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Updated: January 13, 2011 11:39 IST

Industrialist A. Sivasailam passes away

Special Correspondent
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A file picture of A. Sivasailam, Chairman and Managing Director of the Amalgamations Group. Photo: Special Arrangement
THE HINDU A file picture of A. Sivasailam, Chairman and Managing Director of the Amalgamations Group. Photo: Special Arrangement

He transformed Amalgamations group into a financially sound empire

A. Sivasailam, Chairman and Managing Director of the Amalgamations Group, passed away in Manipal on Wednesday. He was 76.

One of the prominent industrialists from south India, Mr. Sivasailam suffered a cardiac arrest at Sringeri in Chikmagalur district.

From Sringeri, he was flown in a helicopter to Manipal in Udupi district, along with his personal physician and a physician from the Sharada Dhanvanthari Charitable Hospital. He was rushed to the Kasturba Hospital at Manipal, where doctors attempted to resuscitate him, but in vain.

A private aircraft was chartered from Mumbai to bring the body to Chennai from Mangalore on Wednesday night.

Born on August 24, 1934, Mr. Sivasailam was the elder son of S. Anantharamakrishnan, founder-chairman of the Amalgamations Group. He graduated in commerce from the University of Madras, and after a four-year stint in Management Accounting with a leading firm of chartered accountants in London, he returned to join the Amalgamations Group, where he was entrusted with the task of developing and nurturing a new company — Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited.

In 1961, he became TAFE's General Manager and subsequently its Chairman and Managing Director. In 1968, Mr. Sivasailam became the Chairman of the Amalgamations Group. Under his leadership, the group grew in stature, from Rs. 35 crore in 1961 to Rs.7,000 crore now. The group comprises 48 diverse companies with a workforce of 12,000.

He also held many offices in government and public institutions, including the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers, and that of Sheriff of Madras.

He was associated with a number of trade and industry bodies in various capacities. He was the past president of AIAM and ASSOCHAM and had served in committees, advisory boards and councils on trade, export and industrial development set up by the governments of Tamil Nadu and India.

A well known philanthropist, he supported many causes in education and health care. He established the Paramakalyani group of educational institutions at Alwarkurichi, his native village in Tirunelveli district, and the Institute of Environment Sciences at the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli.

The list of awards Mr. Sivasailam received is long, including the prestigious Padma Shri. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the All-India Management Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers and the Golden Jubilee Lifetime Contribution Award by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from SAE India. He was also honoured with the Outstanding Industrialist Award by the National Institute of Quality Assurance.

The Tamilnadu Agricultural University conferred the degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) on him, in recognition of his contributions to agricultural business management and industrial development.

He is survived by daughters Mallika Srinivasan and Jayshree Venkatraman.

“It's a great loss to the industry, in general, and Chennai, in particular,” said M.A. Alagappan, former Chairman of the Murugappa Group.

A. Vellayan, Chairman of the Murugappa Group, described Mr. Sivasailam as “a stalwart in the southern industrial scene and a father figure for Chennai.”

Many in the industry admired him for his simple and easy disposition. “He cared for details and did them in style,” Mr. Vellayan said. What struck many was the way he transformed the Amalgamations group built by his father into an empire financially sound and uncompromising in quality.

For SPIC Group Chairman A.C. Muthiah, “he was a good friend and a wonderful person.”

Srinivasan Swamy of RK Swamy BBDO described Mr. Sivasailam as “a well-rounded person.” After the passing away of his wife, Mr. Sivasailam built a block in the Hindu Mission Hospital at Tambaram in her name. “It was always a pleasure to talk to him. He would speak kindly to even people very junior to him,” Mr. Swamy recalled.

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