Xerxes Desai, Titan watchmaker and founder passed away at Manipal Hospital, Bangalore on Monday, (June 27) at the age of 80. He was ailing from acute gastro enteritis, a Tata Group spokesperson said.
He is survived by his wife, Rajni Desai, son Shayesh, daughter Annahita and sister Armity Desai.
A man with a multifaceted persona, Desai was an animal lover, a classical music buff, a voracious reader and a visionary always full of new ideas and thoughts.
India’s legendary industrialist JRD Tata had liked Desai’s suggestion that the Tatas should venture into watch-making and picked him up for the task. Titan was soon to become the country’s biggest watch manufacturer.
Desai had experience in other Tata Group firms such as Tata Chemicals, Tata Industries, Indian Hotels and Tata Press, yet, he took over six years to negotiate with the Tamil Nadu government to set up its factory in Hosur.
Desai, completed his education from Elphinstone College (BA in History) and at Oxford University (MA in philosophy, economics and politics).
Desai’s body will be brought home in the morning of June 30 (Thursday) and will be cremated on the same evening, said Vikram Mulki, president of Decora, which had Desai at its helm for a long time. Desai had lived in the Defence Colony for a long time.