The Rs 7,000 crore-Amalgamations Group’s chairman, A Sivasailam, died at Chikmagalur district, Karnataka, yesterday. He was 76 and is survived by two daughters, Mallika Srinivasan and Jayshree Venkataraman, Directors of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd (Tafe).
Sivasailam suffered a cardiac arrest at Sringeri while on a pilgrimage trip. A private aircraft was chartered from Mumbai to bring the body to Chennai from Mangalore last night.
TVS Motor Company’s chairman and managing director, Venu Srinivasan, and WS Industries’ vice-chairman, Murali Venkataraman, are his sons-in-law. Sivasailam was also a noted philanthropist, known for his contribution towards the welfare of the poor and renovation of temples.
Born on August 24, 1934, he was the elder son of S Anantharamakrishnan, founder-chairman of the Amalgamations Group. He graduated in commerce from the University of Madras, and after a four-year stint in management accounting with a leading firm of chartered accountants in London, he returned to join the Group.
In 1961, Sivasailam became Tafe’s general manager and subsequently its chairman and managing director. In 1968, he became chairman of the Amalgamations Group.
It has grown from a Rs 35 crore turnover in 1961 to the present Rs 7,000 crore and one of India’s largest light engineering groups, consisting of 48 companies, with 12,000 personnel. Its operations include automotive components manufacturing, trading and distribution, services and plantations.
The company’s associates and collaborators are world leaders in their respective fields — AGCO from the US, The Perkins Group of the UK,Federal Moghul, Stanadyne, Van Moppes, United Engineering and Forgings, Valeo, SAFT, Daido Metals, Nippon Piston Rings and BB Batteries of China.
Sivasailam’s family hail from Tiruneveli district in south Tamil Nadu. As part of his contribution to the district, he established the Paramakalyani group of educational institutions at Alwarkurichi, his native village, and the Institute of Environment Sciences at the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.
A C Muthiah, chairman, Spic group of companies, one of the oldest industrial houses in Tamil Nadu, called him “a highly respected spiritual leader and one of the greatest industrialists, not only in Tamil Nadu but all over India”, going on to mention Sivasailam’s selflessness, humaneness and greatness”.
He was given a Padma Shri, among other awards. He was also recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the All-India Management Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers, the Golden Jubilee Lifetime Contribution Award by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from SAE India. He was also honoured with the Outstanding Industrialist Award by the National Institute of Quality Assurance.
Anantharamakrishnan, the father of Sivasailam, joined the Simpsons Group, a British-owned South Indian business conglomerate, as Secretary in 1935. He was one of three directors and the only Indian one on the board when Simpsons formed a holding company in 1938. The induction marked the group’s partial Indianisation. The very next year, it was converted into a public limited company. This eventually became the Amalgamations Group in 1941.
Anantharamakrishnan was responsible for the rapid expansion of the Group in the 1940s. He took charge in 1945, though officially became its Chairman only in 1953. After his death, it was managed by Sivasailam and his other son, A Krishnamoorthy, under whose management the group grew steadily. Today, it is one of the three largest business groups based in in Chennai. The flagship company is Tafe, India’s second largest tractor company.