Chennai: H Vasanthakumar, founder and chairman of Vasanth & Co, one of the largest retail home appliance chains in Tamil Nadu and Tamil satellite TV channel Vasanth TV, who had been admitted to a hospital in Chennai on 10th August after testing positive for the coronavirus died after he contracted severe pneumonia. He was elected as the Member of Parliament to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari constituency in the 2019 Indian general election.
H Vasanthakumar was regarded as the Doyen of Tamil Nadu Retail Industry due to his path-breaking enterprising skills. After starting his career as sales executive with a retail agency VGP&Co. He founded his own venture Vasanth & Co and popularized the concept of paying in installment through which the customer buys the goods with minimum advance payment and paying the balance in equated monthly installments. This helped millions of middle and low-income families to relies their dreams of owning Radio, Television, and Refrigerator etc.
With Vasanth & Co. showrooms spreading across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry, the same has triggered a boom in sale of home appliances across South India. The same model has been replicated even today by e-Commerce platforms in the name of No Cost EMIs.
While scripting a success story for the South Indian retail industry, H Vasanthakumar also immensely supported the growth of Broadcast industry through a sustained Media spending throughout the year. His media plan always included the media mix of Print, Radio, Television and OOH.
His love towards Media and Broadcasting business prompted him to launch a Tamil GEC Vasanth TV in 2008, which is running successfully.
Siju Prabhakaran, South Cluster Head, Zee Entertainment Enterprises said, “Vasanth Kumar who was fondly known as ANNACHI is the maker of men and creator of leaders. In early 70s when he was at the crossroads in life he choose the path which was made up of principle that leads to character. That is the kind of integrity which we could all aspire for. This one quality made him the founder of Vasanth & co which still remains the largest retail chain in TN. He was also an eminent politician, philanthropist, cultural promoter and writer.”
Recollecting his bonding with the doyen, Shankar B, CEO of Fourth Dimension Media said, “I have personally known Vasanth Annachi for more than 20 years, he hasn’t missed a single personal function of mine. Will truly miss him, he was one such entrepreneur who would got out of the way to help the media fraternity since he came from ground zero. May his soul RIP.”
Anup Chandrasekar, Business Head of Colors Tamil said, “He is a very inspiring entrepreneur who scripted the retail boom in this part of the country in 80s and 90s. Annachi never shied away from supporting new initiatives and he made sure that brand Vasanth& Co. was part of all new shows of Colors Tamil. His sudden demise is a great loss to the industry. He will be remembered for his remarkable achievements and contributions to the retail world.”
S. Shriram, Vice President, Levista Coffee said, Late Shri. Vasanth Kumar, fondly considered the Doyen of Tamil Nadu Retail was a legend in my opinion. He took the retail opportunity of Consumer Durables to Tier 3/4 Cities such as Ramnad or Kumbakonam and ensured even customers of lower strata could experience modern Retail such as display of TVs, Demo of Washing Machines and so on. The last TVC which reminisced the older times of the Company can be recognised by many of us who have witnessed the unprecedented growth of the Company over 4 decades. I pray the Almighty to shower Moksha of the departed soul of “Annachi” as he was fondly addressed.
K Murugan, Business Head of Jaya TV said, “Annachi is the architect of Indian Retail business. I admire him for his updated knowledge across all his business ventures despite his political commitments. He always stays relevant to current scenarios and shares lots of ideas every time I met him. Brand Vasanth& Co. grew up within synonyms with the boom of the broadcast industry. I hope the new generation leaders, the two sons of Annachi will carry forward his legacy while marching towards new heights.”
Senior Media professional Baagyalakshmi Nagarajan said, “A charismatic personality, visionary, a leader, a mentor and most importantly, a great human being who always worked to serve others. This is how Mr.H.Vasantha Kumar will be remembered. His business acumen, which made Vasanth & Co an Iconic Brand it is today, will continue to serve as an inspiration to all budding entrepreneurs. His demise leaves a huge void. My heartfelt condolences & prayers for his loved ones in this moment of grief. I am sure the legacy he leaves behind will sustain generations to come.”
Despite his sudden demise of Vasanthakumar, he will be remembered for his innovative approach that he adopted to script his success story in the South Indian retail industry that touched upon millions of lives. His Formula of life is Focus+ Daily Improvemnt=Genius and he will continue to live in our hearts.