Chidambaram Pillai was the first Indian to launch a steam navigation company which ran a service between Tuticorin
and Colombo. He did it in the interests of the nation's economy, against the British rule. Born on September 5, 1872 in Tirunelveli District
, Tamil Nadu
, Pillai had his education in Tuticorin and took his degree in law form Madras (now renamed Chennai
). He entered politics in 1905 immediately after the partition of Bengal. He wrote a commentary on Tirukural and edited the Tamil work of grammar, Tolkappiam. He died on November 18, 1936.