Dr. V. Krishnamurthy
Immediate Past Chairman ISQ (2003 to June 2022)

Homage to Padma Vibhushan Dr. V. Krishnamurthy

Former Chairman BHEL, Maruti Udyog, SAIL and Secretary, Heavy Industries Government of India 1925 - 2022

Dr. V. Krishnamurthy, the doyen of Indian industry and legendary leader of the Quality movement in India for over 40 years, passed away on June 26, 2022. It is a sad day for all of those who came in contact with him directly or indirectly, and we pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace and fortitude to his family to bear the loss with equanimity. Passing away in any case is inevitable, when the soul of an individual merges with the Whole, leaving a legacy behind. It is time for us to celebrate the life of Dr. V. Krishnamurthy (Dr. VK), that could inspire many to follow his ways.

His contribution to the Indian economy has been immense. He has been the only individual to have been the Chairman and Managing Director of 3 large corporations in India i.e. Bharat Heavy Electricals, Maruti Udyog and Steel Authority of India. Executives in these organizations remembered his contribution even years after he demit that office.

Dr. VK has mentored many people may be more than 25 to become CEO;s of various companies. He served in many other positions including the Chairman of National Competitiveness Commission, Secretary Heavy Industries and Member Planning Commission.

At Indian Society for Quality (ISQ) he mentored and guided us since 2002. His simple ways endeared him to all of us and we are indeed, indebted to him for being our guide.

I met Dr. VK first time in 1984 and since then he has been kind enough to mentor and guide me in my endeavour to bring Quality to the mainstream of business organizations. He took Quality to the Board Rooms.

We pay our homage to Dr. V. Krishnamurthy for his contribution to the nation in many ways and forms. I will share my experiences with Dr. VK in my subsequent posts.

Janak Mehta
President, Indian Society for Quality (ISQ)
Chairman & Managing Director TQM International Pvt. Ltd.
Honorary Member of the International Academy for Quality (IAQ)
Honorary Director of the Asian Network for Quality (ANQ)
June 26, 2022

Dr Krishnamurthy, Dr VK affectionately, has left us. He was, by any yardstick, an extraordinary person who wore his fame lightly. His wisdom was palpable. He was always soft-spoken, and seemed to have all the time in the world for the person he was talking to, though his day was packed with events and meetings. His schedules would have taxed many younger persons.

That he built BHEL, turned SAIL around, and set up Maruti are well known. Any one of them could individually be counted as lifetime achievement. But then Dr VK can also be credited as the original industrial leader who led the Quality Movement in India. In 1986, CII started the National Committee on Quality, a forum for CEOs. It was chaired by Dr VK and met regularly to discuss quality. We can safely assert that CEO involvement in Quality in India peaked in the next three years, a level never reached since.

Dr VK was a key figure in organizing the cooperation of our higher educational institutions in setting up a Visionary Leaders program. Unobtrusively, Dr VK was also mentor to many industrial leaders of India.

ISQ was extremely fortunate that he agreed to be its Chairman. He believed in the cause and was willing to devote his time to it. He got a number of large companies to become Foundation members of ISQ – so great was the respect he commanded from CEOs, and the trust they had in him.

What is not known widely about him is the effort he made to set up an Indian Network for Quality, federating all our Quality Bodies, so that Indian Quality could present a united face in the world. This endeavour did not succeed, but that does not in any way lessen the value or importance of the mission, even today. Perhaps the greatest tribute we quality professionals can pay Dr VK is to be united across all our organizations, and work together for the fulfilment of a dream – a Quality India. N. Ramanathan, Former President ISQ

Dr. V. Krishnamurthy’s contribution to Indian economy and especially in the area of quality movement is unparalleled. His passing away is a huge loss to the Indian Industry and all of us in the Indian Society for Quality which looked up to him as a Mentor. May his soul Rest In Peace

Sunil Sinha, Chair, Awards Committee ISQ, Former Resident Director, Tata Sons, MENA Sad to know this. He has been a true Visionary. He single handedly led India’s quality journey. The Nation has lost a great leader and the quality community their inspiring spirit. May the departed soul rest in peace. Kiran Deshmukh, GC Member ISQ, CTO Sona Group

Sorry to hear the news. Dr VK undoubtedly left an Indelible imprint on the Indian manufacturing industry. May his soul rest in peace. Ravikant J. GC Member ISQ, Senior VP and Head - Corporate TQM at SRF Limited