T Thomas, former Chairman of Hindustan Unilever Limited (then Hindustan Lever Limited), passed away on March 2 at 9.55 am at Breach Candy Hospital at the age of 90.
Thomas was the Chairman of the company from 1973-1980 and later he served as Unilever Director.
Thomas led the company through the difficult price control era and laid the foundation for Unilever to retain the majority holding under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) at the time. He also spearheaded the launch of the Jammu detergents factory and Haldia STP (sodium tri-polyphosphate) plant.
Thomas was instrumental in recasting the company’s then management trainee programme whereby trainees were given an exposure of working in rural areas for their all-round development.
During his tenure as Chairman of HLL, Thomas had set up Ashadaan at Byculla in Mumbai, which is run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, an organisation that serves differently abled, sick and destitute people. He also led the Anglo Scottish Education Society which runs Cathedral school in Mumbai for almost four decades.
Thomas was also a Non-Executive Chairman of other big companies like Glaxo and Lafarge.
Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and MD, HUL said, “Thomas was a remarkable leader and an institution builder. I personally looked up to him. He was a great example of a purpose-driven and values-led leader. His legacy will always live on.”