G. D. Naidu (Gopalaswamy Doraiswamy Naidu) (23 March 1893 – 4 January 1974) was an Indian inventor and engineer who is also referred to as the Edison of India. He is credited with the manufacture of the first electric motor in India. His contributions were primarily industrial but also span the fields of electrical, mechanical, agricultural (Hybrid cultivation) and automobile engineering. Naidu also developed independently internal combustion four stroke engine. He had only primary education but excelled as a versatile genius. Among his hobbies was train travel to nearby cities. He is also referred as wealth creator of Coimbatore.
G.D. Naidu developed India's first indigenous motor in 1937 along with D. Balasundaram Naidu .It was the motor's success that resulted in the founding of Textool by Balasundaram and, later on, Lakshmi Machine Works (LMW).
Naidu's 'Rasant' razor incorporated a small motor operated by dry cells, called Heilbronn. Among his other inventions were super-thin shaving blades, a distance adjuster for film cameras, a fruit juice extractor, a tamper-proof vote-recording machine and a kerosene-run fan. In 1941, he announced that he had the ability to manufacture five-valve Radio sets in India at a mere Rs 70/- a set. In 1952, the two-seater petrol engine car (costing a mere Rs 2,000/-) rolled out.
But production was stopped subsequently, because of the Government's refusal to grant the necessary license. His inventiveness was not confined to machinery alone. He researched and identified new varieties in Cotton, Maize and Papaya. His farm was visited by Sir C. V. Raman and Visvesvaraya. From laying foundation to completion he has built a house in just 11 hours from morning 6am to evening 5pm. 3rd Prize for UMS Razor Company for Razor blades in an exhibition in 1936 in Leipzieg, Germany.
In 1935, he personally filmed the funeral of King George Vat London. He met Adolf Hitler in Germany. He invited K. Kamaraj in many functions. Among the Indian stalwarts that Naidu's camera captured were Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose. Naidu remained an outsider to politics, despite having contested and lost in the 1936 Provincial General Elections. He was gifted a Rolls Royce car and he was the only one who had this luxury car in those times.
In 1944, Naidu retired from active involvement with his automobile combine and announced several philanthropic measures including grants for research scholarships and welfare schemes for his employees and the depressed sections of society. In 1967, the G D Naidu Industrial Exhibition was established.