The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

December - 2007 - issue > Indian Billionaire

In hot pursuit of air conditioners

Michael Paulraj
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Michael Paulraj
Ramesh Suri began his career, along with his brother Lalit Suri, in the car air conditioner business in the early 1980s by importing and assembling air conditioner units chiefly for Maruti Udyog Limited. Subros Limited was established in 1985 as a joint venture between the Suri Brothers, Denso Corporation, Japan and; Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan primarily for supplying car air conditioners to Maruti Udyog Limited in which Suzuki Motor Corporation had a large stake.

Air conditioner manufacturing, not a cool business
Not many in India would have thought of car air conditioners way back in the early 1980s when even room air conditioning was not very common. Even the fundamental Indian mindset usually branded any accessory that was beyond the pale of basic necessities as a luxury and was opposed to its addition to one’s belongings. Therefore the sale of car air conditioners was not very impressive in India, and in the initial years of Subros the company could not expect to grow at a fast rate and the production was below the company’s installed capacity.

However, Maruti Udyog Limited’s policy decision to fit air conditioners as a standard feature in its Zen series of cars in the early 1990s turned the tide in Subros’ favor. Maruti’s decision increased the sale of air conditioner fitted cars and simultaneously pushed up the sale of car air conditioners in India. Subros had begun designing and manufacturing its own car air conditioners in 1986 and Ramesh has never lost his cool since then.

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