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December 31, 2012

TVS Group - A Success Story

T. V. Sundaram Iyengar, a man with a zeal for entrepreneurship gave up his lucrative employment with the Indian Railways to set up his own business in the automotive industry. He started as a manufacturer of buses and trucks in Madurai. He had laid the foundation stone for T. V. Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Ltd, which later on evolved into the mighty TVS group. His sons took forward his legacy after his death in 1955, entering various sectors of the automobile world – finances, insurance, manufacture of automobile parts and two wheelers. Today, TVS group has more than 30 companies under its umbrella and the combined turnover is about 3 billion US dollars.


The backdrop of TVS motorcycles


Clayton Dewandre Holdings, a company from United Kingdom had formed a joint venture (JV) with TVS called Sundaram Clayton, which was into manufacture of various automobile parts. The JV entered into a technical collaboration with the Japanese giant of two wheelers, Suzuki Motor Corporation and commercial production of two wheelers commenced since 1984. The union was aimed at gaining access to better technology, and moulding it as per the needs of the Indian market. The JV was re-named as TVS-Suzuki and went on to release many popular brands of two wheelers, such as Suzuki Samurai and Suzuki Fiero. Unfortunately, the tie-up had to be ended in 2001.


But TVS has never looked back since the first two wheeler manufactured in 1984. Their commitment to excellence, ability to anticipate the market demand and launch the correct product at the correct time at the correct price have worked wonders for them. They now have four manufacturing plants with the latest technologies adopted at Hosur (Tamil Nadu), Mysore (Karnataka), Nalagarh (Himachal Pradesh) and Karawang (Indonesia).   


The Success Story that continues


TVS has many been the pioneers of many innovations in the two wheeler market – they introduced India’s first two seater 50 cc moped in 1980, first 100 cc Indo – Japanese motorcycles in 1984, first scooterette (TVS Scooty) in 1994 and many more. The company is the proud manufacturer of TVS Apache, the bike that won 6 awards in a row. TVS has embarked on an unbeaten path of innovation – they are the record holders of launching as many as 7 designs in a day!


There have been many awards to felicitate these achievements and more – the Ace Award for Most Innovative Netweaver Implementation for using IT effectively,  Team Tech 2007 Award of Excellence for Integrated use of Computer Aided Engineering Technologies, Deming Application Prize for outstanding quality management, National Award for Successful Commercialization of Indigenous Technology, Design Excellence Award, etc.


TVS has also won many an accolade for its management practices, being titled as “Emerging Corporate Giant in the Private Sector”, “Best Managed Company”, “Most Investor Friendly Company”,  and likewise.


The Chairman, Venu Srinivasan, has been awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest distinctions for civilians.


Eco friendly innovations


The focus of the group has also been on being environment friendly by adopting cleaner technologies. TVS Shogun, launched way back in 1996, was the first Indian bike to use a catalytic converter. Also, 85% of all vehicles produced by the Group are recyclable, complying with the global standards.


Research is ongoing in the sector of alternative fuel technology. Electric scooters, and CNG/ LPG versions of three wheelers (auto rickshaws) have already been launched.


Controversies


Labour unrest was faced with during the dissolving of the partnership with Suzuki. The management of TVS Group pulled through this tumultuous phase and went on to invest more in inhouse capacity building, learn from new technologies globally but have indigenous designs; thus gaining back the confidence of the employees.


Working with TVS


At TVS, the philosophy is “Do it right the first time”, which has been adopted since the association with the Japanese in previous ventures. This optimizes resource utilization and increases efficiency.


Everyone is a leader in TVS – they are given responsibilities even at junior levels. They strive to adopt new and relevant technology – calling it “Technodynamism”. And each innovation translates into a tangible experience for the customers. As the Chairman puts it, “a small idea gets transformed into a machine”. Styling and other aspects are also focused upon. There is a keen eye for quality and a zeal to understand needs of the consumers better.  This is perhaps the secret of satisfaction from more than 15 million customers TVS has served so far.


Along with customer satisfaction, TVS has also gained the approval of its employees. The company policies are employee – friendly, taking care of all members, especially the juniors. There is a great opportunity for one to learn by interacting with the best professionals in the field. The company believes that employees are their true assets who define the present and future for TVS. They recruit not only the best experienced professionals but fresh graduates as well through campus interviews at premiere institutions. The orientation is towards innovation and the Group strives to remain ahead of the expectations of the market – pushing all employees to deliver their best and challenge their own limits to achieve better results.


The hierarchy is defined – so inter departmental workflows are smooth. There is a system of providing feedback about anything and anyone. Monthly meetings are held where achievements and targets are discussed so that everyone is abreast of the latest happenings and is has the same goal in mind. Individual Action Plans are set for personal development. Training for soft skills as well as technical knowhow is imparted to the relevant persons. The office timings are defined and usually abided by, so that there is ample time for one to spend with his family or friends. The senior management encourages one and all to share their experiences and experiment, get into research and produce the most innovative products. There is a strict dress code that one has to abide by in all situations – but that is hardly a problem when you get to work with such an employee friendly organization, isn’t it?

Tags : TVS, Suzuki, Two wheeler, Moped, Scooty, Motorcycle, history, eco friendly innovations, controversies, working with tvs group

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.