Keep your ‘L’ board alive – M. S. Arulvel, Associate Vice President, Malar Publications


Arusuvai Arasu (meaning, in Tamil, the emperor of six tastes of food) is N. Nataraja Iyer, an octogenarian who had created a niche for himself in the food industry, and served food for lakhs of people. Recalling a meeting with Arusuvai Arasu, M. S. Arulvel, Associate Vice President of Malar Publications Ltd, shares an insight of relevance to entrepreneurs: “He says that the hotel proprietor who is ready to clean the table will become a great businessman. That’s really true.”Another insight that Arulvel recalls is of the veteran actor Manorama, who had said in an interview after completing 1,000 films, that she still experienced fear when acting with a new hero, or new producer. “I should not be late, so I will go 15 minutes earlier.” Keep the momentum for life, says Arulvel. “For example, after 30 days the vehicle ‘L’ board is thrown away. But, keep learning throughout your life. Keep your ‘L’ board alive. Keep learning every day, and try to learn from each and every source. Learning should be in all the things, learning should be alive.”

Don’t slowdown your speed

As simple advice for entrepreneurs, Arulvel mentions the Tamil saying, with the meaning, “Winning horse will never see the grass.” Have a clear-cut goal, never get into small diversions, he cautions. “People may advise you to change your name, change your direction, and change the colour. Many entrepreneurs spoil most of their time on those aspects. I am not against horoscope, astrology, and so forth, but my message is, don’t slowdown your speed with them.”


There is a market for everybody; there is always an untapped market bigger than the tapped one, observes Arulvel. “For example, if you take the newspaper industry in Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, the population is more than a crore, whereas the reach is only 20 lakh, with 80 per cent untapped. There is room for every product, every segment. Instead of directly competing with the other players, think of what’s new, create your market segment, it is possible.”


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