H. Vasanthakumar

Harikrishnan Vasanthakumar (14 April 1950 – 28 August 2020) was an Indian businessman and politician from Tamil Nadu. He was the founder and chairman of Vasanth & Co, one of the largest retail home appliance chains in Tamil Nadu. He was also the founder and managing director of the Tamil satellite TV channel Vasanth TV.[1] He was elected as the member of parliament to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari constituency in the 2019 Indian general election. He was also elected as member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from Nanguneri constituency in the 2006 and 2016 elections.[2][3]

H. Vasanthakumar
H. Vasanthakumar.jpg
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
18 June 2019 – 28 August 2020
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byPon Radhakrishnan
ConstituencyKanniyakumari
Member of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
In office
25 May 2016 – 29 May 2019
Chief Minister
Preceded byA. Narayanan
Succeeded byReddiarpatti V. Narayanan
ConstituencyNanguneri
In office
17 May 2006 – 14 May 2011
Chief MinisterM. Karunanidhi
Preceded byS. Manickaraj
Succeeded byA. Narayanan
ConstituencyNanguneri
Personal details
Born
Harikrishnan Vasanthakumar

(1950-04-14)14 April 1950
Agasteeswaram, Travancore–Cochin, India
(present-day Tamil Nadu, India)
Died28 August 2020(2020-08-28) (aged 70)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Tamil Selvi
ChildrenVijayakumar,
Vinothkumar,
Thangamalar
ParentsFather: Harikrishnan Nadar
Mother: Thangammal
RelativesKumari Ananthan (elder brother)
Tamilisai Soundararajan (niece)
Occupation
  • Businessman
  • politician
Known forFounder & owner of Vasanth & Co, Vasanth TV

Early LifeEdit

Vasanthakumar was born in Agastheeswaram in the Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu to Harikrishnan Nadar and Thangammal on 14 April 1950.[4] He completed his primary education from a Panchayat board school in Kanniyakumari, later obtaining his Bachelor's degree in Tamil literature from the Madurai University, as well as a Master's degree.[5] His brother, Kumari Ananthan, was also a legislator from the Indian National Congress.[5]

CareerEdit

He started his career as a salesman in the early 1970s, including working with VGP. In 1978, he started his own home appliances sales showroom Vasanth & Co, with its first store in the T. Nagar neighborhood in Chennai. [5] The company went on to become one of the leading retail chains with showrooms across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry.[6] Vasanthakumar and his company are credited with pioneering sales of consumer electronics goods on equated monthly installments in the Indian market, as well as centralized after-sales support.[5][7]

Vasanthakumar also founded the Tamil satellite television network Vasanth TV in 2008.[8]

Political careerEdit

Vasanthakumar started his political career as a worker with the Indian National Congress political party taking up multiple local organizational roles.[9] His first electoral politics stint was in 2006, as the MLA of Tamil Nadu from the Nanguneri constituency in Tamil Nadu. He won the elections by defeating S.P. Sooryakumar of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam political party. This was a significant win for the party because it was after three decades that the party was able to win this electoral seat.[9] One of his campaign promises included the establishment of a Special economic zone with a hi-tech park in Nanguneri.[10] In his second term as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, he represented Nanguneri again in 2016. He served the constituency until 2019 when he went on to become the MP, as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha from the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency. He won this election, against the incumbent Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, and Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, by winning with a margin of over 250,000 votes.[11][12]

He was the working President of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) from 2019 through his death in August 2020.[13] Earlier, he had served as the Vice-President of the TNCC, and also as the Chairman of the TNCC Traders wing.[14][9]

WritingsEdit

Vasanthakumar wrote a three part autobiographical book series in Tamil, titled "Vetri Padikattu" – "வெற்றிப் படிக்கட்டு" – (English: Ladder of Success), focusing on his entrepreneurial success and community building initiatives.[15][7][16]

DeathEdit

Vasanthakumar died on 28 August 2020 at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai, of complications from COVID-19.[17] He was admitted to the hospital on 10 August 2020, and was on ECMO and ventilator life support, prior to his death.[15]

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi, Governor of Tamil Nadu Banwarilal Purohit among others were amongst those who expressed their condolences.[18][19]

He is survived by his wife Tamil Selvi, two sons, and a daughter. His wife was also undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the time of his death.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "TV channel war in Tamil Nadu set to intensify". DNA. 12 August 2007. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Plea to halt all trains at Nanguneri". The Hindu. 2 January 2009. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Vasanthakumar to contest as Independent". The Hindu. 12 April 2004. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2009.
  4. ^ Desk, DC Web (29 August 2020). "Kanyakumari MP H Vasanthkumar, the founder of Vasanth and Co, dies of COVID-19". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "Tamil Nadu Congress MP Vasantha Kumar dies of COVID-19". The Week. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  6. ^ Desk, DC Web (29 August 2020). "Kanyakumari MP H Vasanthkumar, the founder of Vasanth and Co, dies of COVID-19". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  7. ^ a b c Vignessh (28 August 2020). "The story of Vasanthakumar: a driven, resourceful, self-made entrepreneur". The Federal. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Sonia Gandhi launches satellite TV channel Vasanth". One India. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Tamil Nadu loses Lok Sabha MP H Vasanthakumar to COVID-19". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 29 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Congress on strong wicket in Nanguneri". The Hindu. 5 May 2006. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
  11. ^ Sudhakar, P. (25 May 2019). "Religious divide obliterates good work of 'Ponnaar'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Tamil Nadu: Congress MP Harikrishnan Vasanthakumar passes away due to Covid-19". The Indian Express. 28 August 2020. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  13. ^ Kolappan, B. (3 February 2019). "K.S. Alagiri is new TNCC president". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Congress MP Vasanthakumar succumbs to COVID-19". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 29 August 2020. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ a b "Congress MP from Kanyakumari H Vasanthakumar succumbs to COVID-19". The New Indian Express. The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Weaving Successful Short stories". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 5 November 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Vasanthakumar, Kanyakumari MP, dies of Covid-19". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Tamil Nadu: Congress MP Harikrishnan Vasanthakumar passes away due to Covid-19". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Vasanthakumar was a born fighter, says T.N. Governor Banwarilal Purohit". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Pon Radhakrishnan
Member of Parliament
for Kanyakumari

2019–2020
Succeeded by
Vacant

External linksEdit