MUMBAI: T Thomas, former chairman of Hindustan Unilever (then Hindustan Lever), passed away on Friday at the age of 90.
He started his career in 1950, as an Industrial Engineer and went on to become the Chairman of the the country’s largest consumer goods firm between 1973-1980. Thomas also served as a director on the board of Unilever in London for a decade responsible for consolidating the Worldwide Specialty Chemicals Group and making it one of the major profitable and growing product groups in Unilever.
HUL, in a statement said, Thomas led the company through the price control era and laid the foundation for Unilever to retain the majority holding under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) at the time. He was instrumental in recasting the company’s management trainee programme to include exposure of working in rural areas.
“Mr. Thomas was a remarkable leader and an institution builder. I personally looked up to him. He was a great example of a purpose-driven and values-led leader. His legacy will always live on,” Sanjiv Mehta, MD at HUL said.
Thomas, who was also a non-executive Chairman of other companies like Glaxo and Lafarge, set up Indus Venture Fund, Indias first venture capital fund in 1992.