The Viveks story; from humble beginnings to pioneering success

January 13, 2023 04:17 pm | Updated 04:17 pm IST

Vivek & Co., a business venture by Shri. B. A. Lakshmi Narayana Setty, was the forerunner of Viveks, a name now associated with superiority, quality and a variety of choice. On May 3, 1965, Shri. B. A. Lakshmi Narayana Setty started his own business by selling fans, radios, and other small appliances out of a small 450 square foot store close to Sanskrit College in Chennai. He was motivated by Swami Vivekananda’s teachings of humility, hard work, and service. B.A. Kodandaraman Setty took over the company in 1968 and opened a second location in Purasaiwalkam in 1969 and in 1980, he opened a third location in T. Nagar.

Today, Viveks operates 23 showrooms in the Tamil Nadu cities of Chennai, Madurai, Rajapalayam, Karaikudi, Tiruchirappalli, and Salem. Over the course of its existence, this company has established a strong position in its industry and this establishment has amassed a large customer base that is constantly growing because of its base philosophy that customer satisfaction is just as important as their prominent goods and services.

Viveks, which was founded on the principles of auspiciousness, trust, customer service, and wide range of products, now employs over 400 people and presents a wide choice of distinctive products, one-of-a-kind offerings and a plethora of international brands. This organisation works hard to achieve its overall vision and goals by hiring people who are passionate about what they do.

As a professionally managed group with over 57 years of retailing experience, the brand has a wide network that covers 3 retail labels which includes Viveks, Jainson and Home Serve, selling home entertainment, large home appliances, small home appliances, IT and telecom devices and also focuses on customer service through the Home Serve Division.

The Viveks Foundation is the brainchild of the Viveks family and was established as a social service arm to assist economically underprivileged youth via healthcare and education programmes as well as to uplift women in society with the intention of becoming more involved in social activities.

Viveks has pioneered many unique offerings over the years, such as the New Year Super Sale, which began in 1977, giving their customers huge discounts, a practice that was first introduced by Viveks. Later, during the Super Sale in 2014, the Viveks-Rush Hour Sale was introduced, giving their customers a one-hour window during which they could purchase various categories of products at profoundly discounted prices well below the original cost price.

Some of the other distinctive concepts introduced by Viveks includes the Hire Purchase scheme, introduced in 1965 where under-privileged customers could buy electrical items for as little as Rs. 1 and repay the cost of the product over a period of time. As an extension of this, in 1991, the Vivek Hire Purchase and Leasing Company Limited (VHPL), a Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) was commenced for the first time by a retailer. Later in 2007, this was acquired by AIG Group (American International Group), USA. From providing over 1200 Safe Deposit Lockers in the year 1993 to starting a training centre for Retail Management- VIKAS, the Vivek Institute of Retail Management in the year 1996, Viveks has pioneered many ‘firsts’ in the retail business.

Viveks popularised various brands by raising awareness, and the company has the distinction of being an industry leader and trendsetter with ongoing support from major corporations . The company is currently led by the family’s second and third generations. B. K. Shankar, the CEO, and his brothers B. K. Vinay, Vice President- Operations and B. K. Anand, Vice President- Finance and B. S Vishal, Vice President- Marketing & E-commerce and B. K Vijay ,Vice President- Home Serve, all continue to promote the ideals previously championed by Kodandarama Setty.

The Vivek Service Centre, the largest service centre in the nation with more than 200 technicians on staff, was arguably the most successful and memorable of all. Viveks Service Centre is now called Home Serve, and in addition to offering product service, it also offers supplementary services including electrical, plumbing, and carpentry.

When Viveks established its presence on Flipkart and Amazon and then founded, it became another early entrant into the online market. This allowed customers to enjoy the same seamless shopping experience from the comfort of their homes. Customers now have the option to purchase goods in-store, over WhatsApp, or even online at the Viveks website.

Beginning on December 24,  Viveks Big 100 Day sale offers consumers the option to purchase Viveks electronic items, such as mobile phones, laptops, and other accessories, and be entered to get a chance in winning a BMW G310 RR motorcycle.

Viveks today deals with exclusive and premium products as well as the top-end international brands like Samsung, Sony, LG, Apple, Panasonic, Bosch,, Vivo, HP, Lenovo, Dell, and host of brands that attract young customers, among others, into the bargain with entry-level brands, to appeal to a broad customer base. With a host of awards and accolades, a growing customer base and ever-expanding network, it is clear that this 57-year-old company is only growing from strength to strength. 

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