus Investments. In 2018, his net worth was about $10bn.
Mistry joined the family construction company, Shapoorji Pallonji and Co, as managing director in 1991.
A graduate in civil engineering from London’s Imperial College and in management from the London Business School, Mistry described himself as a voracious reader of business books and golfer, and shared his family’s love of horses.
He is survived by his wife and two sons.