India, the Punyabhoomi is home to great saints, myths, traditions, and culture. It is abundantly rich in holy and spiritual places whose practices rem...
Octogenarian Entrepreneur Jagadhesan and his wife Sowndaram were very pleasant during our visit to their residence. The sylvan surroundings added to the charm of their expression. The humble entrepreneur was born to Engineer Subbaiah Naidu and Ranganayaki. Jagadhesan hails from the Rajakondalar Kulam and his family deity happens to be Madhamma Govindamma and the shrine is located at Atthipalayam in the Greater Coimbatore Region.
The entrepreneur did his early education at St. Michael’s High School and the Union High School. He did his PUC from the P. S. G. College of Arts and Science. It was possible to acquire a degree in B. E. Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering simultaneously and the intelligent Jagadhesan completed both the programs simultaneously. He was a teacher at the P. S. G. College of Technology for some time. Meanwhile, his father Subbaiah Naidu had established Govardhana Engineering Industries. Subbaiah Naidu had been an important person at the P. S. G. Industrial Institute and had been close to the founding family.
Jagadhesan joined his father in the year 1960 and began his career as a businessman. Meanwhile, he came to know about an Indo-German Cooperative Scheme, and he appeared in an All-India level Competition connected with the same. Each year about 20 people were chosen at the rate of one per subject based on scholarship. Young Jagadhesan cleared the motor’s test and he opted for training. He completed his training at Leipzig in Germany and returned to India. Marriage to Sowndaram took place in 1967 and the couple were blessed with Sathishraj and Sangeetha. The offspring of the Jagadhesans are currently residing at U. S. A.
Jagadhesan was quite an active person socially. He would often attend meetings and get-togethers. This led him to attend a meeting at the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore. The organization had been packed with big shots and elders. Jagadhesan felt that an industrial body was important and therefore he came up with a meeting along with his friends. This led to the founding of the Coimbatore District Small-scale Industries Association. This iconic body is popularly known as CODISSIA. Industrial Scientist G. D. Naidu was greatly enthused with this development. He offered the president hall free-of-cost to CODISSIA for conducting their meetings, provided the organization was 100 members strong.
Jagadhesan and his friends travelled all around the old Coimbatore district (Today’s Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Erode) and inducted several members. The first annual general body meeting was attended by more than 200 members. Jagadhesan became the founder member and founder president. He was very happy to show his membership card during the meeting with Jaganathan and myself at his residence. The founder-president of CODISSIA served in office between 1967 and 1973.
“Our members were kind enough to permit me to stay for a longer time as the president of this prestigious organization. I felt that it was not correct for the same person to stay in office for a long time. I stated that I was not the only talented person available for there were many others who could take up the leadership. Thereafter, a new president was chosen once in two years and this aspect was drafted into the constitution of CODISSIA.”
“The office-bearers consisted of the president, three vice-presidents, secretary, joint-secretary, treasurer and committee members for the many verticals. We had an ad hoc selection for the first time and thereafter a regular election once every two years. I was given the honour of serving as a committee member through my lifetime. Veluswamy of Velumani Industries succeeded me as the president of CODISSIA. I’m very happy to see CODISSIA grow into a large organization. Our members have become the engine drivers for employment and entrepreneurship in this part of the country,” smiled the octogenarian industrialist while reminiscing the past.
The hardworking Jagadhesan has been happy opportunity seeker all along. He stumbled upon a company which offered Java training. More than 400 students had joined the program in the year 2000. Unfortunately, the software industry collapsed but Jagadhesan managed to run his establishment. He had 18 people working under him and they had a contract for data conversion with another company which was located nearby.
“Our manager suggested that we tap the clients directly. We made a few calls, and we got the first order within a week. Well, it was a trial order, and the satisfied client ensured a steady flow of orders. We got loaded with orders and it was our turning point. Our clients recommended others and it became like a chain.”
“Today, our company S. R. J. Infognana Systems Private Ltd. offers employment to over 300 people. My daughter-in-law Arati had given the name for the company. We have an 8000 Sq. ft., office at the tidal park. Our company was exempted from tax for 5 years and it began as a 100 percent export-oriented unit. I had started off into a new line of activity and that too information technology at the age of 65. It was new for me, and I had no knowledge about it earlier.”
“My daughter-in-law Arati has been helping me over the last two years. Our company has six divisions, and we have six managers with independent responsibilities. Yes, we have delegated authority and it is backed by the concept called accountability. I work from home during the day. A part of my time is spent on my exercises. My wife Sowndaram and myself go to our office at the tidal park by 5 pm every evening and return at 9 pm. Now, a new office is happening.”
“I'm happy to state that we have several multinational clients, and they include Reliance, Amazon, and Flipkart. My experience has taught me that fresh thinking is extremely important, for it ushers in newer opportunities. We should never think that we are the only experts. There could be many other experts. We should accept the expertise of others and give them a chance. I have observed that managers refuse to recruit people who are smarter than themselves. Such an attitude will stifle growth and progress. I sincerely suggest that we should know how to harvest the intelligence of people and only that way we would grow,” added Jagadhesan while talking in length about his life and career. Neither age nor ailment has deterred him from working successfully.
Thanks to Jagadhesan and the huge family at CODISSIA, the organization is today the biggest district level association in India. Jagadhesan is a dharmic entrepreneur and he truly believes that preserving our faith is as important as discharging his duties as an entrepreneur. His company is doing great in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility. S. R. J. Infognana Systems Pvt. Ltd. has adopted a government school in the Ukkadam-Selvapuram area in Coimbatore. The company had built toilets, and a mid-day meals hall for the students. It had provided funds for the laboratory and has also got the playground repaired. Jagadhesan suggested that Jaganathan and I visit the school and give a feedback.
The dharmic Hindu S. Jagadhesan contributes regularly to Sevaashram at Coimbatore. This ashram looks after the well-being of more than a few students by providing food and shelter for them. Jagadhesan is a believer in Ram Rajya and has contributed financially towards the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya.
Jagadhesan and his wife Sowndaram were happy to receive nine volumes of ‘Valmiki Ramayan’ which was translated into Tamil by Rao Sahib P. S. Krishnaswamy Iyer. He was happy to let us take a picture of him receiving the same. The family of P. S. Krishnaswamy Iyer under the leadership of Sunder Ramachandran have reprinted the nine volumes of ‘Valmiki Ramayan’ and have been giving away sets of the same to people who have been contributing towards the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya. He is also offering it to other dharmic causes connected with our eternal religion Sanatana dharma. The wonderful entrepreneur Jagadhesan was the first in Coimbatore to receive these copies.
Karma yogi Jagadhesan loves to work and engage with innovation and the story continues...
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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