One of the stalwarts of Indian Automotive industry, Vikram Kirloskar is no more. The Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor suffered a massive heart attack and passed away on November 29.
The fourth generation head of the 134 years old Kirloskar Group and a passionate engineer, he was responsible for partnering the Toyota group and kickstarting the automobile manufacturing industry in Karnataka. For this. he was also recognised by the State Government and presented with the “Suvarna Karnataka” award.
Not just for the Toyota group but Kirloskar has been instrumental in driving many initiatives across the auto industry. He had served as chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and was involved in opening the import licensing for capital equipment while serving on the Government’s Development Council for Machine Tools in the late 1980s.
That apart he had played key role at the Development Council for Automobiles and the National Council for Electric Mobility. He had also served as President, Automotive Research Association of India and the apex auto industry body, SIAM.
Apart from being an astute business head, Kirloskar was also known for his strong conviction about creating a sustainable auto ecosystem. Just a day before his sad demise he tweeted that “Tackling #climatechange is crucial. It is a critical strategic requirement that businesses must address at all cost, as a collective responsibility.”
Under his aegis, the Toyota Kirloskar plant has been undertaking various global initiatives to achieve Toyota’s global target of becoming carbon neutral by 2035. In June 2021, TKM managed 100 percent renewable energy conversion of purchased electricity at the Bidadi Plant in Karnataka and eight on-site suppliers. Not just that he also led Toyota India in creating a new circular economy based on zero waste.
Kirloskar’s last media interaction was just 5 days ago at the unveiling of the Innova HyCross in Mumbai and he spoke on host of issues like GST, importance of localisation, creating supply chains in India. He envisioned the new offering creating “excitement and take customer experience to a new HY.”With his trademark smile, the bespectacled boss of Toyota Kirloskar Motor charted out a “long-term plan on how to reduce the taxation in the auto industry.” Who knew that would become his final adieu.
Survived by his wife and daughters, his illustrious journey is perhaps best encapsulated in his own words- in a tweet that he posted on November 21 – “Small steps that you take every day determine the success of your journey.”
Outlining Kirloskar’s contribution to the auto industry, Vinod Aggarwal, President, SIAM and MD & CEO, VECV said, “He contributed immensely to the growth of the Indian auto industry and emphasised on the need for making India a robust auto manufacturing hub.”