Paying tribute to media baron and movie producer SS Vasan, Indian Postal Department has recently released a commemorative stamp on his 35 remembrance day. Today, the two most well recognised efforts of SS Vasan are present in the form of Ananda Vikatan and Gemini.
Speaking on Vasan’s ideology, Srinivasan, Joint Managing Director, Vikatan Group, said, “Think Big. Never lose sight of the big picture even as you tinker with the minutest detail. There is no substitute to hard work. Exploit success. Admit failures and move on. This was his ideology. The Vikatan Group is constantly reinventing its products to penetrate better and more effectively in the market, in light of fierce competition from various media. We wish to celebrate the centenary of our founder with all-out efforts to make each magazine from our stable the market leader in its category, in this momentous year.
Talking about the current game plan of the Vikatan Group, Srinivasan, said, “Vasan believed in putting in his last penny into his convictions and gambling big. That is what the Vikatan Group is now doing. We definitely expect that the new marketing, sales and content initiatives that we are presently undertaking at high cost will pay back by ensuring that each of our products will soon end up as market leaders in their respective categories.”
Hailing from Thiruthiraipoondi of Thanjavur district in Tamilnadu, Vasan started his career in advertising and later became the publisher of the popular weekly magazine Ananda Vikatan.
He introduced the concept of reading fiction on a weekly basis and was instrumental in bringing out writing talents like Kalki who became a popular screenplay writer later. Duncan filmed Vasan’s novel, Sati Leelavathi, in 1936, which marked the beginning of the acting career of actor-turned-politician MG Ramachandran.
A film studio was taken up at a government auction and was christened Gemini after his star sign. One of his first films shown there was ‘Madanakamarajan’ in 1941, which followed a storyline based on popular folklore. This movie became a major hit and was followed by several more.
Vasan's keen marketing insights helped Chennai (then Madras) gain a strong foothold in the Indian movie industry in direct rivalry with the Bombay movie market. As a director, Vasan also produced Hindi versions of his studio productions.
Vasan was named as the first chairman of the Film Federation of India and presided over the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce. He was also honoured with Padma Bhushan by the Central Government for his contribution to the field of art and culture.