U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) presented its Award for Global Leadership to ITC Limited's Chairman and CEO, Y.C. "Yogi" Deveshwar, citing his exemplary commitment to empowering India's rural agricultural community as well as the measures he has led to conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Over 400 senior business and government leaders from the United States and India assembled on the eve of the U.S.-India strategic dialogue to attend USIBC's 35th Anniversary Summit, A Pivotal Period in U.S.-India Relations: Tackling Education, Infrastructure & Inclusive Growth, and lauded Mr. Deveshwar for the responsible corporate conduct that he has demonstrated during his stewardship of one of India's largest agricultural and hotel conglomerates.
Under Mr. Deveshwar's leadership, ITC Ltd. has invested in rural initiatives across India, while embracing environmentally-friendly practices at its headquarters and field offices, including equipping all of its ITC-Welcomgroup Hotels, Palaces and Resorts with cutting-edge green building technologies. ITC-Welcomgroup is India's second largest hotel chain. ITC Ltd. is one of India's top agricultural exporters, and is ranked as one of the Forbes Global 2000. ITC Ltd. gained prominence for empowering India's vast farming community by providing computer generated instant pricing, weather, and commodities information throughout rural India via its innovative e-Choupal Initiative, reaching more than 4 million farmers across eight Indian states. Mr. Deveshwar joined ITC in 1968. He was appointed as a director on the Board of the company in 1984 and became the chief executive and chairman of the Board on January 1, 1996.
United Technologies Corporation, known for Otis Elevators, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines, and aerospace giant Sikorsky Helicopters, as well as its commitment to "green" buildings and environmental technologies, feted the ITC chairman with the prestigious USIBC Global Leadership Award, which has previously been bestowed upon Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, and Sunil Bharti Mittal. UTC India's Jothi Purushotaman presented the award.
The award will establish a new learning library in New Delhi in Y. C. Deveshwar's name through the international literacy organization, Room to Read, as well as provide in ITC's name three-years of associated teacher training, books, and learning materials, including monitoring support.
The Global Leadership Award, presented to Y.C. Deveshwar on the occasion USIBC's 35th Anniversary, marks the commitment of the U.S.-India Business Council and its member-companies to protecting the environment, responsible corporate citizenship, and empowering people through literacy, technology, and information - all hallmarks of ITC. The learning library will be established by the end of 2010 in honor of Y.C. Deveshwar's contribution to these fields.