G. D. Naidu Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

G. D. Naidu

G. D. Naidu (1893-1974) was an Indian engineer, inventor, and businessman. He is known as the “Edison of India” and “the wealth creator of Coimbatore.” A school dropout, G. D. Naidu made notable contributions to the fields of electrical, mechanical, agricultural, and automobile engineering. In 1974, he died at the age of 80.


Gopalaswamy Doraiswamy Naidu [1]The Times of India was born on Thursday, 23 March 1893 (age 80 years; at the time of death) in Kalangal village, Coimbatore District, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India). His zodiac sign is Aries. When he was studying in school, he did not like attending classes. He often used to get in trouble for not attending classes, so, he dropped out of school in 3rd standard. Later, he began to work at a ginning mill in a village near Sulur. Once, while he was working at his father’s farmland, he saw a British revenue officer’s 1912 model Rudge motorcycle and got fascinated by the bike; he was 16 years old at that time. So, he left Kalangal village and moved to Coimbatore to earn money.

G. D. Naidu in his youth

G. D. Naidu in his youth

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 9″

Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper (Semi-bald)

Eye Colour: Black

G. D. Naidu


G. D. Naidu belonged to a Telugu family of farmers in Kalangal village, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

Parents & Siblings

His father, Gopalsamy, was a farmer.

Wife & Children

His wife’s name was Ranganayakiammal.

G. D. Naidu with his wife

G. D. Naidu with his wife

He had a son named G.D. Gopal.

G. D. Naidu's son G.D. Gopal

G. D. Naidu’s son G.D. Gopal

He also had two grandchildren named G.D. Rajkumar and Shantini. Shantini owns The Grand Regent Hotel in Coimbatore.

G. D. Naidu's grandson G.D. Rajkumar

G. D. Naidu’s grandson G.D. Rajkumar



After dropping out of school, he worked as a waiter for more than three years at a hotel in Coimbatore to save money for purchasing a motorcycle. He dismantled his motorcycle and reassembled it, after which he became a mechanic.

G. D. Naidu's first motorcycle

G. D. Naidu’s first motorcycle


In 1920, he purchased an automobile coach and began a transport business company named Universal Motor Service (UMS). He started his transport business between Pollachi and Palani cities in Tamil Nadu. A few years later, his company Universal Motor Service (UMS) became one of the top companies in India to own a convoy of public transport vehicles. By 1933, he owned 280 buses.


In 1936, he contested the provincial general elections; however, he lost the elections.


In 1937, he and D. Balasundaram Naidu, an electrical engineer, collaborated with each other and created the first indigenous motor in India. Later, he invented the first electric razor called ‘Rasant,’ whose electric motor worked by using dry cells.

World's first electric razor

World’s first electric razor

He had invented around 100 gadgets, including super-thin shaving blades, a distance adjuster for film cameras, a fruit juice extractor, a tamper, a proof vote, a recording machine, and a kerosene run fan. In 1935, he visited London in England to shoot the funeral ceremony of King George V. He captured many famous personalities on his camera including Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose.

A photo of Adolf Hitler taken by G. D. Naidu in 1936

A photo of Adolf Hitler taken by G. D. Naidu in 1936

In 1936, he invented a voting machine. In 1941, he revealed that he could create a radio set with five-valve in India at just seventy rupees. In 1941, he built a 40-acre farm at Podhanur, where he researched on various crops. He made significant contributions to the field of agriculture by discovering new varieties of cotton, maize, and papaya. C. V. Raman, a famous Indian physicist, and M. Visvesvaraya, a well-known Indian Civil Engineer, visited his farm.

G. D. Naidu with C. V. Raman

G. D. Naidu with C. V. Raman

In 1952, he introduced a two-seater petrol engine car at just 2000 rupees. Since the government did not grant the necessary license for manufacturing the engine car, the production had to be stopped. He was also known for creating cheap houses. He once constructed a house from laying its foundation to completion in a time period of about eight hours. Many houses of such kind were constructed in 1967-68.

Cheap House Construction Training Centre in Coimbatore

Cheap House Construction Training Centre in Coimbatore

Since he was interested in the Siddha system of medicine, he did many experiments in the field of medicine also. He was one of the first persons in India, who invented ball pen, ball pen refills, and carbon paper.


In 1944, G. D. Naidu began to provide research grants for research scholarships. He also started welfare schemes for his employees and oppressed sections of society. In 1945, he established the first polytechnic institute of India Arthur Hope Polytechnic in Coimbatore and became its first principal. In the same year, he started an engineering college named Arthur Hope College of Engineering and was the first principal of the college.

Arthur Hope College of Engineering in Coimbatore

Arthur Hope College of Engineering in Coimbatore

After the British government did not accept his suggestion of decreasing the duration of the four-year programs to two years as he considered it a waste of students’ time, G. D. Naidu resigned from the post of principal. In 1946, he founded Industrial Labour Welfare Association (now known as G.D. Naidu Charities) to give students practical training and prepare them for jobs. In the 1950s and 60s, he provided employment to many job seekers in the field of engineering and other sectors.

In Popular Media

On 9 August 2019, the biopic ‘GD Naidu – The Edison of India’ won Best Science & Technology Film Award at the 66th National Film Awards. The documentary film was screened at the Indisches Film Festival 2019 in Germany and many others.

Poster of the 2019 documentary film 'GD Naidu – The Edison of India'

Poster of the 2019 documentary film ‘GD Naidu – The Edison of India’

In April 2023, R. Madhavan, an Indian actor and director, revealed that he would direct and act in a biopic based on the life story of G. D. Naidu. [2]The Times of India


  • The G. D. Naidu Science Museum Industrial Exhibition was established in 1967.

    G. D. Naidu Science Museum Industrial Exhibition in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

    G. D. Naidu Science Museum Industrial Exhibition in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

  • The Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) introduced the G. D. Naidu Young Scientist Award to honour G. D. Naidu. The award is given to students for their work in the field of mechanical engineering and research.
  • Makkal Sinthanai Peravai, a non-profitable public organization in Erode, Tamil Nadu presents an annual award in the name of G. D. Naidu to an outstanding young researcher working in India.


On Friday, 4 January 1974, he died of age-related ailments at the age of 80. [3]The Hindu


  • G. D. Naidu was also known as ‘Adhisaya Manidhar’, which means ‘miracle man.’ [4]The Hindu
  • He was the first Indian Businessman to hire a Britisher in his company.
  • He was an avid photographer. He once visited Germany and spent a lot of time in the factories of camera-making companies such as Leica, Minox, and Rolleiflex.
  • His company, UMS Razor Company, won 3rd prize for razor blades in an exhibition in Leipzig, Germany.

    3rd prize won by UMS Razor Company

    3rd prize won by UMS Razor Company

  • In a 1950 interview, C. V. Raman, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, praised G. D. Naidu for his achievements and said,

    It would need an abler pen than mine to sketch in a few words a picture of the remarkable man that Mr G.D. Naidu is and to indicate his great character and most varied achievements.” [5]The Hindu

  • He once received a Rolls-Royce car as a gift and was the only person to own that car in India at that time.

    G. D. Naidu with the dismantled Rolls Royce 20 HP

    G. D. Naidu with the dismantled Rolls Royce 20 HP

  • His grandson G. D. Rajkumar owns Geedee Industries, which was named after G. D. Naidu.
  • His daughter-in-law Chandra Gopal runs G. D. Matriculation Higher Secondary School and GEDEE Public School in Coimbatore, which were named after G. D. Naidu.
  • He was a vintage car enthusiast and had a huge collection of it including the Benz Motorwagon, Ford T, Volkswagen Beetle, Citroen – 2 CV, and Mini. On 27 April 2015, his son G. D. Gopal inaugurated the Gedee Car Museum in his father’s memory.

    GeDee Car Museum in Coimbatore

    GeDee Car Museum in Coimbatore

  • In 2015, M. A. Palaniappan released a Tamil book titled ‘Athisaya Vignani G.D. Naidu’ based on the life story of G. D. Naidu.

    Poster of the Tamil book 'Athisaya Vignani G.D. Naidu'

    Poster of the Tamil book ‘Athisaya Vignani G.D. Naidu’

  • He used to smoke occasionally.

    G. D. Naidu smoking cigarette

    G. D. Naidu smoking a cigarette

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