|Gopalaswamy Doraiswamy Naidu The Times of India
|• Adhisaya Manidhar (Miracle Man)
• Edison of India Andhra Cultural Portal
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Salt & Pepper (Semi-bald)
|Date of Birth
|23 March 1893 (Thursday)
|Kalangal village, Coimbatore District, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India)
|Date of Death
|4 January 1974
|Place of Death
|Age (at the time of death)
|Age-related ailments YouTube - Films Division
|Did not attend
|Studied till 3rd standard
|Vegetarian YouTube - Films Division
|Relationships & More
|Marital Status (at the time of death)
|Son- G.D. Gopal
|Grandson- G.D. Rajkumar (businessman)
Granddaughter- Shantini (Owner of The Grand Regent Hotel, Coimbatore)
|Father- Gopalsamy (farmer)
Mother- Name Not Known
|He owned several cars with unique mechanical features. GeDee Car Museum
Some Lesser Known Facts About G. D. Naidu
- G. D. Naidu was an Indian inventor and businessman, who is known for being a self-taught engineer. He is also known as “the wealth creator of Coimbatore.” He was a school dropout. He had made noteworthy contributions to many fields including electrical, mechanical, agricultural, and automobile engineering.
- He belonged to a family of farmers in Kalangal village, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- During his school days, he often got scoldings from his parents and teachers as he missed his classes very often. So, when he was in 3rd standard, he dropped out of school.
- After quitting school, he began working at a ginning mill in a village near Sulur, Tamil Nadu.
- He became interested in machines and automobiles at the age of 16, after he came across a British revenue officer’s 1912 model Rudge motorcycle while he was working at his father’s crop field.
- He then began working as a waiter at a hotel in Coimbatore. After working there for more than three years, he purchased his first motorcycle. He dismantled it and then reassembled it after which he began to work as a mechanic.
- In 1920, he bought an automobile coach and began to transport passengers between Pollachi and Palani cities in Tamil Nadu. A few years later, he founded a company named Universal Motor Service (UMS) and started his own transport business. His company became one of the top transport companies in India which 0wned a convoy of public transport vehicles. In 1933, his company had about 300 buses. UMS had the first bus junction in India.
- The only Rolls-Royce car available in India at that time was owned by him, which he received as a gift.
- He was the first Indian businessman, who hired a Britisher in his company as an employee.
- He invented more than 90 gadgets and devices such as super-thin shaving blades, a distance adjuster for film cameras, a fruit juice extractor, a tamper, a proof vote, a recording machine, and a kerosene run fan.
- He was one of the first Indians, who invented ball pen, ball pen refills, and carbon paper.
- In 1935, he went to London in England to attend and capture King George V’s funeral ceremony in his camera.
- He was a photography enthusiast and had taken pictures of many famous personalities including Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, and Subhash Chandra Bose. He also used to take pictures of his company’s employees and other people. Once, while he was on a trip to Germany, he visited the factories of some of his favourite camera companies including Leica, Minox, and Rolleiflex and spent a lot of time there.
- In 1936, he invented a voting machine. In 1941, he made an announcement that he could manufacture a radio set with five-valve worth only seventy rupees per set in India.
- He contested the 1936 provincial general elections; however, he did not win.
- In 1937, he developed the first indigenous motor in India with the collaboration of D. Balasundaram Naidu, an electrical engineer.
- Apart from electrical and mechanical fields, he also made significant contributions to the field of agriculture. In 1941, he began his research on various crops on a 40-acre farm at Podhanur, Tamil Nadu. He founded new varieties of cotton, maize, and papaya. His farm was visited by many famous scientists including C. V. Raman, an Indian physicist, and M. Visvesvaraya, an Indian Civil Engineer.
- In 1944, he began to work as a philanthropist and provided research grants for research scholarships. He started to work for the betterment of the oppressed classes in society. He introduced welfare schemes for the employees of his company and other lower-class people.
- In 1945, he founded Arthur Hope Polytechnic in Coimbatore, which is the first polytechnic institute of India. He also served as the first principal of the institute. In the same year, he established an engineering college named Arthur Hope College of Engineering in Coimbatore and served as the first principal of the college.
- He stepped down from the position of the principal, when his suggestion of decreasing the duration of the four-year programs to two years, as he considered it a waste of students’ time, was not accepted by the British government.
- In 1946, he created Industrial Labour Welfare Association (now known as G.D. Naidu Charities), where he began to train students with hands-on practice and make them ready for jobs. In the 1950s and 60s, he provided jobs to many people in the engineering field and more.
- One of his most popular inventions was the Rasant razor, which was one of the first electric razors in the world.
It worked using a small electric motor operated by dry cells. His company, UMS Razor Company, won 3rd prize for the Rasant razor at the Leipzig Fair in Germany.
- In 1950, in an interview, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist C. V. Raman, commended him for his inventions and achievements and said,
It would need an abler pen than mine to sketch in a few words a picture of the remarkable man that Mr G.D. Naidu is and to indicate his great character and most varied achievements.”
- In 1952, he launched a two-seater petrol engine car worth 2000 rupees. He began to produce engine cars, but the production had to be stopped because the government did not grant the necessary license for the manufacturing.
- The cheap houses made by him in a duration of only one day were also popular in the 1960s. The first cheap house built by him, from laying the foundation of the house till its completion, was built in eleven hours, from 6 am to 5 pm. He trained people for constructing cheap houses.
- He worked and performed many experiments in the field of medicine. He was interested in the Siddha system of medicine.
- In 1967, G. D. Naidu Science Museum Industrial Exhibition was established in Coimbatore as a tribute to him and his works.
- The Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) named the G. D. Naidu Young Scientist Award after G. D. Naidu. This award is given to students of VIT for their exceptional work in the mechanical engineering and research field.
- A non-profitable public organization named Makkal Sinthanai Peravai in Erode, Tamil Nadu, gives G. D. Naidu Award every year to an outstanding young researcher working in India.
- In 2015, M. A. Palaniappan released a book titled ‘Athisaya Vignani G.D. Naidu’ in the Tamil language, which was based on the life story of G. D. Naidu.
- ‘GD Naidu – The Edison of India,’ a documentary film directed by K. Ranjithkumar, won Best Science & Technology Film Award at the 66th National Film Awards on 9 August 2019. The documentary film was screened at many film festivals including the Indisches Film Festival 2019 in Germany.
- G. D. Naidu was an automobile enthusiast and had an interest in collecting cars. On 27 April 2015, G. D. Gopal, his son, established the Gedee Car Museum to showcase his father’s car collection. His car collection involved many vintage cars including Benz Motorwagon, Ford T, Volkswagen Beetle, Citroen – 2 CV, and Mini.
- Chandra Gopal, his daughter-in-law, runs G. D. Matriculation Higher Secondary School and GEDEE Public School in Coimbatore, which were named after G. D. Naidu.
- G. D. Rajkumar, his grandson, named his company Geedee Industries after his grandfather.
- In April 2023, R. Madhavan, an Indian actor and director, made an announcement that he would portray the character of G. D. Naidu in the biopic based on the life story of G. D. Naidu.
- He was spotted smoking on various occasions.