Xerxes Sapur Desai, the man who founded Titan Co Ltd, died on 27 June 2016 following a prolonged illness in Bengaluru. He was 79.
Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan Co. Ltd (part of Tata Sons), after enduring years of resistance from state-owned HMT Watches.
About Xerxes Sapur Desai
• Desai joined Tata Administrative Service (TAS) in 1961 after graduating from Oxford University.
• He worked with Tata Press, Tata Chemicals and Taj Hotels before setting up Titan in 1986.
• The idea of Titan came about in 1979, but it took him seven long years to finally set up a factory in Hosur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, in 1986 with support from the Tamil Nadu government.
• With the success in watches, Desai got Tata's approval to start Tanishq, the jewellery business that is now a trusted brand and India’s largest jewellery firm.
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