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Revving up the manufacturing sector Modi and the lady Adharma of opposition politics Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... …and of a popular trade leader China invests in India Contrarian cousins Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A think tank for Chennai Mu Sigma – is no more Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Tough task taking states together Which side are you, Montek? Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Discoms deserve better… When nations steal growth from one another… Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Shale gas and its shallow future Medical costs hit the roof... Fuel for thought Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Engineering seats go abegging A proud Madrasi A friendly business group Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Noble nonagenarians... Russi Mody – a tribute Strengthen the base... An enemy’s enemy is a friend A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… No engine for this car IAS invades NDDB... Kudos to NDTV... EEC at the National Media Centre The power-full Hindujas Solar thermal shines… Convulsions in The Hindu Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The rise and rise of KCP Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... ONGC at KG Basin Robber barons everywhere West Bengal: mindless malignancy Should we change the official year? CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai More heat than light Sri Lanka votes for change Nuclear power at the nucleus Haul over the coal Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Airlines in India: cost and space He saved millions from starvation... Solar, solar everywhere … Editor's Notes More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Delhi is distant Moily’s bold thrust PC’s preference for professionals When Ratan Tata visited SRM R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Quality silica from Neyveli Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Why land prices zoom in TN? Fortune for Indian Airlines Align crops to agro climate endowments… The nuclear option A more liberated TN… Vibrant Gujarat Demise of a media baron... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders For whom the bell tolls? More tributes to GR GNS - 100: our first subscriber Where a state respects its litterateurs… Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Tribute CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Fortune 500 review Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Poor quality of university VCs Road development slows down Silver Years of Madras Musings Auto components surge… IPL - no surprise this scam Delhi returns to BJP There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Editor's Says Polls and promises Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Intellectual of rare qualities Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! IPL type auction for VCs? Boy, can you beat these? Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Things happen by accident and not by design... EVM is tamper-proof The balancing act Modi storms Silicon Valley Music happens TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Parliament in paralysis... Delhi is distant… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Return to king coal for urea... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Tatas moving out of urea production... SoA @ 80 B H Kothari - a tribute Cement prices continue to rise… WTO Meet: resolved to meet again When small is no larger beautiful.. Welcome focus on core competence 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 Preserving for the future The rise and fall of Annamalai University A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The Swadeshi Trump Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel GM Technology at last! Build close rapport with business leaders Sweeter prospects for sugar The why of tax incentives Towards speedy justice Quality education through the PPP mode Plummeting profits of PSBs Kulandai was a giant He continues the focus on social amelioration The Gulf aviation boom When online building permits work…. Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Tax agriculture TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Tribute – M V Murugappan PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals TGS- The king storyteller Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Multi-faceted Venkat Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Valli, they are more marginalised New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Cutting the nose to spite the face Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Permanent secretariat for TN GIM TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Come elections, come advertisements... Building loyalty through the stomach Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Kinetic Karnataka CII projects higher growth… A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Gas is the way forward The brown list of Venkitaramanan TIAM turns a full cycle For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Rahman at CIC Where is Rajaji? Gay abandon in pricing Delhi Chalo... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Maximising the micro pricing … Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Roaring Ro-Ro facility Funding the un-funded The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik This scant respect for Law The sea- saw battle continues... Wise Presidents Paytm karo... Shipping woes of Chennai companies A welcome initiative by the judiciary The Jan Dhan bonanza An inexplicable neglect F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing A glass full of corruption When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's A yen for wastage… A professional at the helm of IRDA... Another Indian music maestro at the UN Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel TELANGANA at last…BUT How Air-India loses customs... The few handicaps... Revive development banks... Pharma – overdose of copying Put expensive assets created to use... When the President was rendered homeless… More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Secularism and anti-Hinduism Mersal magnified Shanti and Sadhana through Music CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Tatas moving out of urea production... Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu No Maha Koottani in TN... Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Muffled voices for merit… Protest masters... Small units prefers to remain small... Readers' Mail Telangana in top gear… Making ‘my Amaravati’... Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Streamlining mandatory third party cover Banning booze... Five star activism stalls development activity Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Welcome GST Waning interest in public discussions… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Breaththrough in malaria control Make standards certification mandatory... An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu The star of Spencers is no more London, London Narayan Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Why this malaise in medical education?
 
Tribute – UCAL Selvan…

The demise of C V Karthik Narayanan (CVK) marked a loss of a multifaceted business leader. CVK, a grandson of Dr C P Ramaswamy Iyer, took charge of Standard Motor Products of India Ltd from his father-in-law K V Srinivasan. 

Founded by K Gopalakrishna (KG) Standard Motors, part of the Union Motors group, was an iconic brand for a couple of decades. KG set up the facility in collaboration with the British Standard-Triumph International after distributing the cars imported earlier. SMPI initially assembled the cars out of CKD and SKD packs. The brands Vanguard, Standard 10, Companion, Herald… with sturdy and efficient engines, commanded a modest clientele (I started my auto journey with a Standard Herald in 1969 then priced Rs 18,000; it performed so well and was low on maintenance). 

CVK focused on the light commercial vehicle Standard 20, priced low and offered decent performance. In the era of licences and controls, it was popular and profitable for the company even producing at low volumes of a few hundred. 

In the late 1980s, with great optimism, CVK introduced the Standard 2000 sedan as a luxury car. Launching it, then President R Venkataraman hailed it as ‘a beauty and an engineering marvel.’ 

To manufacture these CVK imported the machine tools and the entire equipment from Britain after the British company discontinued production of this model, at a modest price (of around Rs 85 lakh). However, powering it with the old Vanguard engine was not effective and resulted in low mileage. Big Brother Hindustan Motors’ C K Birla found it a competitor to his equally gas guzzling Contessa and succeeded in pushing out the Standard 2000. SMPI turned sick and CVK focused on UCAL Auto Private Ltd, UCAL Products Pvt Ltd and UCAL Travels. With land prices soaring, the large land mass acquired by KG was a boon. 

CVK will also be remembered for his monumental work in translating the popular Tamil writer Kalki’s historic novel Ponniyin Selvan into English. 

CVK’s daughter Gayathri Sriram is the Senior Vice President, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industries. 



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