JV Group is a business house where they have diversified businesses, single handedly architecture over a period of 35 years by one person, J Vasudevan. He built this empire single handedly over the years and silently went through many brutal hurdles and pitfalls during his journey towards success. This inspiring saga teaches a lot on life skills and business theories which one may not learn from any B schools.
Family and Early days
Mr. J .Vasudevan born on 29th September 1964 in Chennai to Sri P.Janakar and Smt P.J.Saraswathi. His parents basically hail from Elayirampannai in Virudunagar district near Madurai in Tamilnadu. They came to Chennai during the post independence period just like many other rural dwellers migrating to the city in search of a prospective livelihood. His early schooling was in St.Paul’s church school and later till his 10th St.Paul’s Hr secondary school.
A humble beginning – from hawking to owning multiple outlets
Mr.Vasudevan’s father, in his early days tried his hands in many small businesses to make a living. The family with a meager income had tough time to make both ends meet and young Vasudevan reminisce his childhood days when he used to spend his after school hours to make an extra buck, selling lottery tickets. He knew without an extra income it was difficult for the family’s day to day survival. His extra earnings smaller though, was a breather to the families income. He then spent most of his school holidays and vacations selling lottery tickets. He initially started hawking in street corners as this would give him quick money by the commissions he earned on sales which was as high as Rs100 per day, a big money in those days.
His education came to a stop after his 10th standard due to family’s financial circumstances. When seeking admission for college the expenses were so high that his father could not bear the burden and said “with that kind of money one can start a business”.
Venture in to business
Mr.Vasudevan started his first lottery ticket vending shop in Thiruvattuir, close to the clock tower in 1984 and made a whooping profit of up to Rs.9000 per month.
Later in 1986 his father joined as a partner with one K.A.S.Ramadoss of Trichy who was a big name in the lottery franchise at that time. Mr.Vasudevan partnering with his father opened a 200 sq ft shop which was his first franchise in Triplicane high road and developed multifold in business.
1n 1989 dissociating with K.A.S.Ramadas, he started his lottery retailing outlet, JV Lotteries. This was his core business and expanded it to 22 outlets put together in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore.
Mr.Vasudevan also spread his capacity to become the sole agent of Tamilnadu Govt’s Parivallal lottery agency. He dominated the whole of South India and also many parts of North India up to Arunachal Pradesh.
Turbulence in business
His major setback in business was in 2004 when the state government banned the lottery in the entire state. All His 22 outlets came to a standstill overnight and with over 60 employees stranded without job. The situation did not dampen his spirit but only rose to the occasion. He called up his workforces who were willing to toil along with him irrespective of any trade. Mr.Vasudevan then converted some of his key outlets to snacks shops selling sweets and savorys, some were retailing T-shirts and hosiery garments sourced from Tirupur, Fresh Juice stall and mobile accessories. He started converting his lottery outlet to retailing which ever was selling fast on demand and nothing was stopping him to bring revenue to the space and opportunity.
Turn around in business
Mr.Vasudevan was one of those smart entrepreneurs who thought of investing in real estate during his heydays when business was going good and later at the right time he developed properties for rentals and leisure stay. Today his guest houses at Kelambakkam, Coutralam and Yelagiri are prime properties which have regular seekers for short stay and holidays. His facilities have all amenities like swimming pool, fully furnished quarters, well kept garden and pleasant ambience which is a home away from home. He also has four bachelor accommodation rentals hostels in Chennai city, which is rented out to students and bachelors for medium and long period stay.
During mid 2004 Mr.Vasudevan ventured in to a new area suggested by his close friend Jayabalan, which is mobile and accessory retail business. Another well-wisher and close aide, Raghunathan advised to name it as TECHNOPARK . The first multi brand mobile phone retail outlet was started in Triplicane, close to Rathna Café on 18th August 2004. Today TECHNOPARK has expanded itself to 17 outlets, all over Chennai.
Next generation coming in
Mr.Vasudevan is slowly handing over responsibilities and duties to his next generation coming in to business. His son Mr Vishnupriyan, a young technocrat and an MBA from Sterling University (London), Is in charge of TECHNOPARK and new businesses since 2011. Mr.Vasudevan closely mentors and guides his son not to lose the value in business, which has been built over decades. As the younger generation brings in new and bold ideas, the future for JV Group looks very promising.
Today the JV Group is worth a fortune and has an exponential growth with the future looking very bright. Mr.Vasudevan says he does not have a retirement and his urge to grow his business is never ending with new proposals.
He has great dreams and ideas for the future where he wants to get in to manufacturing industry supporting the initiative taken by the Government of India – “Make in India”. He is looking forward to set up manufacturing of products/accessories with modern technology and fully automation to make produce of high quality and precision of international standards. Mr.Vasudevan under JV Group has diversified businesses and as on date he has had the great experience in difference verticals. Lottery, Leisure stay, bachelor accommodation, electronics, accessories, Poultry and Retail Food outlet (QSR)
Retrospect and apprise
A great visionary, Mr.Vasudevan has the ‘never say die’ attitude and inspires anyone close to him with his life story and experiences. He says the present generation and today’s youngsters have to learn something more other than the academics they study in the university. “Life is not that easy as you think even if it is in a job or business to make it successful”he says there are no short cuts in life and if there is “no pain there is any gain”.
Mr.Vasudevan reminisce the hard way he came up step by step building this empire block by block and how he was able to successfully handle various issues and people connected with it. He says “one should have the insight and maturity to accept someone as what he is made up of, rather than being critical and prejudicious”. This understanding will avoid conflicts and will create way for better negotiation in life.
He feels education is an opportunity and a bonus in a person’s life, but even if some is denied that opportunity he/she need not think it as the end of the road. He says “Life has ample opportunities for everyone; choose wisely, work hard by dedicating your time and effort sincerely and have a discipline which will make you achieve your life’s goals”.
Mr.Vasudevan has also indulged in CSR. He has a trust in his mother’s name (name of the trust) through which he conducts feeding for poor, sponsoring education for the needy and supporting physically challenged. He has done many activities through the Lion’s club and also independently.
With the next generation coming on board and taking the wheels along with Mr.Vasudevan steering through with his immaculate captaincy, the JV Group has a great future and heights to reach.
Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place - that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realise the great life. - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam