Agile and fit, Krishna, an excellent raconteur, has numerous anecdotes to narrate about his company, which turned 50 this year, the lessons he has learnt on this journey and the ease with which he carries the TVS legacy.

“The first 25 years of the company,” he says without a trace of rancour, “were dark years.” He could not expand capacity even if he wanted to, because Sundram Fasteners belonged to a large group, and hence, came under the MRTP Act. His competitors, one in Mumbai and the other in Kolkata, faced no such restrictions.

More galling was that fasteners were not classified under automotive components but along with nuts and bolts as mild steel fasteners, despite the automotive sector accounting for a bulk of Sundram Fasteners’ sales; that sector accounts for as much as 95 per cent of its sales now.

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