“Motivating entrepreneurs to aim higher”: C.K. Ranganathan, Past Chairman, CII-Tamil Nadu
On April 18, 2010 the IMAGE auditorium at Chennai reverberated with the spirit of entrepreneurship when nine entrepreneurs took the podium to receive CII Tamil Nadu Emerging Entrepreneurs Award for nine different categories from the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. M. K. Stalin. Business Line partnered with CII to bring the first ever CII emerging entrepreneurship award to recognize and motive entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu, who have contributed significantly the state’s economic growth. The government also joined the endeavor to recognize winners among entrepreneurs with the announcement from the Deputy Chief Minister who said that the state government will institute awards from this year for businesses that worked with social responsibility. It was heartening to note that the award winners were chosen from an initial list of 170 entrepreneurs who contributed to more than 50% of the state’s economic growth, according to Mr. Stalin.
Twenty-four entrepreneurs were shortlisted from the initial 170 and the Business Line reporters traveled the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu to capture a 7-minute video of each entrepreneur to be presented to the awards jury committee, which made a decision not based only on the video but on three years’ track record of the companies the entrepreneurs founded. The companies made businesses ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 500 crores.
C.K. Ranganathan, MD of CavinKare and past chairman of the CII-Tamil Nadu, who was the brain behind the institution of awards, said “the objective of the awards is motivating the entrepreneurs to aim higher and to inspire others to become entrepreneurs.” He took a leaf out of his own experience that the award he received from CII in 2004 propelled him to aim higher and grow taller.
Gopal Srinivasan, CMD, TVS Capital and Awards Committee Chairman, started off the awards ceremony by stating that entrepreneurs are freedom fighters and it is apt that they are recognized. He also paid glowing tributes to Prof. C.K. Prahalad who passed away the day before. Mr. Srinivasan studied MBA at the University of Michigan in the 1980s where Prof. Prahalad was the professor. He fondly remembers the first meeting with Prof. Prahalad who accosted Mr. Srinivasan on the corridors of the university in 1981 and recognized him. But Mr. Srinivasan did not know the professor. But the relationship initiated then grew over the years. Prof. Prahalad was on the board of TVS Group at the time of his death. He requested CII to institute the awards to honour Prof. Prahalad as C.K. Prahalad Emerging Entrepreneurs Award. Prof. Prahalad would have won the Nobel Prize for management if there was one in that category, said Mr. Srinivasan. He said it was a tough task to narrow the winners to nine categories but all the 24 entrepreneurs shortlisted have shown tremendous spirit and enterprise in building their businesses.
The awards jury committee was headed by N. Kumar, Past President CII and Vice Chairman of Sanmar Group. The members of the committee were N. Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner; Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman of Cognizant; P.S. Raman, Advocate General of Tamil Nadu; Preetha Reddy, MD of Apollo Hospitals; Akhila Srinivasan, MD, Shriram Life Insurance; and B.S. Vanavarayar, MD, Shakthi Textiles.
Mr. Srinivasan requested each jury committee member in turn to read out the citation and then the awards were presented by the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to the winners.
The winners and the categories:
1. GKR Reddy of MARG ProperTies for vision and willingness to dream big
2. P.C. Duraisamy of Sakthi Masala for excellence in entrepreneurship with social face
3. A.M. Arun of Vaasan Eye Care for retail health care
4. V. Sathish Babu of UniverCell for excellence in execution
5. R. Dinesh of TVS Logistics for innovation and niche global delivery model
6. X. Durairaj of PowerGear for helping energy grow globally
7. V. Sundaramoorthy of Symbiotic Infotech for innovation in business model
8. T. T. Varadarajan of Maya Appliances (Preethi brand of home appliances) for product innovation and excellence
9. H.R. Srinivasan of TAKE Solutions for global reach and superior intellectual property
CII Tamil Nadu also released a publication that profiled the 24 shortlisted entrepreneurs. The publication was released by Mr. M.K. Stalin and the first copy was received by Mr. T.M. Basin, CMD of Indian Bank.
Mrs. Nandini Rangaswamy, Chairperson, State Council of CII-Tamil Nadu, proposed the vote of thanks.
The auditorium was full to capacity with entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and members of the family of the entrepreneurs. CII’s intention to recognize entrepreneurs and to showcase them to the world is sure to drive other entrepreneurs to think big and work towards achieving excellence in their businesses.
--Chief evangelist Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy’s report from Chennai