Bengaluru, Nov 30 (IANS): Karnataka Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industry Dr Murugesh R. Nirani while expressing shock at Vikram Kirloskar's demise, said he cannot think of the Indian automotive industry without the industrialist.
Nirani said Vikram Kirloskar was the stalwart of the automotive industry and the face of Toyota in India. Kirloskar passed away on Tuesday at the age of 64.
Recalling his association with Vikram, Nirani said his association with the doyen of automotive Industry and his family goes 20-years back.
"We became close during our tour to the US during Global Investors Meet-2010. We exchanged a lot of ideas during the tour for industrial progress of Karnataka and the country.
"Besides being industrialist, Vikram provided employment opportunities to lakhs of people. He was one among the first persons to get invitations from the industries department and the Karnataka government for all the major events in the state," Nirani said while recalling the time spent with the departed industry captain.
Further, Nirani noted that his last meeting with Vikram Kirloskar was in the recent Global Investors Meet held at the Bengaluru Palace during the first week of November.
"On the grand stage of GIM, I jokingly said why did you come without madam Gitanjali (Vikram's wife) as the invitation was extended to her also. To this Vikram said Gitanjali was unwell but was watching the event live," he said.
Recalling another incident, Nirani, whose home town is Mudhol, a sugar rich belt in Bagalkot district in North Karnataka, said Vikram and his family wanted to visit this town to study the thriving sugar and allied industries there but could not make it.
"I still can't believe that I have lost a good friend who had the dreams of taking the industry to further heights," the minister said.