The Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vikram Kirloskar, who was last seen publicly in Mumbai for the launch of Toyota Innova Hycross, passed away on Tuesday evening. Vikram Kirloskar was scheduled to attend media test drives of the new Innova Hycross on Wednesday.
The 64-year-old Vikram was the fourth generation member of the Kirloskar Group that started in 1888 and credited with bringing Japanese auto giant Toyota to India in the late 1990s. Kirloskar, who liked to describe himself as a passionate engineer, had ignited Karnataka s automobile manufacturing industry and is known for negotiating tax breaks with the state government. He was also recognized by the government and presented with the Suvarna Karnataka award. Vikram is credited with adding thousands of skilled jobs to Karnataka.
He also led the group's partnership in several ventures with the Japanese conglomerate in textile machinery, insurance, real estate and healthcare. He believed in an essential work-life balance, because he was an avid golfer, a tennis player and a swimming enthusiast.
He was passionate about climate change. He had tweeted a few days back that it is a critical strategic requirement that businesses must address at all cost.
The fourth generation scion of the 134-year-old Kirloskar Group had a mechanical engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He was a former CII President and a former President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers SIAM. The government and industry leaders took to Twitter to express their condolences. Vikram Kirloskar shared a close personal relationship with Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh. I remember the many times we talked about the Indian machine tool industry. He had different interests but he was an engineer at the core, having studied at MIT. The CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank Uday Kotak wrote, Very sad to lose my friend Vikram Kirloskar. A clear mind and a great heart. We also worked together at the CII leadership. Vikram Kirloskar's sudden passing away is a shock and a great loss to industry in India Few business persons possessed the qualities of leadership, compassion and genuine friendship His contribution to the automobile industry will forever be remembered, I offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter and the other members of his family, former finance minister and Rajya Sabha MP P Chidambaram wrote.
Vikram Kirloskar is survived by his wife Geetanjali Kirloskar and their only child Manasi Kirloskar. Manasi is married to Neville Tata, whose father Noel Tata and Ratan Tata are half-brothers. She sits on the board of a number of group companies. Last year, Manasi Tata was appointed a member of the Toyota Kirloskar Motor TKM board of directors.