‘Let’s adopt the German system’
The Murugappa Group was founded by Subbiah’s grandfather AM Murugappa Chettiar in 1934. The group was a pioneer in many ways, such as setting up the first cycle factory in the country. Subbiah entered the business 43 years ago. By the late 60s, things were beginning to slow down, and problems started surfacing. He emerged as a tough leader who could turn around ailing units. In the late 60s, he put group company Corborundum Universal back on the tracks. In the 70s, TI Cycles was beginning to lose out to competition from the West and the North, and was facing a lot of labour troubles that led to a ten-month lockout. Subbiah took a tough stand, was not averse to making unpopular decisions, and finally
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