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V Krishnamurthy, PSUs' 'turnaround man', dies aged 97

Krishnamurthy was credited with the successful turnaround stories of some of India's most crucial public sector companies.

June 26, 2022 / 10:55 PM IST
V Krishnamurthy, known as the PSU turnaround man (Image: IIM Ahmedabad)

V Krishnamurthy, known as the PSU turnaround man (Image: IIM Ahmedabad)

Venkataraman Krishnamurthy, the former chief of public sector majors including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), passed away on June 26 at his home in Chennai. He was aged 97.

Known as the "PSUs' turnaround man", Krishnamurthy was credited with the successful turnaround stories of some of India's most crucial public sector companies.

During his illustrious career spanning for more than six decades, Krishnamurthy also headed Maruti Udyog, which is now known as Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

“Dr V Krishnamurthy was my mentor right from the time I started work and right through my entire career. He had an important role to play in helping me build TVS MOTOR company. He was one of the tallest leaders in Indian industry. His contribution to the growth of India was immeasurable. It is a great loss to Indian industry and to the country," Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus of TVS Motor Company, said.

The deceased public sector stalwart is survived by his two sons, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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Krishnamurthy was, notably, born on January 14, 1925 in Karuveli in present-day Tamil Nadu. After clearing the Union Public Service Commission, he joined the Central Engineering Services in 1955.

As a successful civil servant, he rose through the ranks and was appointed as the Chairman & CEO of BHEL in 1972 -- a charge he held till 1977. He served as the chief of SAIL and GAIL between 1985 and 1990. From 1981-1990, he was also the Founder Chairman of Maruti Udyog Ltd.

The Government of India had also appointed Krishnamurthy as a member of the Planning Commission for a brief period in 1991-92, and from 2004 to 2014, he was appointed as the Chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC).

For his exemplary services, the government had awarded Krishnamurthy with the Padma Shri in 1973, the Padma Bhushan in 1986, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007.
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