Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Winner All The Way

Dear Friends,

This is an article that I wrote about my grandfather, with inputs from my family members, for printing in the invitation card for the Inauguration of K T Venkatarama Reddy Endowment and the 1st Endowment Lecture. The invitation scans and further details are linked to the title of this post. I welcome one and all to the event on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010, at The Residency Hotel, Coimbatore at 6 PM.

I hope I have done some justice to my illustrious grandfather by trying to summarize his numerous achievements and outstanding personal virtues in a few words. I would be happy to know from you if you think I have succeeded in my humble attempt.

Thanking you,

With regards,
Dr J Vijay Venkatraman.

Shri K T Venkatarama Reddy

Founder, KTVR Vijaydeepa Group

(03.06.1924 – 07.07.2008)

“A Winner All The Way”

Kolathur Thippi Reddy Venkatarama Reddy was born on 03-June-1924 in Kolathur, in present day Mettur Taluk, Salem District, in a poor agricultural family. He was the eldest son of Shri Thippi Reddy and Smt Gowri Ammal, amongst 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Though he was an outstanding student particularly in Mathematics, family situations forced him to quit schooling with 8th standard, but he never gave up learning for life. He metamorphosed himself from an agriculturist into a small businessman, a change that required him to strenuously travel far and wide throughout South India. A keen observer, he went on to become a building contractor in succession, implementing the knowledge he gained in the process of networking with builders and masons. Self-confidence, perseverance, honesty and unshakeable belief in his vision were his only partners.

As a building contractor, some of his landmark buildings include the Mettur Hydroelectric Power Project, Dharmapuri collectorate, Paalaaru Bridge, Chembarambakkam Lake, College of Agricultural Engineering (in The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University campus, Coimbatore), Civil Aerodrome (Coimbatore), etc. With the support of his younger son Er V Loganathan, he moved on to promotion of apartments and introduced the concept of ownership flats to Coimbatore – Vijaydeepa Apartments in 1980. He was honoured for his achievements in the construction industry by being unanimously elected as the Founder Chairman of the Builders’ Association of India - Coimbatore Centre in the same year. He constructed 25 apartment and other building projects in Coimbatore during his lifetime.

With a burning desire to provide medical service to the community, he inspired his daughter Dr V Suseela and elder son Dr V Janarthanan to take up medicine as their profession. This formed the base for the realization of yet another of his dreams – KTVR Group Hospital, a multispeciality hospital in the heart of Coimbatore city on his birthday in the year 1990. He was a competitive first generation entrepreneur but at the same time considerate to one and all to such an extent that he never hesitated to teach the tricks of his own trade to any interested person. Unconditional support from his loving wife Smt V Siddhammal played a quintessential role in the successes he saw throughout his life.

An ardent believer in Gandhian philosophy, he always wore only khadhi. He contributed a lot to the community during his tenures as Ward Councillor and Panchayat Board President of Kolathur. He drew inspiration from his acquaintance with great leaders of yesteryears such as Shri K Kamaraj, Shri R Venkataraman, Shri C Subramaniam and a host of others in public life. Having started his construction career from Kolathur Panchayat water tank, he supported the local people in building high schools, temples and also promoted quality houses at a nominal cost next to Gowri Theatre and Thippi Reddy Thirumana Mandapam, which he constructed in memory of his parents in 1986 and 1995 respectively, in his hometown.

After achieving success as an agriculturist, entrepreneur, builder and healthcare promoter, he initiated his dream project – KTVR Knowledge Park for Engineering and Technology, in 2007 at the age of 83 years. As a man of word that he was, he saw to that the engineering college began to function, even as he was in the last few days of his life. He passed away as an educationalist on 07-July-2008 at the age of 84 years. Even after his life, he inspires his family members and admirers to follow his footsteps.

Shri K T Venkatarama Reddy’s life is full of encouragement for today’s younger generation. It is yet another proof that hard work coupled with practical wisdom and righteousness never fails to attain long-term success.

KTVR was truly a class apart – an era by himself.

A winner all the way!