Industry

Industrialist K. Mahesh breathes his last

He steered Sundaram Brake Linings

K. Mahesh, chairman of Sundaram Brake Linings Ltd. (SBL), passed away on Saturday. He had been ailing for a while.

Born on October 11, 1943, he was the youngest of the four siblings of T.S. Krishna of the TVS Group. He is survived by wife, two daughters and son Krishna Mahesh, who is the managing director of SBL.

Mr. Mahesh earned a bachelor of technology degree in metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

He was also the whole-time director of T V Sundram Iyengar & Sons Private Ltd.

He held the posts of chairman and managing director but relinquished his position as managing director on May 26, 2014 to pave way for his son Krishna Mahesh. After retirement, he continued to be a director and non-executive chairman.

A man of principle, a dedicated leader and a soft-hearted person, Mr. Mahesh was also known to be a perfectionist and a taskmaster. He deeply imbibed the TVS philosophy, and looked after not only his company but also the health of the automotive component industry, said his son Krishna Mahesh.

“Mr. Mahesh was instrumental in starting the cluster programme in ACMA (Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India) about 20 years ago. The programme, over the last two decades, had benefited over 1,000 plants,” said Srivats Ram, managing director, Wheels India.

“His drive and candid feedback helped to motivate the companies in the initial cluster, and the programme helped to improve the competitiveness of the auto component industry,” he added.

“He [Mr. Mahesh] was an avid photographer,” said Harsha Viji, deputy managing director, Sundaram Finance. So much so, according to V.R. Janardhanam, former COO of the company, Mr. Mahesh used to visit Madurai every year during the ‘Chitrai’ to capture the festivities. His fondness for taking pictures of bison in Kodaikanal was well known.

Keen eye for details

“A man with a keen eye for minute details, he (Mr. Mahesh) was a champion of environmental causes. And, he insisted on SBL making only asbestos-free brake linings,” said T. Kannan, chairman of Thiagarajar College of Engineering.

That Mr. Mahesh took his union leaders, too, to Japan to receive the Deming Prize spoke volumes for not only his man-management skills but also his caring attitude towards workmen.

A philatelist with a fine collection, Mr. Mahesh, insiders felt, had stamped his place in the annals of Indian auto component industry.

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An earlier version of this article mentioned Harsha Viji’s designation as deputy chairman. He is the deputy managing director. The error is regretted.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 10:59:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/industrialist-k-mahesh-breathes-his-last/article26163253.ece

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