Jagdish Khattar, the former managing director of Maruti Udyog (now Maruti Suzuki India Ltd) breathed his last on Monday, at the age of 78. Khattar, an Indian Administrative Service officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, joined Maruti as an officer on special duty (OSD) in 1992 and subsequently became its director of sales and marketing operations.
In 1999 he was promoted as the joint managing director of the company at a time when Maruti was dealing with several problems at multiple ends. Khattar’s career also mirrored the one of Maruti’s current chairman, R C Bharava, who was also an IAS officer but resigned to join Maruti permanently in the mid 1980‘s.
Khattar oversaw Maruti’s operation during one of the most challenging periods in the company’s history and also successfully represented the auto industry’s demands for certain changes in regulations and taxation structure in the front of the government through Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
According to RC Bhargava, chairman, Maruti Suzuki, Khattar undertook a number of initiatives during his years at Maruti and it was quite a productive time for the company.
“He was the managing director of the company for almost 8 years and before that he was the head of marketing. Being an IAS officer, he had a smooth transition after joining Maruti. Under his watch the company also went public quite successfully and he also dealt with the labour…