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Man who matter



M. Sudarsana Swamy

He is a stern believer in the age-old business doctrine, "A well satisfied customer is our best salesman". And why not? It has earned him the sobriquet, 'Glass King'.

Mangalagiri Sudarsana Swamy, the pioneer of glass and plywood trade in this city, set up his first shop in 1954 in the Old Town near Kurupam Market, and for the past five decades, he has been striving to carve a niche for himself in this trade.

"Nothing comes easy in life. And when it comes to building of goodwill, it takes years. When I started 50 years ago there were none to compete in the market, and I enjoyed the monopoly status for almost four decades. But I never took advantage of the market scenario by selling sub-standard and duplicate stuff, and that is the reason why people just come to my shop and purchase the required material without a second thought, despite there being over 120 shops within the city limits. I have never compromised on quality and service, irrespective of unhealthy competition and adverse market conditions," asserts the 70- year-old businessman.

The Mangalagiris were one among the few business families that migrated to the harbour town in the early part of the 20th century. "Basically we hail from Mangalagiri in Guntur district. My grandfather migrated to this town in 1900. Initially we started off as bullion traders and still certain members of our family continue to do so. In 1954 after completing my graduation from Mrs.A.V.N. College, I thought of diversifying and started this glass and furniture business. Later I added more products like plywood and laminated sheets. Today anything to do with furnishing is available in my shop," says Mr. Sudarsana Swamy.

Why glass and plywood?

"When I started the business, the town was just beginning to expand itself and I felt that there was a need for such a shop. Establishments like Caltex, Coromandel and the Indian Navy were bringing in a steady flow of people, which in turn timed the demand for well-furnished offices and houses. I felt the market tremors and started the shop; fortunately it clicked. At one time I had over 11 shops spread over the city and its suburbs but today I have only one big showroom on Rama Talkies Road."

Mr. Sudarsana Swamy forayed into construction in 1990s and was one among the first few to build commercial complexes in the city, including one at Gajuwaka.

Apart from being the vice-president of Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he is the president of Visakhapatnam Glass and Plywood Association and a trustee in some educational and health institutions like Indian Institute of Advanced Management, MVP Public School, Mangalagiri Andalamma Junior College and Lions Cancer Hospital.

An ardent devotee of Tridandi Sri Ramanuja China Jeeyar Swami, Mr. Sudarsana Swamy now spends most of his free time in spiritual activities.

S.B.

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