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The Visionary Journey Behind TVS Motors’ Rise To Success By Running A Bus Service

TVS Motors, India's third-largest two-wheeler company, realized the aspirations of an ordinary man with its affordable bike. Let's trace TVS's journey from its inception.

Edited By : Malika Sahni | Updated: Nov 22, 2023 10:26 IST
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TV Sundram Iyengar’s Success Story: TVS Motors, India’s third-largest two-wheeler company, realized the aspirations of an ordinary man with its affordable bike. The company’s scooter made a significant impact, particularly the TVS Scooty, which holds a special place in the hearts of Indian women. TVS also introduced ABS technology in bikes, a first in India. The Apache RTR series set performance and speed records. Initially, TVS sought assistance from several foreign companies, but today, in collaboration with BMW, the company stands at the forefront of the industry. Let’s trace TVS’s journey from its inception.

TVS: A Fruit of Passion

Despite its name sounding foreign, TVS is the product of a common boy’s fervor from South India. The story dates back to 1877 when TV Sundaram Iyengar was born in Tamil Nadu. His father envisioned a career in law for him, but Iyengar’s destiny charted a different course. After a brief stint in the railways, he joined a bank.

Commencement of First Bus Service

Destined to create job opportunities, Iyengar couldn’t fathom working under someone else. After contemplation, he ventured into entrepreneurship. However, during British rule, stepping away from a government job into business was a daring move. Nevertheless, in 1911, Iyengar initiated South India’s inaugural bus service, covering an 80-kilometer route under the name TV Sundaram Iyengar & Sons. The punctuality of this service earned it immense popularity, known for never running late.

Diversification into Manufacturing

Embraced by the people, Iyengar expanded further. In 1919, he ventured into manufacturing by establishing Madras Auto Service Limited, which encompassed spare parts production alongside sales and service under Sundaram Motors. This venture also secured a General Motors dealership.

The TVS Group Today

With an ever-growing automotive expertise, TV Sundaram Iyengar’s dream materialized in the form of a bike in 1980. The company’s profits surged fourfold thereafter. Did the bike instantly capture people’s attention upon its market debut? There was no looking back for the company since. Presently, the TVS Group oversees more than 40 companies. Generating revenue of $8.5 billion, it employs over 60,000 individuals, with TVS Motors being a significant part. Iyengar himself holds a stake valued at $3.1 billion within the group.

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First published on: Nov 22, 2023 10:26 AM IST

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