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MSV – the King of Light Music A Gandhian breathes his last on Gandhi Jayanthi ‘Hero’ rides into the sunset A statue for RV, at last! Tribute – Ja Ra Su Missile Man takes flight Remembering Chariji Scientist and leader of educational reforms R Desikan – the crusader of consumer interests is gone The scientist-engineer who lucidly explained economics The honest Sardarji A welcome biography on a towering CA M Subramaniam Brilliant Saeed saab Honest civil servant Saeed Jaffrey The motor sportsman is no more The ‘Q’ factor cost him Cabinet Secretary’s post ‘Sai’ Srinivasan no more Question on Operation X New team at the helm at TANSTIA KB Sir for all... Dr M G K Menon He took Kone to great heights… This trendsetter is no more When SPIC spawned star managers... Flute falls silent Remembering I K Gujral… Fighter-pilot turned monk... How to build a nation Master of strokes Jeppiar calls it a day Colour-Chem's colorful personality A genius civil servant fades Sivaraman, 100 Cement, calcium carbide, shipping… TSN turned these and more into gold Justice Iyer, 100 Big ideas, not big words, are important... A versatile legend moves on The Hero of bicycles rests in peace Centurion ‘Leo’ rests in peace VV Goes... He breathed transport development Samskrt loses a passionate exponent... Tribute - R K Baratan He took space science to such great heights! Deora – the best networked politician.... The Rajha of Rajapalayam... Father of German unification no more... A multi-faceted leader rests in peace Another Leo of real estate and education is no more Bal Thackeray India’s Master Builder… ‘Mandolin’ stops playing... Endearing Aachi... He elevated B&C to its best... KP is no more Music loses a maestro Tribute – Baldev Raj Music Samrat!!! - TMS He was the greatest. He contributed so much to the telecom revolution A honest bank executive... A versatile, humane and efficient administrator/litterateur A multi faceted prince is no more... If only he had fastened the seat-belt... Transport S Narayanan Dada of drip irrigation... Tribute: Dr. Krishnamoorthy Srinivas
When SPIC spawned star managers...
It was 1969. The 1600 tpd urea plant of SPIC was under construction at Tuticorin. It was the largest such project in the joint sector with TIDCO. S Ramayya, as General Manager - Administration, organised a visit to the plant for media men.

The train journey to Madurai and thence by bus to Tuticorin made it memorable. KR Srivatsa, who headed SPIC, had rich experience of Japanese practices. He presented an interesting manner of symbolising commencement of work: a ten-minute curtain raiser each at the ammonia, urea, utilities and other sections!

At the lunch, media men were provided the opportunity to interact with the three groups of management. Main promoter TIDCO represented by IAS officers like the brilliant S Venkitaramanan, the private promoter group headed by Chairman M A Chidambaram and the professional group of brilliant technocrats headed by K R Srivatsa.

Quietly and efficiently helping media to cover this mega event was S Ramayya (SR).  A member of the IPS who served in Gujarat, like Srivatsa, IAS who earlier headed Gujarat State Fertilizer Company, SR, quit IPS and joined SPIC.

SPIC suffered twin tragedies: the massive impact of the oil crisis of 1973 that shot up capital expenditure by over 50 per cent and the failure of the heat exchangers supplied by Humphreys and Glasgow of UK. Thus the company was born sick. Venkitaramanan turned it around by brilliant strategies of waiver and funding of interest and marketing imported fertilizers with SPIC brand name. Ramayya organised a press meet at SPIC Centre when Venkitaramanan announced handsome performance results. When I queried whether it were all due to engineering excellence or financial engineering, Ramayya hushed in my ear “what a mischievous query!”

IE featured a cover story with the caption ‘Spic and Span. Thank you IAS.’ SR expressed his admiration through a telephone call.

For over a decade, SPIC expanded and expanded into the production of LAB, a range of petrochemicals, pharma, electronics, plantations and management services. Ramayya headed the SPIC Maintenance Organisation, extending rich expertise in engineering and management.

When I took charge as Secretary General of Madras Press Club in 1976 and assembled a star-studded executive committee headed by The Hindu’s K Balaraman, Ramayya joined as a committee member. He helped in the hectic programmes organised. A sample: soon after the Janata government assumed charge MPC organised in March 1977 meetings addressed by George Fernandes, P Ramachandran, L K Advani, Subramaniam Swamy and Piloo Modi, all in a span of three weeks. A few weeks later Morarji Desai addressed the press club, the first and only occasion when a prime minister did this in Chennai.

Intensely religious, SR was a regular visitor to Kapali temple and donated an exquisite Nartana Ganapati idol to Madhya Kailash.

To have headed the administration of SPIC in its glorious star-studded days, SR put in his best efforts and raised it to international standards. In his demise the management world has lost one of its bright stars.

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IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
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