Through his singular efforts, he forged technology alliances for engine, gearbox, cabin as well as development efforts for multi axle vehicles and defence vehicles.
Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group and leading commercial vehicle manufacturer, on Tuesday announced the passing away of its chairman emeritus, R J Shahaney, after a brief illness. He was 89.
Shahaney was Ashok Leyland’s first Indian MD and he served in that capacity from 1978 till 1998 and subsequently as chairman until 2010. He laid the strong foundation in manufacturing, engineering and technology. In an era when AL, being a foreign firm, faced challenges for growth, he had the courage to embark on an expansion plan making the firm grow manifold. Hosur, Alwar and Bhandara plants were his creations.
He took pioneering actions years ahead, to place Ashok Leyland in a pole position. Through his singular efforts, he forged technology alliances for engine, gearbox, cabin as well as development efforts for multi axle vehicles and defence vehicles.
He had been president of Siam and AIEI (CII) and went on to serve as chairman of IndusInd Bank. After his tenure in AL, he led Ashok Leyland Project Services and was involved in many Hinduja Group activities.
Dheeraj Hinduja, chairman, AL, said, “We mourn the loss of a great leader, ally and friend. Shahaney was with Ashok Leyland and the group for over three decades, leading the company to where we are today. Under his able leadership, we expanded our footprint and manufacturing capacity. Even after his retirement, he was always available to share his wisdom and was a personal friend of the Hinduja family. A towering personality, he will be sorely missed by a generation of professionals who interacted with him.”
Vipin Sondhi, MD & CEO, Ashok Leyland, said, “While I did not have the good fortune of working with Shahaney directly, I had the privilege of knowing him personally. I have always looked up to him and what he has done for Ashok Leyland, he had the courage and resilience like no one else. His vision has inspired leaders of all generations and Ashok Leyland is fortunate that we had a leader like him. His contribution to the company and the industry is unparalleled. He was part of our family and we all will truly miss him.”