Ajit N Haksar, Chairman Emeritus of ITC Limited who guided the tobacco giant's foray into other areas, died on Thursday following a brain haemorrhage.
Haksar, who was 80, died in New Delhi and is survived by a son and a daughter, family sources said.
Haksar was the first Indian chairman of Kolkata-based ITC Limited in 1969 and led the company till 1983.
He was considered the most dynamic and high profile Indian manager in independent India who successfully took steps to lead ITC into businesses beyond cigarettes.
It was due to Haksar's initiative that ITC today has major presence in hotel, paper and paperboards, agri-products and FMCG.
After his retirement in 1983, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus of the company.Haksar, an MBA from Harvard Business School, during his distinguished career also served as a director on the boards of Indian Airlines, IDBI and Reserve Bank of India and was on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.