Cyrus Mistry, who succeeded Ratan Tata as chairman of Tata Sons but was later ousted in India's most high-profile boardroom coup, was killed in a car accident in Maharashtra's Palghar on Sunday, said police. He was 54.
Mr Mistry was travelling from Gujarat's Udwada to Mumbai in a Mercedes car, it added.
Pictures from the accident site showed the mangled remains of the silver Mercedes. The accident happened when the car hit the road divider at Charoti area of Palghar, 135 km from Mumbai.
"The accident took place around 3.15 pm, when Mistry was travelling to Mumbai. The accident took place on a bridge over the Surya river. It seems an accident," said Palghar district superintendent of police, Balasaheb Patil.
Along with Mr Mistry, Jehangir Pandole, Anahita Pandole and Darius Pandole were present in the car.
Jehangir Pandole, brother of Darius Pandole, is the other person who died in the accident.
Darius Pandole was an independent director in Tata group firms and had opposed the removal of Mr Mistry as the company's chairman. He also left the Tata group with Mr Mistry.
Darius is Anahita's husband. Anahita Pandole, a well-known gynaecologist in Mumbai, was driving the car.
Anahita Pandole and Darius Pandole were shifted to a private hospital in Vapi in Gujarat after the accident.
"They are likely to be shifted to a Mumbai hospital on Monday morning," the police official said on Sunday night.
The car was speeding and tried to overtake another vehicle from the wrong side (from the left), a police officer told news agency PTI.
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he has asked the state police to conduct a detailed investigation into the accident.
"Spoke to DGP and instructed for detailed investigations," tweeted Mr Fadnavis, who is also the state home minister.
This is the latest blow for the Mistry family whose patriarch, Pallonji Mistry - Cyrus's father - died in June at the age of 93. Their empire built luxury hotels, stadiums, palaces and factories across Asia, but was most recently known for a corporate feud with the Tata Group.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in mourning the loss of the business tycoon, calling it a "big loss" to the world of commerce and industry.
"The untimely demise of Shri Cyrus Mistry is shocking. He was a promising business leader who believed in India's economic prowess. His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace," PM Modi tweeted.
The untimely demise of Shri Cyrus Mistry is shocking. He was a promising business leader who believed in India's economic prowess. His passing away is a big loss to the world of commerce and industry. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 4, 2022
Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal tweeted his condolences, terming him Indian industry's "shining star".
Deeply anguished & shocked by the sudden passing away of Cyrus Mistry.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) September 4, 2022
Indian industry has lost one of its shining stars whose contributions to India's economic progress will always be remembered.
My heartfelt condolences to his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/74bzEPsr3a
Union Minister for Women Development Smriti Irani said Mr Mistry "epitomised kindness".
A gentle soul, a man with a vision and a mission; Cyrus as I will always remember him epitomised kindness. The news of his demise comes as a shock. My condolences to his family & loved ones. Om Shanti 🙏 #cyrusmistry— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) September 4, 2022
N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons who succeeded Mr Mistry, condoled the business leader's "untimely demise".
"I am deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely demise of Mr. Cyrus Mistry. He had a passion for life and it is really tragic that he passed away at such a young age. My deepest condolences and prayers for his family in these difficult times," Mr Chandrasekaran said in a statement.
RPG Enterprises Chairman Harsh Goenka remembered Mr Mistry as "a friend, gentleman, a man of substance".
So sad to hear of the shocking news of the passing away of #CyrusMistry in an accident. He was a friend, a gentleman, a man of substance. He was instrumental in creating the global construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji and ably led the Tata group.— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) September 4, 2022
Industrialist Anand Mahindra said it was "hard to digest" the news of Mr Mistry's death.
"I got to know Cyrus well during his all-too-brief tenure as the head of the House of Tata. I was convinced he was destined for greatness. If life had other plans for him, so be it, but life itself should not have been snatched away from him. Om Shanti," said Mr Mahindra.
Veteran leader and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar called Mr Mistry a "dynamic and brilliant entrepreneur".
"Deeply saddened to hear about the shocking news of the untimely demise of the former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry. He was a dynamic and brilliant entrepreneur. We lost one of the brightest star of Corporate World," said Mr Pawar.
Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar's daughter, said she was devastated.
Devastating News My Brother Cyrus Mistry passed away. Can't believe it.— Supriya S
Rest in Peace Cyrus. pic.twitter.com/YEz7VDkWCY
"Gone too soon", tweeted Sena's Priyanka Chaturvedi.
Mr Mistry, who was the sixth chairman of Tata Sons, was ousted from the position in October 2016. He had taken over as the chairman in December 2012 after Ratan Tata announced his retirement.
Mr Mistry is survived by his wife Rohiqa and their two sons.