A doyen of the textile industry, Mr. Sundaram was also the chairman of Lakshmi Automatic Loom Works Limited and the Lakshmi Card Clothing Manufacturing Company. He was the founder-president of the South India Cotton Association (1978-1998) and continued to be its emeritus president. He was the chairman of the Southern India Mills Association (SIMA) from 1967 to 1969 and of the South India Textile Research Association (1982-1998), president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore (1962-1986), and founder-president of the Coimbatore Management Association and Wind Power Producers Organisation. He was also the chairman of the Indian Cotton Mills Federation (now known as the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry) from 1973 to 1975.
Mr. Sundaram joined his father, G. Kuppuswamy Naidu’s mill in 1938 as a manager and had been associated with the textile industry for almost 70 years. He was instrumental in promoting the Suvin variety of cotton in the country, used to make super fine yarn.
K.N. Viswanathan, secretary of the South India Cotton Association, says, “It was because of his support, the Extra Long Staple (ELS) variety of cotton was developed in India.” Mr. Sundaram advocated fair price (equal to the landed price of imported cotton) for Indian cotton, especially for the ELS variety. In one of those years when Suvin development was in its early stages, he purchased the entire Suvin production (about 6,000 bales) at a price equal to Egyptian cotton.
SIMA chairman K.V. Srinivasan said Mr. Sundaram was behind the strengthening the spinning sector in the country, especially in the southern States.