Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan
Bengaluru: Xerxes Sapur Desai, the man who founded Titan Co. Ltd and made it an internationally renowned Indian watch brand, is no more.
The 79-year-old died in Bengaluru on Monday because of acute gastroenteritis.
“He was not only our founder, but also our greatest advocate. Over the years, his guidance and dogged pursuit of perfection helped make Titan a household name and a market leader,” the company said in an e-mailed statement.
“He was big thinking, iconoclastic, meticulous, insightful, humanitarian with a enhanced sense of style and taste, articulate and quality conscious. A passionate rationalist who believed that ‘Yesterday’s truths are today’s heresies,’” said Bhaskar Bhat, Managing director, Titan.
A graduate of Bombay and Oxford Universities, 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 and now defunct HMT Watches.
But that is not his only contribution to the world, those who knew him pointed out.
Desai was an “amazing, eclectic entrepreneur,” and “a passionate fighter for Indian cities,” said Titan board member and urban development expert Ireena Vittal, who praised his “inspirational design sensibility that helped lay down the foundation for Titan and earlier Taj.”