“The customer is profit, everything else is overhead.”
The legendary VTV Deivanayagam Pillai was born in 1919 in South India. Orphaned at the age of 12, he moved to then colonial Ceylon and began his working life as a shop boy. From such a beginning, through honesty, ethics, hard work and spirituality became the leader of one of the most respected trading houses in Sri Lanka.
A man of soaring ambition, he became famous for his focus on customer service and humanistic values. Many modern management ideas of respect and empowerment have been practiced by him for decades. His business philosophy was simple:
“Serve your customer to the best of your ability, work hard and have faith in your ability and in God.”
His life revolved around the relationships he built around him. Whether it was his customers, his suppliers, his beloved co-workers or in his role as a philanthropist, his relationships were based on respect and love.
His growth and success came against the face of many obstacles, the greatness of the man lied in his ability to face up to setbacks and maintain his faith and self confidence. Many awards and titles were bestowed on him by international and national organizations. His inspirational story challenges the imagination of many young entrepreneurs.
His five sons now run the group successfully.