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