Diwan Bahadur Agaram Subbarayalu Reddiar was born in a Reddiar family of South Arcot in 1855. He studied law in the West. On his return to India, Subbarayalu Reddiar involved himself in district politics of South Arcot and served as a district board president. Initially, he joined the Indian National Congress but left the party in 1916 to join the Justice Party. When the Justice Party was elected to power in the Madras Presidency in the first general elections in November 1920, Subbarayalu
Reddiar was chosen as Chief Minister. Thus, Subbarayalu Reddiar is the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency. He was a landlord, Justice Party leader and Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency from 17 December 1920 to 11 July 1921. Subbarayalu Reddiar served as Chief Minister till 11 July 1921 when he resigned on grounds of health. He died soon afterwards.