Tamil Nadu

Ex-BHEL, Maruti chairman V. Krishnamurthy no more

 Dr. V. Krishnamurthy

Dr. V. Krishnamurthy | Photo Credit: File photo

V. Krishnamurthy, former chairman of BHEL, Maruti Udyog and SAIL and former Secretary of Industries, Government of India, died on Sunday due to age-related ailments. He was 97 and is survived by two sons, Chandra and Jayakar, five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Krishnamurthy had earned a reputation as the “Turnaround Man” and fostered some of the biggest success stories of India’s public sector.

Born in Karuveli, Tamil Nadu, he started his illustrious career as a technician on the airfields during World War II before studying for a diploma in electrical engineering, following which he rose up through the ranks of the Madras Electricity Board.

By 1954, he had gained recognition from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and was appointed to the Planning Commission in charge of Power Projects. Later at BHEL, he helped save the company from its imminent disintegration.

As founding chairman of Maruti, he ushered in the modern era of the automobile industry in India, permanently altering the automotive landscape with his introduction of the Maruti 800. He then went on to turn around the SAIL from a failing company, shaking up the entire organisation into an industry leader.

Long career

Krishnamurthy, who received the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards and Japan’s The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, also served as Chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) during 2004 - 2014, in the rank of Cabinet Minister. He also served in many other Prime Minister’s Committees during his long career in public service

He has held positions as the Chairman of IIM Ahmedabad and Bangalore; IIT Delhi; and the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar; Chancellor of Central University of Tamil Nadu; and Indian Maritime University.

He spent his final years in Chennai, supporting family company UCAL Fuel Systems in an advisory role.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh condoled his death. “A true legend among public sector managers, a man who built BHEL, turned around SAIL and launched Maruti, is no more. V. Krishnamurthy had a glorious innings but missed his century by just three years. He’ll remain an important part of Indian economic history, he said in a Tweet.

Describing Krishnamurthy’s passing as a great loss to the Indian industry and to the country, TVS Motor Company chairman emeritus Venu Srinivasan in a statement described him as one of the tallest leaders in Indian industry and said his contribution to the growth of India was immeasurable.

“Dr. V. Krishnamurthy was my mentor right from the time I started work and right through my entire career. He had an important role to play in helping me build TVS Motor company,” he recalled.

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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 10:02:16 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ex-bhel-maruti-chairman-v-krishnamurthy-no-more/article65567687.ece