Former Maruti Suzuki MD Jagdish Khattar Passes Away at 78

Khattar was with Maruti Udyog Limited from 1993 to 2007 till he retired as Managing Director of the company.

2 min read
Jagdish Khattar.

Jagdish Khattar, former Managing Director of Maruti Udyog passed away on Monday, 26 April, at the age of 78 after a cardiac arrest.

Khattar was with Maruti Udyog Limited from 1993 to 2007 till he retired as Managing Director of the company.

After retirement, Khattar had launched Carnation Auto as a multi-brand automobile sales and service network.

From IAS to Entrepreneur

Khattar was born in Pakistan’s Dera Ismail Khan before the Partition in a family of entrepreneurs with an electricity generation and supply company.

Khattar had a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from St Stephen's College, Delhi and later did his LLB from Delhi University before he joined the Indian Administrative Services (IAS).

He had been an officer of the IAS with more than 37 years of experience.

Khattar joined Maruti in July 1993 as the marketing director and went on to become Managing Director in 1999, first as government nominee, and then in May 2002, as a Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) nominee.

Khattar was credited with the significant restructuring of the company amid increased competition due to the foray of various foreign automobile players in the Indian markets.

After retiring from Maruti Suzuki in 2007, Khattar in 2008 launched Carnation Auto, a multi-brand automobile sales and service network.

A CBI Case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on 24 December 2019, registered a case against Khattar in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 110 crore by his new company Carnation Auto.

The CBI named Khattar and his company, Carnation Auto India Ltd, for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 110 crore to state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Khattar and his firm were named along with other unidentified persons in the recent FIR filed by the agency after a complaint by the bank. As per the FIR, the loan taken by Khattar was declared a non-performing asset in 2015, with effect from 2012.

Khattar in a statement had said that Carnation was a board-managed company with the highest ethical standards and best management practices.

Furthermore, he said that some of the most reputed investors in the country, including Premji Invest and Gaja Capital were board members who, in their own interest, kept a tight vigil on its operations and finances.

The company was finally sold to the Mahindra Group, he said.

“I had invested my life savings in the company. I understand the bank is following a process. I have always made myself available and will continue to fully cooperate with all the agencies,” he had said.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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