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Postal stamp on Murugappa Chettiar

October 03, 2005 14:55 IST

A postal stamp in the memory of A M M Murugappa Chettiar (1902-1965) was released by Union Minister for Communications Dayanidhi Maran on Sunday.

A M M Murugappa Chettiar, known widely as AMM, is regarded as a leader among the industrialists responsible for the industrial advancement in south India after Independence.

The family business, which flourished under AMM, had its origins in 1900 when his father Dewan Bahadur A M Murugappa Chettiar established a money-lending and banking business in Burma (now Myanmar), which then spread to Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.

AMM, the eldest son of Dewan Bahadur realised early in life the importance of promoting light and medium engineering industries in India.

Thus started Tube Investments of India Ltd, in collaboration with the British group, Tube Investments Ltd, Birmingham. The world famous cycle brands Hercules, Phillips and BSA Cycles came later.

Another well known company

started by AMM was the Carborundum Universal Ltd in collaboration with the Carborundum Company Inc of USA and Universal Grinding Wheel Company Ltd of UK. The company produced abrasives and grinding stones.

Now, the Murugappa Group, headquartered in Chennai is a $1.44-billion conglomerate with interests in engineering, abrasives, sanitaryware, fertilisers, finance, bio-products and plantations. It has 29 companies under its umbrella, of which eight are listed on the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Equally well known are the charitable and philanthropic efforts of AMM through a charitable trust called AMM Charities which is now known as the AMM Foundation. AMM Foundation runs hospitals, polytechnic institutions, and higher secondary schools for the poor and needy of society.

AMM Murugappa Chettiar was one of the earliest Presidents of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Above: The postal stamp in memory of A M M Murugappa Chettair.
Photograph: Sreeram Selvaraj

Shobha Warrier in Chennai