Yogesh Chander Deveshwar (72), is the Chairman of ITC. He was appointed as a Director on the Board of the Company on April 11, 1984 and became the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board on January 1, 1996. On splitting the role of the Executive Chairman between Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with effect from February 5, 2017, Deveshwar, at the request of the Nomination & Compensation Committee and the Board, recognising the need for orderly transition in a company of ITC's size and complexity, agreed to continue as Chairman in non-executive capacity and also play the role of Mentor to the executive management.
Deveshwar joined ITC in 1968 and is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Harvard Business School. Between 1991 and 1994, he led Air India as Chairman and Managing Director.
Articulating a Vision to put Country before Corporation and serve larger national priorities, he has led ITC's strategic thrust to create multiple drivers of growth that would make a significant and growing contribution to the Indian economy. He also shaped and implemented a Strategy of Organisation to effectively manage multiple businesses whilst retaining focus on each one of them, in the process deriving unique sources of competitive advantage from ITC's diversity. Deveshwar has also championed the cause for Sustainability world-wide bringing into focus the need to innovate corporate strategies that not only enhance shareholder value but add significantly to the development of natural and social capital.
Spearheading a journey of growth that has led the Harvard Business Review to rank him as the 7th Best Performing CEO in the world, his stewardship has guided ITC to become India's foremost FMCG marketer, the country's largest and greenest Paperboards and Packaging Business, a globally acknowledged pioneer in farmer empowerment through its wide-reaching Agri Business, the second largest Hotel Chain in India and a trailblazer in 'green hoteliering'. The Company's wholly owned subsidiary, ITC Infotech India Limited, is also a player of promise in the Information Technology sector.
Today, ITC is a global exemplar in sustainability and is the only Company in the world of comparable dimensions to be 'carbon positive', 'water positive' and 'solid waste recycling positive' for over a decade. The Company's businesses generate livelihoods for around 6 million people, many of whom represent the poorest in Rural India. The pioneering farmer empowerment initiative, ITC e-Choupal, is today the world's largest rural digital infrastructure and is a case study at the Harvard Business School besides receiving several global awards. ITC was also conferred the World Business and Development Award 2012 at the Rio+20 United Nations Summit by the United Nations Development Programme, the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum for its Social and Farm Forestry Programmes.
Deveshwar has served as a Director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India and as a member of the National Foundation for Corporate Governance. He is a Member of the Board of Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and a Member of the National Food Processing Development Council, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India. Deveshwar is a Member of the Governing Body of the National Council of Applied Economic Research and also the former Chairman of the Society and Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. He is also a Member of the Governing Council of the Central Manufacturing Technology Institute, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India. He serves on the National Executive Committees of some of India's premier trade and industry bodies, and has served as a member of the UK-India CEOs Forum and US-India CEOs Forum instituted by the respective Governments. Deveshwar is a past President of CII.
In 2011, Deveshwar was conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian awards in the country, by the Government of India. Amongst several other awards and recognitions during his distinguished career, Deveshwar has been honoured with the Global Leadership Award by the US-India Business Council of the US Chamber of Commerce, Business Leader of the Year Award 2012 from the All India Management Association, Business Person of the Year Award 2006 by the UK Trade & Investment, and the Sustainability Leadership Award conferred at Zurich at the International Sustainability Leadership Symposium. He was inducted to the prestigious Hall of Pride at the Indian Science Congress. Earlier, he was also named Manager Entrepreneur of the Year 2001 by Ernst & Young. The Economic Times has conferred on Deveshwar, the Indian Visionary Business Leader Award and the Smart Green Leader Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bombay Management Association has honoured him with the Management Man of the Year Award, and the Calcutta Management Association has inducted him as the first leader on the Management Hall of Fame. He has been conferred Lifetime Achievement Awards by Business Standard, Business Today, Economic Times & CNBC-TV18, and 'Global Entrepreneur of Bihar' Award by the Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries. The Government of West Bengal also conferred the 'Banga Bibhushan', the State's highest civilian honour, on Deveshwar in May 2017. He was conferred the CII President's Award for Lifetime Achievement in April 2018.