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Known for his deep insight, Yogesh Chander Deveshwar is an Indian businessman and became the CEO of Indian conglomerate multi-business corporation - ITC in the year 1996. He had been serving the company from 1968 up until 2010. ITC is a company started as early as 1910 under the name ‘Imperial Tobacco Company. The company was re-named Indian Tobacco Company in the year 1970 finally to take over as ITC in the year 1974.

The tobacco sales in 2012-13 alone were 27,136 Crores which accounts for 56% of its total revenue.

ITC has forayed into other forms of businesses as well.

a) Food

ITC Aashirwad, Sun Feast, Yippee, Candy man and Bingo are the popular brands associated with the tobacco biggie. ITC is India’s third largest seller of branded foods with a sales turnover crossing over 4,600 Crore in the year 2012-2013.

b) Life style Apparel

ITC sells its products on apparel through Wills Lifestyle and John Players brand.

c) Personal care

Personal care products include Vivel, Fiama Di Wills, Essenza Di Wills, Superia and Engage. These products fall under hair care, perfumes and skin care categories.

d) Stationery

The ITC brands include Classmate, Paper Kraft and Color Crew. Launched in 2003, Classmate went on to become the largest notebook brand in 2007.

The other brands ITC has marked footprints in the hotel industry, packaging industry, safety matches and incense sticks and finally the coveted IT industry. The ITC Pvt Ltd has thus left no leaf unturned.

Early Days and Education

Y C Deveshwar was born on the 4th of February 1947 in Lahore, British India. He did his B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He completed his engineering degree in the year 1968. Y C Deveshwar joined ITC ltd in the year 1968. He was appointed as a Director on the Board of the Company in 1984 and became the Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board in 1996..

There is media speculation that he might step down in 2010. In March 2010, Kurush N Grant was appointed to the ITC board. Two other new directors namely Nakul Anand and P V Dhobale were further included to the Board.

Mr. Deveshwar recently bought a bungalow at South Central Delhi for almost 85 Crores. This is the highest net worth of a salaried employee going in for such a plush property. The property has been named “Shantini Ketan”. The transaction is an all cheque transaction as per insider reports. The particular transaction is such a rarity in a commercial hub like Delhi where the property value is up front paid in cash. This is the news pertaining to the chairman of ITC more on the personal front.

The Spark

Y C Deveshwar joined ITC as a management trainee. It was in the year 1972 that he was made as the MBO advisor at the Corporate head quarters which were then located in Kolkata. In the year 1974, he had become a factory manager and was leading the ITC's Packaging and Printing Plant which was located in Chennai. It was in the year 1984 that he was made the Director and from the year 1996 he has been serving as the CEO as well as the Chairman of the ITC Foods Ltd. Some of his earlier board memberships are mentioned below:

• He was the Former Non Executive Director with the HT Media Limited. He was also the former Chairman and MD at the Air India Limited. He acted as the Director for International Travel House.

• He is presently serving as the chairman and the CEO of ITC Foods Limited.

His Journey with ITC

Y C Deveshwar joined the tobacco based FMCG way back in 1968. He joined the Board of Directors in the year 1984 and finally became the coveted CEO of ITC in the year 1996. He held his position up until 2010 before two other directors named Nakul Anand and P V Dhobale were further introduced to the board.

Y C Deveshwar joined the tobacco based FMCG way back in 1968. He joined the Board of Directors in the year 1984 and finally became the coveted CEO of ITC in the year 1996. He held his position up until 2010 before two other directors named Nakul Anand and P V Dhobale were further introduced to the board.

Today FMCG alone contributes to 5000 Crores worth turnover which has been made possible with the simple man’s efforts. In the hotel industry, ITC range of Sheraton hotels occupies a top slot. In paper and packaging ITC stands the best. He said that ITC tops the list as far as agricultural industry is concerned. He says though FMCG’s estimated value stands at 5000 Crores; the good will earned by the company over other competitors exceeds 10,000 Crores or even more. Such a wide potential has brought about by the great man.

He is a man who has led the synergy within different growth segments.

In an exclusive interview held by a popular business forum, Mr. Y C Deveshwar was specifically asked to differentiate between the number one player and ITC.

His immediate reply was that the firm was at 5000 Crore worth FMCG. This is excluding the tobacco business while the number one player stands at 15,000 Crore turnover in FMCG. He also said that the firm was not lagging behind in a massive way. He also emphasized on the good show put up by ITC in the field of Education and Scholastics, Agarbatti business, food businesses, etc.

He categorized food businesses into various segments such as staples and spices, ready to cook subjis and condiments, biscuits, confectionery, and Noodles named Yippee. Thus within a short span of time, he marketed the food business of ITC by leaps and bounds.

He wants to establish goodwill in India, which is what brings pride to the nation. A premiered institute like Harvard would not have conferred a 7th position on this guy for nothing. It definitely means there is some substance in the guy running the show.

During the career stint of Y C Deveshwar with ITC, the company’s profits grew from 260 Crores to 4000 Crores which is not a simple feat at all.

People see Mr. Deveshwar as the face of the company as such. In tough business decisions and difficult situations, everyone flock to this guy. But on the whole, each division has a separate CEO.

The guy behind ITC’s coveted FMCG still has a long way to go and many more milestones to achieve.


Y C Deveshwar was born on the 4th of February in the year 1947 in Lahore, British India. Mr. Deveshwar is married to Bharati Deveshwar.

Awards & Accolades
Y C Deveshwar was awarded the most prestigious award by the Indian government, Padma Bhushan in the year, 2011
Ernst and Young conferred an award namely “Manager Entrepreneur of the year 2001”, to Mr. Y C Deveshwar.
Y C Deveshwar was also named as the “Business Person of the Year” by the UK government.
Y C Deveshwar was ranked as the 7th best performing CEO in the world in a global study of 100 CEO’s. The study was done by the Harvard Business Review in its January-February 2013 edition.
Mr. Deveshwar was also honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and also the Honorary Fellowship of the All India Management Association.
He also received the 'Meridien Hotelier of the Year' Award.
He was inducted to the 'Hall of Pride' at the Indian Science Congress, in year 2006
Mr. Deveshwar was honored with the Lakshya Business Visionary Award, in year 2006.
He was also awarded the SAM/SPG Sustainability Leadership Award, 2007.
He was also awarded the award “Marketing Man of the Year”, which was given by A&M.
Deveshwar ranks first amongst the Indian CEOs featured in this elite list, which was decided after evaluating how much total shareholder returns had changed over a time period from the CEO's first day in office to 31st August 2012, as well as the overall increase in market capitalization.
Professional Affiliations
ITC Hotels Ltd.
Harvard Business School
Confederation of Indian Industry
Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
HT Media Limited
Air India Limited
ITC Infotech India Ltd.
Indian School of Business
International Travel House
ITC Foods Limited
 Because everybody is thinking of quarterly-quarterly thinking. And nobody is thinking 10-15-20 years… Definition of independent must not mean you should be disinterested. That you should have no skin in the game.
 Because they felt that we are in mid-stream… At this time, it requires continuity, stability and consolidation, and it requires grooming of people.
 I started as a centre-half, because in a situation of crisis… there were so many fires that you have to take the hose in your hand and run around and put out the fire and at the same time start constructing. Now I am like a referee. Now I whistle.
 "By rule books you don't get governance."
 People live through their entire lives, and they only move from one bank to another bank, but have never seen how to create a new bank, or how to create a new enterprise.
 My grandchildren, when they grow up, they should be able to get employment in ITC. And not that this company has disappeared.
 We are a water positive company, we are carbon positive company, and we are a waste-recycling positive company.

Hope viewers caught up the spark…