R Thyagarajan founded the Shriram Group of companies in 1974, at the age of 37 with the help of friends and family. His conglomerate today employs around 1,08,000 people.
The company is a pioneer in extending credit to the poor to purchase trucks, tractors and other vehicles. His main aim was to take away some unpleasantness from the lives of people who were facing financial problems. The company has been offering loans at rates lower than banks.
He was born in an affluent farming family in Tamil Nadu and obtained a masters degree in mathematics. He joined New India Assurance Co, one of India’s largest insurance companies in 1961 and switched many jobs before he founded the Shriram Group in 1974.
Over the years, the company grew into a group of more than 30 companies which serves around 23 million customers.