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Kulandai was a giant Contrarian cousins Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Valli, they are more marginalised Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Fortune for Indian Airlines Mu Sigma – is no more PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Telangana in top gear… The sea- saw battle continues... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Towards speedy justice Fortune 500 review A glass full of corruption IPL type auction for VCs? Gas is the way forward GM Technology at last! Where is Rajaji? Increasing non co-operation of state leaders London, London Narayan TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector The Jan Dhan bonanza He saved millions from starvation... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Poor quality of university VCs Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Wise Presidents Plummeting profits of PSBs Where a state respects its litterateurs… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways When online building permits work…. Tatas moving out of urea production... Tatas moving out of urea production... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Come elections, come advertisements... Revive development banks... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... A welcome initiative by the judiciary CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Another Indian music maestro at the UN Sweeter prospects for sugar Readers' Mail Things happen by accident and not by design... Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Auto components surge… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu EEC at the National Media Centre Robber barons everywhere Music happens Delhi Chalo... This scant respect for Law Strengthen the base... Shipping woes of Chennai companies GNS - 100: our first subscriber TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... West Bengal: mindless malignancy Building loyalty through the stomach The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Modi storms Silicon Valley How Air-India loses customs... Five star activism stalls development activity Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Medical costs hit the roof... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Paytm karo... 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Tribute – M V Murugappan ONGC at KG Basin Rahman at CIC Gay abandon in pricing More Shakti to resource mobilisation... WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Making ‘my Amaravati’... Quality silica from Neyveli Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Align crops to agro climate endowments… Cement prices continue to rise… Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel More heat than light Fuel for thought When Ratan Tata visited SRM Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Solar, solar everywhere … A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science The star of Spencers is no more Waning interest in public discussions… Airlines in India: cost and space TELANGANA at last…BUT Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Intellectual of rare qualities IAS invades NDDB... Streamlining mandatory third party cover Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt The brown list of Venkitaramanan Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Put expensive assets created to use... Editor's Says Kudos to NDTV... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride A yen for wastage… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Funding the un-funded F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? 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Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Welcome GST Welcome focus on core competence CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Sweet news for TN sugar mills All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya SoA @ 80 Should we change the official year? B H Kothari - a tribute to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Quality education through the PPP mode Why this malaise in medical education? He continues the focus on social amelioration Make standards certification mandatory... Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Secularism and anti-Hinduism For whom the bell tolls? Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Silver Years of Madras Musings Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... When the President was rendered homeless… Small units prefers to remain small... PC’s preference for professionals More tributes to GR
 
TIAM turns a full cycle

Tube Investments of India Ltd (referred to as TIAM), part of the Murugappa Group, pioneered the production of bicycles in the south six decades ago. Set up in collaboration with prestigious British companies like Tube Investments, Brampton Fittings, Wright Saddles… TI Cycles produced branded bicycles in higher value ranges. Along with Tube Products and TI Metal Sections, the Murugappa Group emerged a leader in the light engineering sector.

Its contemporaries, Sen and Pandit which manufactured Raleigh, Rudge and Humber brands of cycles and Hind Cycles, the oldest bicycle unit set up by the Birlas, turned sick, were nationalised and later closed down. TIAM changed its track, adjusted to emerging market needs, focused on high-end bicycles and became a leader in this segment. A recent annual report of TII referred to identifying ‘new class of consumers fast taking to the turf of cycling, health, recreation, environmental sensitivity, community of like-minded people’ as the new generation growth drivers. While the demand for conventional products stagnated or grew very slow (at 2 per cent last year), TI Cycles’ sales recorded a growth of 6 per cent resulting in increased revenue from cycles and components to Rs 1314 crore (Rs 1185 crore in 2013-14).

The company has manufacturing plants in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. A new bicycle plant is under construction at Rajpura, Punjab to cater to the Northern and Eastern markets.  I remember the acute competition faced by TIAM, Sen, Pandit and Hind Cycles, having their plants respectively at Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai, from Hero Cycles, Avon Cycles and Road Master Industries in Punjab and Atlas Cycles in Haryana. The northern companies could offer bicycles with comparable quality at much cheaper prices. This eventually led to the closure of two of these. Even TIAM remained closed in the late 1960s for over 10 months.  

M V Subbiah, then heading the operations of TI Cycles in 1960s, re-structured the operations: phased out the costlier production of components, saddles… focused on higher end products and turned around the company. I remember the initial disdain of procuring components from Punjab on quality considerations. But soon, TI opened shop at Faridabad; in recent years it has been procuring components from China, now busy constructing a modern plant at Rajpura! A full cycle has been turned!

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