Cyrus Mistry: Death of Tycoon With Largest Holding in Tata Group Shocks Indian Business World

Indian business conglomerate Tata Group's former chairman died in a car accident in Mumbai on Sunday.

Cyrus Mistry, 54, was returning from Ahmedabad to Mumbai when the accident happened in Palghar, about 120 km away from India's business capital. The top industrialist was the scion of a family that holds as much as 18 percent in the salt-to software giant Tata Sons.

Bitter Legal Fight

Mistry, who heads the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, was Tata Group's chairman from 2012 to 2016 and was locked in a bitter legal fight with the Group following his ouster, which had shocked India's business world.

Cyrus Mistry
Cyrus Mistry Reuters

Apart from Mistry, there were three others in the Mercedes Benz car. While one of them died, the others are being treated for their injuries.

There were four people in the car out of which two, including Mistry, succumbed to injuries in the road crash which left the vehicle badly damaged.


"The accident took place around 3.15 pm, when Mistry was travelling to Mumbai from Ahmedabad. The accident took place on a bridge over the Surya river. It seems an accident," the police superintendent of the local district said, according to NDTV.

The police said the car was driven by Anahita Pandole, the wife of Darius Pandole, who was an independent director at Tata Sons. While Darius and Anahita survived the crash, the fourth occupant, Jehangir Pandole, died in the crash as well.

As independent director, Darius had opposed the ouster of Mistry as Tata Sons chairman. Mistry had take legal remedies following his ouster, which happened due to serious differences of opinion with Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata.

Fight For Separation From Tatas

After he lost the court battle challenging his removal from India's biggest business group, in which his family is the single largest shareholder, Mistry has been plotting a formal separation from the group.

Cyrus Mistry, chairman of Tata Group, smiles during the Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) annual general meeting in Mumbai June 27, 2014
Cyrus Mistry, chairman of Tata Group, smiles during the Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) annual general meeting in Mumbai June 27, 2014 Reuters

Mistry's Shapoorji Pallonj (SP) group has been pushing for separation from the Tatas and was reportedly trying to take a Rs 15,000 crore loan against its holding in the Tata Group.

"The past oppressive actions, and the latest vindictive move by Tata Sons that impact the livelihoods of the wider SP Group community leads to the inexplicable conclusion that the mutual co-existence of both groups at Tata Sons would be infeasible. The SP-Tata relationship spanning over 70 years, was forged on mutual trust, good faith, and friendship. Today, it is with a heavy heart that the Mistry family believes that a separation of interests would best serve all stakeholder groups," the group had said earlier this year.