With the untimely death of Sri V Seshasayee, SV took
on the mantle, and established in quick succession between
1958 and 1962 four industrial enterprises, namely, Seshasayee
Industries Ltd, Neyveli Ceramics and Refractories Ltd,
Simco Meters Ltd and Seshasayee Paper and Boards Ltd.
He later established Ponni Sugars and Chemicals Ltd,
SPB Projects and Consultancy Ltd, Esvin Advanced Technologies
The magnum opus of SV was the creation of Tamil Nadu
Newsprint and Papers Ltd. He took total charge and responsibility
from concept to commissioning of this pioneering venture.
This was the first ever mill to produce, successfully,
newsprint out of sugarcane bagasse anywhere in the world
and it received the acclaim of World Bank. This continues
to be one of the top profit performers for the Tamil
SV entered the sugar industry rather late in his illustrious
career. Sugar was just incidental to his cherished goal.
He despised the denudation of precious forest wealth
in producing paper. He realised long before that for
the longterm survival of paper industry, a strategic
shift to a sustainable, viable alternative source of
raw material was imperative. For this, he sought to
create an interdependence, which he called a marriage,
between paper and sugar industries to resolve the raw
material shortage for paper industry, strengthen the
viability of sugar industry and simultaneously preserve
forest cover and protect environment for public good.
SV in this resolve promoted Ponni Sugars, which became
the first sugar mill in the country to use alternative
fuel in its boilers and release its bagasse in entirety
for paper making.
SV was a rare phenomenon rising from his obscure beginnings
to set up industrial enterprises of great national significance,
with enviable records of adherence to the code of business
ethics. He fused the values of commerce and nationalism
in his corporate creations. He was prone to take high
risks and loved to be challenged. The risks, in fact,
spurred him into action. Of taking risks, he said, “Legitimate
risks are to be taken to make progress in one’s
endeavours. If we do our homework thoroughly and convince
ourselves of the success of the project and its larger
usefulness to the society, if we have no vested interests,
we can embark on any risky project.”
SV passed away on 22nd July 2001 after a brief illness.
He was a ‘Visionary’ par excellence and
The biography of late SV in English “SV –
The Mastermind” and in Tamil “Thozhil Methai
Viswanathan” were released by Hon’ble Mr
Justice B Subhashan Reddy, Chief Justice, High Court,
Madras on 19th August 2002 at a function presided over
by Hon’ble Shri R Venkataraman, former President
While SV the mortal is no more, his lofty ideals will
continue to guide the company in all its endeavours.