Poi movie tells Valluvanar (Avinash) who is an upright political leader in Tamil Nadu much respected for his honesty and uprightness. And he refuses to compromise on this trait even when his only son Kamban (Uday Kiran) finds himself in jail for no fault of his.
The opposition party takes advantage of the situation and bails out Kamban, who joins this party much to his father's embarrassment. The media laps it up sensationalizing it further. Then Kamban decides to leave the country until things cool down. Only his mother Vasuki with whom he is close is aware of this plan.
Kamban arrives at Sri Lanka where he be-friend's Banerjee, a Bengali and Kamban stays with him. One day he finds a Tamil literary book on the beach which he traces to Shilpa the owner of the book. Shilpa (Vimala) who is a college student preparing for the civil services examination.
She is staying with her brother's family. Shilpa is keen on realizing her ambitions and feels that love and marriage often comes in the way of women's career. The rest of the story is about the emotional conflict between her career and love.