Gopalaswamy Doraiswamy Naidu was born on 23rd March, 1893 in Kalangal, India. He was an Indian engineer and inventor. He was commonly referred to as the “Edison of India” for his significant contributions to the field of technology, industry and development. He was recognized for he built the first electric motor in India. He had attended only primary school, but gained technical knowledge out of his innovative ideas in scientific applications.
When Naidu was a youngster, he saw a foreigner riding a motor cycle through his village. He was excited and inspired with the sight of the motor cycle. Many of the children watched it in surprise, but he wished to ride the motor cycle himself and wanted to learn its mechanism. He worked at a hotel in Coimbatore as a waiter and earned about 400 rupees. Fortunately, he met the person who rode the motor cycle in his village and explained his passion for motor cycle. The foreigner gave the motor cycle to Naidu, as he was astonished by the determination of Naidu. He gradually understood the mechanism of the motor cycle. Soon, he procured a job as a mechanic.
In 1920, he established not only his own transport business but also dabbled in the cotton business. Overtime, his transport business expanded and owned the most efficient fleet of public transport vehicles (UMS) in the country. His passion for technology enlarged to cameras and films, and in 1935 he filmed the funeral of King George in London. A year later, he met Adolf Hitler, and was able to secure manufacturing contract. When he returned to India he entered to politics but lost the 1936 provincial general elections.
In his mid-forties, he collaborated with D.Balasundaram to create India’s first indigenous motor. It was a huge success in India. He invented an electric razor, a tamper-proof note - recording machine, a kerosene run fan.He began focusing on camera equipment and was fascinated by the ability to take photographs. He created a distance adjuster for film cameras. His inventiveness was not restricted to technology alone. He had piqued his interest in agriculture and identified new varieties of cotton, maize and papaya. Sir C.V.Raman and Mokshagundam Visvesvaraiah visited Naidu’s farm several times and were impressed by his grit and determination for invention.
In 1944, he retired from his automobile company. He established several charitable and philanthropic foundations. Though he did not attend school in childhood properly, he firmly believed in the importance of education and made it his mission to setup the first polytechnic in India. He became the principal of the college in 1945. He passed away on 4 th, January 1974. Sir C.V. Raman said, “Mr. Naidu is truly a man in a million - perhaps this is an understatement!”