Guyanese business and cultural icon, Yesu Persaud dies

Last Updated on Monday, 17 January 2022, 5:01 by Denis Chabrol

Yesu Persaud

Well-respected and renowned Guyanese business and cultural icon, Yesu Persaud died early Monday morning, hours after he was discharged from hospital.

He was 93 years old.

“Guyana has lost an outstanding soul in Dr. Yesu Persaud, a true son of the soil. It is with great sadness I learnt, moments ago, about his passing,” President Irfaan Ali said on his Facebook page.

The Guyanese leader said he joined with Mr. Persaud’s  family, friends, management and staff of Demerara Distillers Limited, Demerara Bank and the wider private sector “in prayers at this time” and “may his soul find eternal peace.”

Executive Chairman of DDL, Komal Samaroo, who was mentored by Mr. Persaud about 45 years ago, stated that, “he made an outstanding contribution and has left a huge legacy.”

Mr. Persaud was an iconic private sector leader in the manufacturing, banking, small business, education and Indian cultural development. He had spearheaded the buyout of the then state-owned Guyana Distillers Limited and transformed it into an internationally acclaimed rum producer before going on to obtain a licence to start up Demerara Bank. Mr. Persaud is also credited with the formation of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development which provides loans to micro and medium entrepreneurs..

Mr. Persaud also headlined investments in Indian cultural activities such as Indian Arrival Day and education, his most recent being the Yesu Persaud Clinical Education Centre.

He dabbled somewhat in the political arena as he had been part of a loosely-knit group, Guyanese Action for Reform and Democracy (GUARD), that had in the late 1980s fought for free and fair elections and human rights.