'Vasanth & Co' Vasanthakumar, Congress MP dies of COVID-19

Vasanthakumar of Vasanth & Co passed away because of COVID-19 at the age of 70.
'Vasanth & Co' Vasanthakumar, Congress MP dies of COVID-19
Congress MP from Kanyakumari H Vasanthakumar, popularly known for his business 'Vasanth & Co. enterprises', is the first sitting MP to die of COVID-19.

Vasanthakumar, a self-made businessman passed away on Friday (August 28) at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai after a battle with COVID-19 at the age of 70.

Vasanthakumar was admitted to Apollo Hospital on August 11 after he showed signs of the coronavirus infection. His condition started to deteriorate and he was later put on ventilator support.

His wife Tamil Selvi too was infected and is currently undergoing treatment.

Harikrishnan Vasanthakumar is the founder and chairman of the popular Vasanth & Co, one of the largest retail home appliance chain in Tamil Nadu. Vasanth & Co has over 71 stores across Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Bengaluru. He is also the founder and managing director of the Tamil satellite TV channel Vasanth TV. He was elected to Tamil Nadu Assembly from Nanguneri constituency in 2006 election and 2016 election. He is currently elected as the Member of Parliament to the 17th Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari constituency.

Vasanthakumar was born on April 14, 1950, at Agastheeswaram in Kanyakumari. After completing schooling in a panchayat board school, he did his bachelor’s in Tamil literature from Madurai and later completed his masters.

In 1971, Vasanthakumar came to Chennai to assist his elder brother Kumari Ananthan, a Congress man, for elections and never went back. He then joined as a salesman at VGP at a monthly salary of ₹70. Due to his hardwork and loyalty managed to get a shop at South Usman Road, for ₹8,000 and Vasanth and Co. came into existence in 1978.

Started his business by making signboards and netted folding chairs, Vasanthakumar's business had a major breakthrough in 1985, when the colour televisions where introduced. Being a sports season because of the Asian games, he stepped into TV sales for home and business. Though rejected initially, his constant prodding won him a whopping order of 960 television sets from Ashok Leyland was the major push in his business and rest is history.

Vasanth and Co. has become a reputed retail chain in South India because of installment scheme and after-sales service. In order to serve the customers better, the company has about 100 lines of helpline number, so that the customer can raise an issue at any time.

Following the footsteps of his brother, Vasanthakumar too joined the Congress and was elected to Tamil Nadu assembly from Nanguneri constituency in 2006 and 2016. In 2008, he launched his channel Vasanth TV.

In 2019, he resigned his MLA post following his victory in Lok Sabha elections from Kanyakumari constituency. Vasanthakumar also served as the vice-president of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee.

Always dressed in white with velcro shoes and sporting a Congress shawl, Vasanthakumar was known for maintaining an empathic relationship with his employees, party workers and his constituency people. He has also penned his autobiography in three parts titled ‘Vetri Padikkattu’.

Vasanthakumar is survived by two sons and a daughter. His first son Vijay Vasanth is an actor in Kollywood.

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