The Group traces its origins to 1898, when Dewan Bahadur A M Murugappa Chettiar went as an apprentice to Burma (now Myanmar). Quick to learn financial skills and Burmese, he realized he was destined to greater achievements; he founded a firm in Moulmein, a large port-city in Lower Burma. This grew into a prosperous family-owned business, with interests in Banking, Rubber and Trade, covering Malaya (Malaysia), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Indonesia and Vietnam. The outbreak of the World War II and subsequent political upheavals in the region cut short the firm’s growth. While a good portion of its hard earned fortunes were lost, the family had the foresight to move significant assets to India; this financial prudence ensured that the business would rebound after the disaster. And rebound it did.
Back home in India, the Group had engaged in businesses like Rubber, Steel cabinets, Yarn and other traded goods. But the real major industrial opportunity came soon after Independence. Political Independence spawned Economic Independence: and AMM Murugappa Chettiar, Dewan Bahadur’s eldest son (and by then, head of the family) was quick to realise it. His vision was to start a business that would manufacture a product for the common man which they could sell in large numbers. Thus, in 1949, TI Cycles of India (TICI) was born in collaboration with TI of UK. It was the Group’s first of many successful Joint Ventures and also its first foray into large scale manufacturing. Later, as a measure of backward integration two more companies were formed: Tube Products of India (TPI) in 1955, to make steel tubes for bicycle frames and TI Diamond Chain (TIDC) in 1960 to make bicycle chains. Over a period of time these two businesses have moved up the value chain from bicycle parts to higher technology products.
In 1959, Tube Investments of India (TII) was formed by merging TI Cycles of India and Tube Products of India. TI Diamond Chain was merged with the parent company, in 2004. In 1962, the company saw a potential to leverage its engineering skills to address the market for roll formed metal products. So a new unit called TI Metal Forming was created to realize this potential; to this day it is recognized as the pioneer in this business.Meanwhile, the Management was also progressively Indianised. The first Board of Directors had equal representation from Indian promoters and TI-UK. TI-UK divested a major portion of its share holdings in two tranches in 1978 and 1985 by mutual agreement. TI-UK continued to hold a minority shareholding and participated in the management with a representative in the Board of Directors till 2001. Today TII is an Indian company with a global outlook.
During the 1990s TII made many bold acquisitions to enhance its presence in its core businesses. The most notable, was the case of Satavahana chains, a sick BIFR company that was turned round to a highly profitable unit. Other success stories were the acquisition of a Japanese Tube plant and a German Chains plant which were re-erected in Chennai to address the growing export markets. A successful GDR issue in 1994 increased its financial muscle and accelerated both acquisitions and expansions. Capacities were increased in all its units to meet the growing customer demands.In over six decades of its existence, TII has built significant skills in engineering and metallurgy, which is fully supported by a central R&D function. A Total Quality Management approach has ensured a satisfied community of customers and TII is the preferred supplier in all the markets it operates. TII continues the tradition of financial discipline and prudence set by the founding fathers. It is this tradition that has earned TII the unique distinction of uninterrupted dividend distribution since 1954.