The Sona Group Completes a Century of Educational & Entrepreneurial Legacy
The Sona group is overwhelmed to successfully complete 100 years of legacy in driving educational and entrepreneurial advancements across the nation. Established in the 1920s by Kalvithanthai Karumuttu Thiagaraja Chettiar, this premier global business group has set up world-class institutions across India and has also established a suite of companies with international repute.
The Group’s effort towards the socio-economic development of the nation began in the pre- independence era. The friendship between Karumuttu Thiagaraja Chettiar and Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Father of Nation’ is etched in the history with the famous ‘Loin Cloth’ incident, had occurring at Kalvithanthai’s house.
Focusing on employability through skill development and superior higher education, our Kalvithanthai established backward integration of socio-economic development through The Sona Group of Institutions, which prepares youth to take the existing opportunities and create new ones.
Visalakshi High School – Beginning of Quality Education
Named after Visalakshi Achi, Kalvithanthai’s spouse, who was an epitome of strength and perseverance, Kalvithanthai started Visalakshi High School in Thekkur, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India, in her memory. The magnificent building in which this high school is housed was inaugurated by our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on 15th April 1959.
Labour Leader in Ceylon
Moved by the plight of the Indian immigrant labourers, who had less than ideal living and working conditions, while working in the rubber and tea plantations in Ceylon, he stood by their side and worked towards their betterment. Inspired by his dear friend and mentor, Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle towards uplifting the Indians in South Africa, Kalvithanthai raised his voice on behalf of plantation workers in Ceylon for their socioeconomic stability.
As Kalvithanthai struggled independently towards betterment of the plantation workers, the silence from the Whitewashing Commission regarding Kalvithanthai’s request for independent inquiry, made the situation more challenging. Kalvithanthai struggled alone to get the attention from the right people to address and solve the miserable condition of the plantation workers. He prepared a detailed report on their plight, which unfortunately did not get the expected response, due to lack of the direct evidence that proved the charges brought against the recruiters at the plantation.
Annie Besant – A New Chapter in Helping the Ceylon Plantation Workers
Kalvithanthai started a campaign to help the plantation workers in Ceylon and this brought him to Annie Besant, who headed the Indian National Movement, until Gandhi Ji took it over. Being the President of the Indian National Congress in Calcutta, she overlooked annual Congress Sessions. This is where Kalvithanthai reached out to her with his struggle towards the betterment of the plantation workers back in Ceylon. She then took his reports forward and played a major role in getting this campaign moving forwards.
Bank of Madura – New Financial Milestone
Achieving remarkable milestone in the banking industry, Kalvithanthai single handedly managed to get Madurai on the financial map of India by establishing Bank of Madura. This served as a financial institution that ministered to the needs of the local people. Under the guidance of Kalvithanthai, the bank rose to greater heights and then went ahead and merged with the ICICI Bank. Bank of Madura established numerous other branches across Madurai, which was soon followed by other banks.
Accomplishments of The Sona Group
Marking four generations of entrepreneurial legacy, the Group commemorates valuable contributions of people, partnerships and projects that matter.
1920 - Inception of The Sona Group
Tracing back to pre-independence era, The Sona Group was established to improve the socio-economic condition of our nation through education and skill development.
1921 – The Swadeshi Movement
Beholding the great ‘Loincloth’ incident that set the pace for the Swadeshi movement, Kalvithanthai's residence holds glimpses of India's independence struggle.
1926 – Inception of the Textile Baron
Portraying self-reliance, Valliappa Textiles was stablished, which in turn supported the Swadeshi Cloth movement in pre-independence India. Presiding over 16 textile mills, he built an empire of textiles and emerged as the textile king. This empire of textiles also supported a lot of people with livelihood by providing number of job opportunities.
1958 – Thiagarajar Polytechnic College
Identifying the importance of higher education for Indian youth, Thiagarajar Polytechnic (TPT) College was established to provide world-class technical education. Having made a momentous journey, TPT College has bagged numerous prestigious awards in education, from as early as 1978. In the year 2010, TPT was recognized with the state level, Best Polytechnic College Award, in the year 2014 they received national level, AICTE-CII, Best Industry-Linked Technical Institute Award, in 2015 the institute was awarded SEED-SIIP for sustainable Institute Industry Partnership, in 2017 - SEED SIIP Award and Seva Rathna Award 2017 from Salem Amateur Arts, in 2019 - AICTE-SAGY Initiative Award, to name a few.
1980 – Valliappa Software Tech Park & Valliappa Real Estate
India made its mark in the IT roadmap with the establishment of Valliappa Software Tech Park in the Sona Towers, which is also the Group’s first Real Estate project.
1984 – First to Bring IT to India
By getting India on the global IT road map through Texas Instruments, The Sona Group further widened the scope for increased employment opportunities. It was here, in Sona Towers, that the first satellite dish arrived on a bullock cart.
1991 – Canada India Institutional Cooperation Project (CIICP)
Increasing the scope of higher education through staff training, The Sona Group facilitated the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Govt. of Canada and the Govt. of India.
1997 – Sona College of Technology
The Special Electrical and Electronics Drives Division (SPEED) of the college supplied three products for Chandrayaan-2. Bagging prestigious awards since 2011, the institute has been recognized with Utkrisht Sansthan Vishwakarma Award – 2020, ARIIA Ranking 2020, CSR Ranking 2020 and NIRF Ranking 2020 awards in 2020 alone. Nurturing 36 R&D centres, the institution has stimulated better learning.
1998 – Sona School of Management
Nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, Sona School of Management offers flamboyant business education across 5 different management specializations.
2000 – Vee Technologies
This premier technology-enabled professional services company serves global players across healthcare, engineering, IT, logistics, media, finance and accounting, legal process outsourcing and e-Governance.
2000 – Vee Create
Showcasing our engineering and animation capabilities to the world, Vee Create offers excellent employment opportunities to the youth of our nation and comprehensive solutions to global clients.
2005 – Vee Track
As the world is going online, Vee Track empowers businesses with online media monitoring.
2012 – Sona Yukti
Offering demand-driven skill development training programs enhances employability and entrepreneurship opportunities among the Indian youth.
2017 – AI-Driven Online Assessment Platform
To bridge the gap between the employers and skilled candidates, an Artificial-Intelligence driven online assessment platform – HireMee – was created.
2017 – Sona Arts & Science College
Offering top-quality research and development facilities, Sona College of Arts and Science promotes innovation in arts and science.
2018 – Coding School
Providing online medical coding training, Coding School increases the scope of professionals who aspire to work remotely.
2018 - Valliappa Foundation
In an exclusive effort to improve the socio-economic condition of our nation by empowering the underprivileged, The Sona Group has set up its Corporate Social Responsibility arm – Valliappa Foundation.
2020 - Vee Trace
Vee Trace is a location-based contact tracing app that was developed to prevent the spread of infection during the pandemic. One version of this app is specifically designed for the organizations
2020 - Vee Protect
The Sona Group’s venture to help and provide support during instabilities, Vee Protect, manufactures and supplies a variety of high-quality Persona Protective Equipment (PPE).
2020 - Sona Valliappa Public School
Marking yet another milestone in providing quality basic education for the underprivileged children of our society, The Sona Group started Sona Valliappa Public School.
2020 - Anadhanam
With a strong determination to serve the society in a new way by eradicating global hunger, Anadhanam digital platform was established to help NGOs and other entities to connect with one another and serve those in the hunger hotspots. The platform enables efficient excess food redistribution by identifying below poverty line zones and other hunger hot spots.
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