Basant Kumar Birla, grandfather of Kumar Mangalam Birla and the youngest son of philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla, passed away in Mumbai recently, due to age-related ailments. He was 98. He was the Chairman of Century Textiles and Industries, and had been active in business since the age of 15. His only son Aditya Vikram Birla had died in 1995.

Known as a perfect gentleman in industry circles, Birla focused on industries such as cotton, viscose, polyester and nylon yarns, refractory, paper, shipping, tyrecord, transparent paper, spun pipe, cement, tea, coffee, cardamom, chemicals, plywood and MDF Board.

Birla started his stint as the Chairman of Kesoram Industries. He was also a patron of nearly 25 educational institutions across the country, including BITS Pilani and Birla Institute of Management Technology in Delhi. The BK Birla group comprised Century Textiles, Century Enka and Jayshree Tea and Industries besides Kesoram Industries.