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

After graduation from the Loyola College, Chennai in the early 1950s, the young man thought of getting hands-on experience in a textile mill in Europe. But father P A C  Ramasamy Raja, an ardent nationalist and Congressman, thought otherwise. He put his only son Ram for training as a worker at the then flourishing B&C Mills in Chennai. The latter gained a wealth of experience as an employee first at Binnys and later at the Madura Mills. 

P R Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha (PRR) recalled this as a precious experience that immensely contributed to his evolution as a textile magnate in quick time and as a multifaceted entrepreneur with deep concerns for social issues. His Rajapalayam Mills has maintained a high reputation for the quality of yarn produced that continues to demand a premium in several export markets. For decades the company has been a leader in the spinning sector earning consistent, substantial revenues and profits. 

PRR assumed the mantle on the demise of his father at a relatively young age. He focused on technology and modern management. Madras Cements was among the early cement units in India to have adapted the energy-efficient dry process. It expanded capacities in quick succession at its cement plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and revved up Ramco Industries to produce cement products. He extended his manufacturing to West Bengal and complimented the Left government for its investment-friendly disposition. 


VIPs flocked to Rajapalayam

Our connection with Ramco dates back to almost right from IE’s inception. In 1971 IE released a special issue on the company when President V V Giri unveiled a bust of founder Ramasamy Raja at Rajapalayam. Later in the 1980s, IE published a comprehensive cover feature after visiting the plants of Ramco Group in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It was a great experience not just looking at the high-class manufacturing facilities but also the wide range of social welfare activities of PRR. The group spent liberally on several socially ameliorative activities, far ahead of the current focus on CSR: schools, polytechnics, medical facilities and a well-endowed Veda patasala were liberally funded through the charities of the Ramco Group. 

PRR regularly expanded capacities of his various manufacturing units. Son P R Venketrama Raja developed Ramco Systems as a sophisticated IT unit. PRV pursued higher studies at Michigan and was a student of management guru C K Prahlad. 


Recipient of IE Business Excellence Award

IE had yet another occasion to applaud PRR’s leadership and his business units when Madras Cements was selected for the IE Business Excellence Award in 1994. When we called on PRR to inform the IEBEA committee’s selection and apprised him of the  details, he graciously asked whether he could help contribute to meeting the cost of the award function that would have NDDB’s Verghese Kurien as the Chief guest. I thanked him and told that IE instituted the award to honour a southern corporate for business excellence at its initiative and cost. I related this to Bachi Karkaria’s humorous reference at the ET awards function: “there was no free lunch and that the expense of the cocktail was met by the awardee!”

During 2009 PRR invited me to address the annual meeting of the Rajapalayam Chamber of Commerce. My wife and I spent four delightful days at Ramamandiram when both PRR and his wife Sudarsanam were perfect hosts taking great care of us. We spent time looking at several temples, the Veda Patasala and educational institutions supported by the PRR charities. 

PRR chose to live in Rajapalayam and enriched life around the town. Rajapalayam evolved as a vibrant and productive business centre, and much of it is owed to PRR. 

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
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.
Read more
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236