A tribute to the Management Doyen called — Dr. V Krishnamurthy
A tribute to my management Guru
Tejinder Singh Bedi
News of Dr. V Krishnamurthy, my Management Guru passing away on June 26 shocked me. Dr. Sahab shared his date of birth with my respected father and the date was always a reason for a dual celebration between the three of us, in whatever ways we could exchange.
Besides the Ghazal Lord, Dr. Jagjit Singh Sahab, and Sardar Khushwant Singh Sahab, my other real-life Gurus in Music, and literature, Dr. VK was my real-time Management and leadership Guru.
I had a long association with Dr. Sahib from my BHEL days starting from 1975 till 2014 when he moved out to his native place back in Tamil Nadu though we maintained our email and mobile contact still for a long.
For the former CMD of BHEL, Founder MD & Chairman of Maruti, SAIL, Secretary (Heavy Industry), Chairman NMCC in the rank of a Cabinet Minister, Chairman of all IIMs, all IITs, Member Planning Commission, Advisor in Sonia Gandhi’s NAC (National Advisory Committee), his success remains unparalleled. A benchmark… for most engineers, and technocrats!
Although, I was too junior and almost a fresher, when I managed to seek his intervention for my passion to switch to the HRD stream from a very early stage of my career, he never forgot reconnecting with me in every major move of his career until 2014, when I was one among his chosen 100 top leaders as his invites for the launch of his book, “At the Helm” before shifting to Karuvile in his home state.
The first book he presented to me was “Honey Bee” written by G Ramanujam, National President of INTUC, who had an equally great role in transforming an all-new work culture of Maruti with Krishnamurthy & his deputy R C Bhargava.
My salutes to the greatest management leader. The corporate world has not seen many achievers like him for long of late and may not see them for long. The revolution that Maruti Culture heralded in the Indian Automotive, Manufacturing, and Engineering Sectors was all due to his leadership and it was wonderful to be part of his Change Team at Maruti practically from its cradle!
A man with a Midas touch for many. Just can not describe how much he loved me. He would walk into my open chamber in Maruti on the earliest days of the launch of this company, place his hand on my shoulders to often prompt me to send in a draft for a various mass communique from him to charge MUL’s employees. In addition, most of his earlier drafts on various proposals to BPE (Bureau of Public Sector Enterprises — Ministry of Finance) in MUL’s formative years too used to be scripted by me for his final edits, approvals, and stamp of authority.
After his last visit as a Chief Guest in one of the recent Punjab University mega-events at Chandigarh, he had very kindly agreed to visit the Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh too on my request though it got delayed by the COVID pandemic threats, and later his shift to Karuveli and Chennai in his home state.
For me to be traveling with him in his Mercedes on his desire to my rented house in Noida after his address in an event, where I was privileged to introduce and host him remains another one of my most cherished moments to date after a similar first by Tata Tea Chairman, Dr. Dadi Seth’s when he called on me to woo me to his organization. Leaders like Dr. VK are indeed rarely born again! Indeed a Corporate Yug Purush!
Dr. VK was fond of music and cricket. I introduced Jeeti Bhai (Jagjit Singh) to him in 1981 and he became a great fan of his voice instantly. Later as a Trustee of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and for his prowess in the Nehru Indira clan as well as in the Union Government, he was instrumental in ensuring many annual concerts of Jagjit Singh in Delhi & elsewhere too.
God bless his soul in eternal peace!