Bengaluru– Karnataka’s veteran industrialist and liquor baron Srihari Khoday died here on Monday night after prolonged illness, said a company official said on Tuesday. He was 78.

“Khoday passed away at a private hospital due to illness and age-related complications. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters,” said the official.

The 110-year-old Khoday group of industries or the ‘House of Khodays’ is well known for its alcoholic beverages such as Peter Scot and Red Knight whisky, XXX rum, Hercules beer and Constantino brandy.

Born and brought up in Bengaluru, Khoday pioneered the pub culture in the city by opening its first pub in 1986. The city now has about 500 pubs.

“Srihari was the second of the three sons of Eshwarsa, who founded the group in 1906 and diversified into other sectors besides expanding the alcoholic beverages business,” said the official.

Though Khoday joined the company as a director in the mid-60s, he rose to be its Vice Chairman and Managing Director in 2011 and run the group’s business interests in diverse sectors such as agro, biotechnology, engineering, power, textiles and travel.

Khoday was also an independent director on the boards of 10 other companies in the country. He was a reputed philanthropist and patron of fine arts and promoted sports.

“As an avid movie buff, Khoday also financed and produced a couple of award-winning films in Kannada,” added the official.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande and opposition leaders B.S. Yeddurappa and Jagadis Shettar were among the hundreds who mourned Khoday’s death.