The application of AZ91 magnesium alloy is limited because of dendritic β-Mg17Al12 phase which degrades mechanical properties and causes high tension to compression yield asymmetry (R). To overcome this, a severe plastic deformation (SPD) based hybrid process has been implemented in this study, to develop in-situ AZ91 + TiC-TiB2 composite. This results in redistribution of β-Mg17Al12 phase on the grain boundaries along with notable grain refinement. The combined effect of in-situ reinforcement and grain refinement due to SPD process resulted in simultaneous enhancement of strength and ductility. Further, intense grain refinement and presence of TiC-TiB2 reinforcement in the grain boundary region is found to increase the stress concentration along the grain boundary which hinders twin nucleation and significantly reduces the R value from 1.42 (as-cast condition) to 1.04 (SPDed in-situ composite). The underlying mechanism of significant property enhancement in the developed material has been correlated with the tension and compression tests and microstructures. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.