‘Gear man’ of Coimbatore, P. Subramanian, no more

P. Subramanian   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

P. Subramanian, known as the ‘gear man of Coimbatore’, died on Friday. He was 79.

Subramanian was a man known for both his contributions to the gear industry and for philanthropy. He had worked for a short period as an instructor at PSG College of Technology and then ventured into the gear industry in the 1970s, when there were only two dominant players in the country in that sector, and none from Coimbatore. He founded Shanthi Gears in the 1970s and it was acquired by Tube Investments of India of the Murugappa Group in 2012.

“He (Subramanian) was the first man who developed gears in Coimbatore and supplied gears even for high-precision industries across the country,” sais C. R. Swaminathan, former Chief Executive of PSG Institutions.

“He designed and developed some of the machinery to make gears too. There was a huge demand for gears in the textile industry in Coimbatore then, and he saw the potential. He went on to make gears for different industries and even exported. He built the Shanthi brand into a national name. He was involved in all the departments at the factory, never feared to meet Union leaders if there was a problem, visited several international fairs and imported high technology machinery to make gears,” says Iakoka Subramaniam, an industrialist, who had worked in Shanthi for a few years.

Both of them recollect that Subramanian “was a different man”, spiritual, and a philanthropist always.

Shanthi Social Services was started in 1996 and it runs canteens, healthcare facilities, and other does other outreach activities. What has made Shanthi popular among the public is the high quality of service available at low prices at its facilities. “He was, by nature, helpful and had his own ideas. He had also supported several government schools, donated for road development in villages, etc. If a piece of land had to be acquired to lay a road to a village, he would acquire the land, develop the road, and hand over the land to the panchayat. He shunned publicity,” adds Mr. Iakoka Subramaniam. He was a silent revolutionary in Coimbatore, he adds.

P. Subramanian is survived by three daughters.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 1:28:34 PM |

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