Born On: 1877
Born In: Thirunelveli, Madras Presidency, British India
Died On: April 28, 1955
T.V. Sundaram Iyengar was a man of principles and a true visionary. During the 1930's, when riding an automobile was still a distant dream for many Indians, he had the vision to start the first ever rural bus service in Madurai. Business was not only a passion for Sundaram Iyengar, but also a service to the common man. His innovative and visionary ideas, hard work and determination formed the base for 'T.V Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies', one of India's largest industrial conglomerates. The group started by Iyengar extended its services to motor industry, motor services and finances in the following years. No wonder, today he is regarded as one of the most successful industrialists of his time. T.V Sundaram Iyengar was also a forward thinker and a stringent follower of Gandhian philosophies. Know all about his life, feats and deeds in the write-up below.
T.V Sundaram Iyengar was born in 1877 in Thirukkurungudi in Thirunelveli district in present day Tamil Nadu (then a part of Madras Presidency). Sundaram Iyengar started his career as a lawyer after which he moved on to work for Indian railways and later in a bank.
As Sundaram Iyengar always had a passion for business, he left his job and ventured into motor transport industry. In 1912, he started the first bus service in the city of Madurai. In 1923, he established the T.V Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Group of Companies, which paved way for the origin of the 'TVS Group'. During the Second World War, when Madras Presidency faced huge petrol scarcity, he went on to design and start TVS Gas Plant in order to meet the demands of the people. He also started factories for rubber retreading besides Madras Auto Service Limited and Sundaram Motors Limited. Among these, Madras Auto Service Limited was the largest distributor of General Motors in 1950's.
Thus, a business, which started as a passion of a single man, evolved into a flourishing family business. Four distinct branches began to work under the name 'TVS'. TVS group is currently the largest automobile distribution company in India. It enjoys a turnover of 40, 000 million. The group functions in varied fields like automotive component manufacturing, automotive dealerships, electronics and finances and employs 40, 000 people. They are also into IT solutions and services.
Apart from being an industrialist, T.V Sundaram Iyengar was a patron of art and a forward thinker. Under the auspice of Mahatma Gandhi, he got his teenage daughter, who was a widow, remarried. Rajaji, a senior statesman of Congress heaved praise on Sundaram Iyengar for the gesture of announcing retirement and passing on the business to his children. T.V Sundaram has five sons and three daughters and the business was shared by the male members of the family. T.S Santhanam, the youngest son of T.V Sundaram is the founder of 'Sundaram Finance' and is regarded as the 'Father of Truck Finance Industry' in India.
T.V Sundaram was the one who laid the foundation for the motor transport industry in Southern India. He is credited for starting Madurai's first bus service. During Second World War, when people faced scarcity of petrol, he designed and initiated TVS Gas Plant. Some of the companies that come under TVS group are: