“Mr. JS Rajkumar, has been called home to his Maker. When I heard about it, I had an unreal moment of thinking, no it cannot be true. A man who was always so brisk and full of energy, to have been stilled was unbelievable. In my four decades of interacting with Mr. Rajkumar, I have found him to be a great exemplar for Duty, Dignity and Discipline.
He was a man who truly believed that it was his duty to give of his best to whatever assignment he was given. At George Oakes Limited, he undertook the job of distributing auto parts and retailing tractors, and sold quite a large number of them while adhering to the company tenet of at least one implement with each tractor. When tractor assembly was taken up at George Oakes, Madurai, despite the limitations of space as well as having to train and equip a local workforce, he ensured that a steady stream of finished tractors rolled out to meet the burgeoning demand for MF tractors. After making his mark at George Oakes, he moved seamlessly to TAFE. He could be credited with bringing to reality our Former Chairman’s vision of a state of the art tractor plant in Madurai. Apart from building the plant, he also ensured that production began and was ramped up quite fast. After this success, he was given a rather challenging job of heading Emerging Export Markets Business at TAFE and moved to Chennai. Although he missed his hometown, he took on the challenge and made a great impact in sales to such emerging markets through his extensive travel, his wide product knowledge and his impressive interpersonal skills. His story of selling tractors to a Lion farm (and I mean a farm that rears lions and other animals for zoos) is the stuff legends are made of. Truly a man who followed the maxim ‘When duty calls or danger, be never lacking there.’
Mr. Rajkumar always carried himself very well and his dignified bearing commanded respect. Impeccably attired in his trademark safari suits, he was equally comfortable wearing a dhoti and shirt or a three-piece suit and lent dignity to his attire. He always maintained his dignity with others and expected to be treated with the same dignity by them. His penchant for discipline was well known to others in his circle and he expected the same discipline from his team.
His attention to detail was phenomenal and I have had the privilege of witnessing him organising everything to the last pin on many an event at Madurai and Chennai.
Mr. Rajkumar’s unswerving loyalty to our Former Chairman Mr. A. Sivasailam, endeared him to every member of his family. He was the trusted escort for Mr. Sivasailam when he travelled abroad for his medical treatment. He was equally at home with Mrs. Sivasailam, Mr. Venu Srinivasan, Ms. Mallika Srinivasan and their children. He trained Srinivasan’s son Sudarshan at the Madurai plant. During one of Ms. Mallika Srinivasan’s work trips to Dubai, he was amongst the privileged few to be invited to join her and Sudarshan at The Burj Al Arab for tea, followed by an enjoyable evening of dune bashing later. He was very caring and would go that extra mile to make sure that Mr. Sivasailam’s family or any overseas visitor had a memorable visit to Madurai and Kodaikanal. His late wife was equally close and caring, and on one occasion, even accompanied the family as they travelled to Alwarkurichi providing medical assistance to the children. Although a devout Christian, his knowledge of the various temples in the vicinity of Madurai was truly amazing.
Even when hospitalised, he seemed to literally recover soon after Ms. Mallika Srinivasan visited him, reflecting perhaps the source of strength he drew from the family. He was present there for every event, every celebration, and even in grief with the family and will be greatly missed.
An aspect that may not be so well known to many was his care and generosity for the needy, which he would do without any fanfare. A God fearing man, it was amazing to see him enter his office every morning and pray in humility to his maker, before starting the day’s work.
I believe he would have thought before his last breath in the words of St. Paul to Timothy in his second Epistle to Timothy in the Holy Bible, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…’
Rest in Peace Mr. Rajkumar… truly a prince among men!”
– Vijayakumar Browning
(Mr. Vijayakumar Browning has a long standing association with TAFE, spanning over three decades and during this period has been closely associated with Mr. JS Rajkumar)