Ad Here  
Jeppiar calls it a day Dada of drip irrigation... A honest bank executive... Fighter-pilot turned monk... VV Goes... Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace Master of strokes The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics KB Sir for all... KP is no more Flute falls silent Bal Thackeray He was the greatest. Music Samrat!!! - TMS Music loses a maestro He contributed so much to the telecom revolution Tribute - R K Baratan ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... If only he had fastened the seat-belt... The motor sportsman is no more He elevated B&C to its best... The honest Sardarji Honest civil servant New team at the helm at TANSTIA ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur Another Leo of real estate and education is no more Saeed Jaffrey Brilliant Saeed saab Father of German unification no more... Sivaraman, 100 Deora – the best networked politician.... A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi How to build a nation Samskrt loses a passionate exponent... Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas Missile Man takes flight He took space science to such great heights! Big ideas, not big words, are important... ‘Hero’ rides into the sunset R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone When SPIC spawned star managers... He breathed transport development A genius civil servant fades He took Kone to great heights… MSV – the King of Light Music A versatile legend moves on The Rajha of Rajapalayam... India’s Master Builder… Transport S Narayanan Justice Iyer, 100 Remembering I K Gujral… Tribute – Ja Ra Su Remembering Chariji Endearing Aachi... A multi-faceted leader rests in peace Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold Scientist and leader of educational reforms Question on Operation X This trendsetter is no more Colour-Chem's colorful personality M Subramaniam A statue for RV, at last! A welcome biography on a towering CA The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post Tribute – Baldev Raj A multi faceted prince is no more... Dr M G K Menon The Hero of bicycles rests in peace
He took Kone to great heights…
He was a human dynamo. He helped build the-state-of-the-art pistons and rings plants of India Pistons Ltd at Maraimalai Nagar in quick time. He effectively transferred the fruits of these technologies to IPL’s older plants at Sembium to great advantage. That’s A Sankarakrishnan (a k a ASK) for you.
I REMEMBER THE occasions when ASK would drop in for a dosa breakfast, pick me up in the early hours and drive all by himself to Maraimalai Nagar. He would then work late into the evening and drive back in his modest Maruti car. As Executive Director, he built the plants of IPL and IP Rings with such passion and dedication! He mentored Ram Anantharamakrishnan who succeeded him and several others at IPL.

He took charge when the workers were on strike...

In March 1992, ASK took charge as the CEO of Kone Elevators. It could not have been the most ideal time: the employees of the factory were on strike; but his reputation as a dedicated manager and leader was a big help.
The President of the employees union, W R Varadarajan knew ASK well. He called off the strike within three days of the new executive assuming charge (and this without even formally discussing the industrial relations issue with ASK!).

The trust was well-placed. ASK firmly held that the IR issue was essentially a management problem. He believed that “basically every employee wants to work and earn uninterrupted.”

The Finnish engineering giant, Kone Corporation set up the Indian unit at Ayanambakkam near Chennai in collaboration with Best & Crompton in the late 1980s. When the economy opened up and when Best & Crompton, taken over by Vijay Mallya, languished, Kone acquired full control and appointed ASK as the managing director. From a unit that was struggling to earn profits, ASK turned it around and expanded. By the time he retired, he had made Kone a significant player in the elevator market: the company accounted for nearly a fourth of the total elevator market in the country.

Kone with headquarters at Helsinki has made remarkable progress in this high technology engineering field and earned a big reputation through quality, reliability and energy-efficiency. The Monospace elevators, introduced by Kone, eliminated the need for a separate machine room adding to the elegance and economy of building designs.

When Indo-Finnish ties expanded...

The reputation earned by Kone understandably paved the way for larger Finnish investments into India through Wartsila Diesel and subsequently by Nokia which later dominated the cell phone market in India for well over a decade. Soon Finnair introduced direct flight to Delhi: ASK deserves credit for the vast improvements in Indo-Finnish economic collaborations. I remember meeting him as a member of the Indian business team when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Finland in 2006.

I remember the confidence with which ASK introduced a bold new strategy that made deep in-roots into the near monopoly of the leader Otis Elevators: ASK offered to supply lifts in two weeks against the longer lead time demanded by Otis!

ASK was President of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Director, Allsec Technologies, India Cements, and India Cements Capital, among others.

ASK lost his son in a road accident at the prime of his age and didn’t recover from the shock. Afflicted by terminal cancer, the end came on 9 April 2013. IE sends in its condolences to his family and the thousands who worked with him.          

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236