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Cyrus Mistry: Billionaire former Tata chairman dies in car crash

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Cyrus Mistry speaks during a Tata meeting in 2014Image source, Reuters

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Cyrus Mistry was ousted by the Tata board in 2016, sparking a legal battle

India’s prime minister has described the death of the billionaire former chairman of Tata, the country’s largest conglomerate, as a “big loss” for the business world.

Cyrus Mistry died on Sunday in a road accident while travelling to Mumbai.

One other person was killed and two more passengers were injured, police in India’s western Maharastra state said.

Mr Mistry, who was 54, was ousted as Tata chairman in 2016, following criticism of his performance.

He was replaced by Ratan Tata – the man who Mr Mistry had himself replaced just four years earlier.

The boardroom coup was shrouded in mystery, and sparked a long-running legal battle in which India’s top court eventually ruled in Tata’s favour.

The company operates in more than 100 countries – offering products including salt, steel and software – and had a revenue of $130bn (£110bn) last year.

Mr Mistry and his companions were travelling in a Mercedes car through the Palghar district of Maharashtra when the accident happened on Sunday afternoon, police said.

The vehicle is said to hit a divider in the road, while crossing a bridge over a river, and Mr Mistry subsequently died at the crash scene.

At least two others were taken to hospital.

In a tweet, Mr Modi called Mr Mistry a “promising business leader who believed in India’s economic prowess”.

The deputy chief minister of Maharashtra state has ordered a police investigation.

The crash brought into focus the country’s high number of road accidents, with government data showing that these claimed 150,000 lives in 2021 – an average of 18 per hour.

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