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Vikram Kirloskar passes away at 64

A mechanical engineering graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Vikram Kirloskar played a key role in bringing the Japanese firm Toyota Motor Corp to India in 1997.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor vice chairperson Vikram Kirloskar (Twitter/hormazdsorabjee)

Industrialist Vikram Kirloskar, who passed away after a heart attack in Bengaluru on Tuesday, was instrumental in bringing Japanese auto major Toyota to India. Kirloskar, 64, is survived by his wife Gitanjali and daughter Manasi.

A mechanical engineer from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kirloskar was the vice-chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM). He played an instrumental role in establishing TKM — a joint venture between the Japanese auto major and the Kirloskar Group. Kirloskar’s last rites were carried out at the Hebbal Crematorium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Late Vikram’s father, Srikant Kirloskar, was the nephew of Kirloskar Group doyen SL Kirloskar. Vikram was part of the fourth generation of the family. A passionate engineer, he graduated in mechanical engineering from MIT and started his career at engine company Kirloskar Cummins and went on to play an important role in bringing Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp to India in 1997, and remained at the helm for 25 years. He was the public face of the Japanese automaker in India.

After the Kirloskar family split and the separation of business, Vikram Kirloskar exited from the management of other Kirloskar Group companies and independently controlled and managed Kirloskar Systems as the CMD and held a minority stake of around 11 per cent in TKM.

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Kirloskar had also served as the president of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the past.

Toyota Motors India’s official tweet called it an “untimely demise” and extended sympathies to Vikram Kirloskar’s family and friends. Sanjiv Bajaj, president, CII, said: “Vikram’s untimely demise is a personal loss for me and CII. A leader of the Indian industry, he impressed all with his commitment and dedication to always making it a force for good.”

Chandrajit Banerjee, director-general, CII, said: “Vikram Kirloskar was always hugely invested in bringing in the most progressive ideas for its future. He guided CII and me personally in so many areas, be it technology, quality, sustainability or community initiatives. I will deeply miss his sage advice and gentle humour.”

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Former finance minister P Chidambaram condoled his passing. “Few business persons possessed his qualities of leadership, compassion and genuine friendship,” he tweeted. Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and industrialist Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw also mourned his death.

Vinod Aggarwal, president, Siam, said: “Kirloskar was widely respected and admired at all levels. He contributed immensely to the growth of the Indian auto industry and emphasised the need for making India a robust auto manufacturing hub.” Kirloskar had led Siam as the president from 2013 to 2015 and had been chairing the Siam Passenger Vehicle CEOs Council. (With FE inputs)

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 07:18 IST
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