Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

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MUMBAI: Ashwin Dani, co-founder and non-executive director of Asian Paints, passed away on Thursday following a brief illness. He was 81.
Dani, who was associated with the company since 1968, was a strong technocrat who not only helped exalt Asian Paints’ stature on innovation but also corporate governance. Asian Paints came to be known as a blue-chip company that was a hotbed for professional talent.
Dani joined the company’s board in 1970. He served as vice chairman and managing director of the company from 1998 to 2009, after which he continued as the non-executive director & vice chairman. He chaired the board from 2018 and 2021.
“With the passing away of Shri Ashwin bhai Dani, the last of the Asian Paints titans of his generation has passed on,” said Bharat Puri, MD, Pidilite Industries. “A true technopreneur who breathed Asian paints all through the 55 years or so he was associated with the company, Ashwin Bhai was one of the architects of the continued growth and innovation at Asian Paints,” said Puri.
As part of the promoter group (Asian Paints is promoted by the Danis, the Choksis and the Vakils), Dani was conscious about growing the company in a professional way and thus the focus on governance was paramount. His knowledge of the business environment and vast experience in general management has been an asset to the company. Dani was passionate about developing talent in the company and has introduced many management graduates across all fields in the company.
Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India, said: “In the passing away of Ashwin bhai, India has lost a very valuable son and one of the doyens of Indian industry.” He combined a very humble personality with astute sense and vision of the paints industry, with deep knowledge of the technical aspects of the business. In every sense, his leadership was pivotal in the growth of Asian Paints as an outstanding example of an exceptionally successful and well governed Indian company for decades. In his passing away, I am deeply saddened by the loss of an outstanding human, a gentleman, a friend who gave me respect, shared wisdom and unparalleled encouragement as an independent director of APL (Asian Paints) when he was chairman.”
Dani has been instrumental in developing and introducing many new products for the first time in India. He pioneered the idea of computerised colour matching in the Indian industry. This concept is now widely used across industries in the field of paints, plastics, printing inks and textiles. Asian Paints was the first paint company in India, and even in Asia, to implement this concept way back in 1975.
Those who worked with Dani, recall his warmth towards colleagues.



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