Kolkata:1/6/19: Veteran industrialist and Williamson Magor Group patriarch Brij Mohan Khaitan died on Saturday at his residence here. He was 92.
He was suffering from old-age ailments, according to company sources. A widower, he is survived by his younger son, Aditya, and only daughter Divya Jalan.
Khaitan had recently resigned as Chairman of the group’s flagship companies – dry cell battery maker Eveready Industries and tea producer McLeod Russel, citing his old age. He became Chairman Emeritus for both the companies.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her condolences.
“Saddened at the passing away of noted industrialist BM Khaitan Ji. He was a much respected elder statesman of the business community of Bengal. My condolences to his family, his colleagues and his friends,” Banerjee said in a tweet.
Born in a family of lawyers (Khaitan & Co), Khaitan, who was known in global tea fraternity as the “evergreen tea man of India”, had made his tea empire in Assam and extended the business geography to Uganda, Rwanda and Vietnam.
Lauded as “a clear visionary” and one of the most humanitarian industrialists” of modern India, Khaitan made the tea industry Indian-owned in the era after Independence.
From a mere supplier of tea chests and fertilisers to the Williamson Magor company, he joined its board after his family became a saviour to the tea planter when a crisis loomed over the company in 1961.