S. V Narasaiah, Chairman of HHV and the Pioneer of Vacuum Technology in India, passes away at 97
S.V. Narasaiah , Founder and Chairman of the Bengaluru based Hind High Vacuum Co. Pvt. Ltd (HHV), passed away on 8th October, 2021 at the age of 97. He is survived by his wife who he was married to for 74 years, two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren.
HHV Group was established in 1965 to develop Indian self reliance in high vacuum technology. Narasaiah was considered to be the pioneer of vacuum technology in India.
Born in Taduvai in the Guntur District, SV Narasaiah was a student leader in the Communist Party and a protégé of the great P Sundarayya. He moved to Chellapalli town for his early education and attended Guntur AC College. As a student leader, he published an underground newspaper, Swatantra Bharat, during the Indian freedom struggle. In the 1950s, he travelled to the Eastern bloc as a photojournalist covering the impact of the Second World War.
In 1964, he moved to Bangalore to look for avenues to further his passion for vacuum technology and optics. With the help of his mentors, Prof. Satish Dhawan and Dr. H.N. Nanjundaiah, at the Indian Institute of Science he established HHV group in 1965.
Under his stewardship, HHV has – in the last five decades –grown to be a global, award-winning technology pioneer, employing nearly a thousand people. HHV has developed and designed India’s first vacuum pump, vacuum furnace, space simulation system, and thin film vacuum coating system to name a few. In 2018, HHV received the National R&D award for innovation and production development.
SVN as he was fondly called,was the director of the small-scale industries association in Karnataka and was the founding member of the Indian Vacuum Society, where he worked tirelessly for the growth of small-scale technology companies in India. He was active member of the American Society of Metals and was recognized for his services by the India chapter in 2019.
He was a disciplined man with a remarkable work ethic who continued to play an important role in the growth of HHV into his 90s. SVN will be remembered as a principled nationalist, a path-breaking technologist, and a fearless crusader for indigenization.