Friday, July 3, 2015

Namboori K Govindaswamy Naidu: An industrialist and philanthropist from Coimbatore

Annur Annadhana Vallal Dharmaveera Namboorar Sri K Govindaswamy Naidu (12 July 1907 - 28 January 1995), popularly known as KG, was an industrialist and philanthropist from Coimbatore, in Tamil Nadu, in South India.

Annur Dharmaveera Namboorar Sri K Govindaswamy Naidu was born to an agricultural family. His formative years were difficult, and he had very little formal education. For a while, he worked with his father who was a highway contractor. He started his own business before he was twenty years old, after gaining experience in a grocery shop as an assistant.

In 1932, KG started his first ginning factory. Over the next six decades, his industrial ventures were in cotton ginning and spinning, weaving denim fabrics, manufacturing terry towels, castings, motor pumpsets and entertainment with an asset base of Rs.2 billion and sales of Rs. 3 billion, of which more than 25% came from exports. He believed in modern technology and set high standards in the business practices and for products manufactured. Revival of sick units was one of his business strategies. To create employment in rural areas, he located all his factories in villages, away from the urban areas. He insisted on employing women wherever possible.

KG was a proponent of such ideals as vegetarianism, teetotalism, piety, simple living and punctuality. He was an early riser who believed that hardwork and discipline helped achieve whatever goals you set in business. His favourite deity was Palani Sri Dhandayudapani Swamy, who he believed to be the source of all his achievements.

KG donated generously to a number of causes: religious, educational, medical service, social services, and poverty alleviation. Among his good works are six schools, a hospital with 300 beds, and scores of temples. Annandhanam – serving food - was his favorite act of service. He donated to mosques and churches also. He believed that he was only an instrument in the hands of Muruga in his service to humanity.

In recognition of KG's philanthropy, Saravanampatti Adheenam bestowed the title "Annadhana Vallal" on him. Poojya Sri Mahasannidhanam Sri Sri Abhinava Vidya Teertha Mahaswamigal of Sri Sharada Peetham, Sringeri, bestowed the title "Dharmaveera" on KG for his contributions to religious activities, including the funding and construction of the Sharadambal temple (1979) at Race Course, Coimbatore.

The Department of Posts, part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, released a special postal cover of K Govindaswamy Naidu in commemoration of the centenary celebrations at a function in his hometown, Annur on 18 July 2009.
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