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Issue No.: 550 | April 2013
 

Remembering Hari Shankar Singhania

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He had the distinction of becoming the first Indian President of the International Chamber of Commerce [ICC], Paris

I am writing this to express my personal respectful grief at the demise of the late Shri Hari Shankar Singhania, head of the JK group, at New Delhi on Feb. 22, 2013.

During my decades as the Chief Economist of Tatas, I had only a nodding acquaintance with Mr. Hari Shankar. But when he had the distinction of becoming the first Indian President of the International Chamber of Commerce [ICC], Paris, in 1992, he decided to launch a ‘Corporate Economists Advisory Group’ [CEAG] in the ICC, and invited me to be an honorary member to represent India and the developing nations. I welcomed this prestigious opportunity. As it turned out, it involved some hard work before and after attending the CEAG’s two full day meetings held annually in Paris or elsewhere. There was hardly any other member from the developing world. So, my presence, hopefully, helped place the Indian perspective on the radar of ICC management and, more so, of some of the world’s best business economists. During his tenure, Hari Shankarji took great interest in the happenings at the CEAG meets. His innovative foresight obviously paid rich dividends. We also hosted a two-day path breaking CEAG meet in Delhi. Hari Shankarji hosted a widely attended dinner at his residence. He, like Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, also had in-depth discussions with the Group. His support and interest, as well as the unsolicited compliments from FICCI committee members on my reports were my satisfying rewards..

A few years ago he rightly decided to write short down-to-earth articles on some macro issues facing the industry. I strongly favoured his publishing them together as a book. Happily, he had done this recently.

I served on it several years after his tenure at the ICC and remained in occasional contact with him. But it was my ICC exposure that created enduring respect for Hari Shankarji and convinced me that Indian industry is poorer without him. 

I share all that has already been written about his many-splendoured personality since his death and does not require reiteration. I am confident that the JK group will celebrate the life and work of Hari Shankarji and grow from strength to strength.
  
MR. DATTATRAYA R.  PENDSE is a well-known economist and was, for a number of years, 
Chief Economic Adviser to the Tata Group
 
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