Untold story of Vijay Sankeshwar

Vijay Sankeshwar, an ingenious leader from Dharwad in Karnataka, owns India’s largest fleet of commercial vehicles. The Managing Director of VRL Group currently has 5000+ trucks under his wing. Sankeshwar’s exceptional business sense has helped him build successful businesses and significantly contribute to society. Throughout his remarkable career, Vijay Sankeshwar has been working along the values of hard work, innovation, and compassion.

Vijay Sankeshwar: Interesting Facts

  • Vijay is famously known as the ‘Trucking King of India.’
  • In 2022, Anand Sankeshwar, the son of Vijay Sankeshwar, revealed his plans to produce a biographical film titled “Vijayanand” that chronicles his father’s remarkable journey. The film was successfully released in the same year.
  • He began his business journey at 16.
  • He upgraded his printing press with modern machinery at 19.

Vijay Sankeshwar: Education and Childhood

  • Sankeshwar completed his schooling in Dharwad and later pursued his higher education at Adarsh Shikshan Samiti, College of Commerce, from Karnataka University.
  • He was born on 2 August 1950 in Betagiri, a small town in Mysore, Karnataka, India.
  • He comes from a humble family with an agricultural background.
  • Even though Sankeshwar faced many challenges in childhood, he has always displayed a keen sense of moving forward and a profound entrepreneurial spirit.
Journey as an Entrepreneur

“All of my ventures were completely and undoubtedly based on the trial and error method. I took maximum risk as well as pride in whatever I have done so far. We have never copied anyone in our business models, ever.”

                      —- Vijay Sankeshwar’s

Vijay Sankeshwar embarked on his business journey in 1966 when his father presented him with his first printing press, Vijay Printing Press. The setup was modest, consisting of a single machine and two employees. As he progressed, Sankeshwar upgraded his printing press in 1969, at 19, by introducing modern machinery, which allowed him to expand his printing enterprise. Simultaneously, he ventured into the transportation industry, starting with a single truck he acquired through a loan of Rs. 2 lakhs.

In 1983, he founded VRL Group, which started as a small transport service but under his commendable leadership and strategic vision, the company grew exponentially over the years. Sankeshwar’s focus on customer satisfaction, efficiency, and reliability made VRL Group one of India’s largest logistics and transport companies. Today, VRL Group boasts a vast fleet of trucks, buses, and cargo carriers, providing end-to-end logistics solutions nationwide.

Diversification and Expansion of VRL Group

With his appetite for growth and diversification, Sankeshwar expanded the VRL Group’s operations into various sectors. The company now has interests in industries such as road transportation, parcel services, courier services, hospitality, and media. In addition to the business ventures, Vijay Sankeshwar ventured into the media industry by establishing Vijayavani, a leading Kannada daily newspaper that has over 8lakh+ copies being sold per day. Vijayavani has gained widespread popularity and has played a pivotal role in shaping public opinion in Karnataka.

Philanthropy and Social Contributions

  • Vijay has participated in various charitable initiatives.
  • Through the VRL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of VRL Group, he has contributed to educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and community development programs.

Vijay Sankeshwar: Association with Politics

  • Vijay Sankeshwar’s association with politics commenced during his early years.
  • He actively participated in meetings and gatherings organized by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
  • In 1996, he ventured into politics and successfully contested and won the 11th Lok Sabha elections from the Dharwad constituency in Karnataka as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member.
  • From 1999 to 2000, Sankeshwar served on various parliamentary committees, including Transport and Tourism.
  • In 2003, he experienced a conflict with the BJP, leading him to leave the party and establish his political party, the Kannada Naadu Party (KNDP). However, in 2014, Sankeshwar reconciled with the BJP when the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP) merged with the BJP.

Vijay Sankeshwar: Awards and Achievements

  • Vijay Sankeshwar’s contributions to the business world and society have been widely recognized and honored. He has received numerous awards for his entrepreneurial achievements, some of these are:
  • In 1994, the Institute of Economic Studies honored Vijay Sankeshwar with the Udyog Ratna Award.
  • In 2012, Vijay Sankeshwar was recognized as the “Transport Personality of the Year” at the India Road Transportation Awards (IRTA).
  • In 2020, Vijay Sankeshwar was bestowed with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Vijay Sankeshwar’s net worth stands at $8 Million (as of 2022), inspiring all entrepreneurs and reminding them that success can be achieved through hard work and a commitment to positively impact society.
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