The man who revolutionized the Indian small car market in the late 1990s is no more.

SG Awasthi, former Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the company Daewoo Motors India Limited and former Managing Director Jaypee Hotelspassed away on Thursday (September 22) at the age of 79.

Awasthi was known in the Indian automobile industry for his unrivaled business acumen and managerial prowess. He is credited with epitomizing value-based leadership in India in the 1990s and 2000s.

A graduate of India’s oldest engineering institution, Roorkee College of Engineering, Awasthi, joined the Dad’s group in 1966 and worked his way up the career ladder at TELCO in Jamshedpur.

In 1984, Awasthi joined the DCM group of companies and through his determination and hard work climbed the ladder of success to become the CEO of the company in 1991.

It created a stir in the subcompact car competition in India by launching the Daewoo Matiz hatchback. “These will be jeans among cars, fashionable with high utility. Don’t take us lightly,” he once said.

In 2000, Awasthi left Daewoo Motors and joined the Jaypee Group as the Head of the Jaypee Company Hotels Ltd and later also held the position of Vice Chairman of Jaypee Greens Ltd.

He stepped down from his position due to ill health in September 2007, but continued to serve as an advisor to Jaypee Infratech Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary Jaiprakash Associates Limited, for the next few years.

He also served as a Non-Executive Independent Director of Bharat Gears Limited till 2017.

Awasthi also served on the board of several other important committees. He was the Chairman of UP State Council of Indo-Korea Committee in 1995, CIIRegional Council Committee, SIAM Infrastructure Committee and SIAM Clean Air and Vehicle Emissions Project Committee.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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