Dubai/Thiruvananthapuram: A well-known NRI businessman from Kerala who once ran a chain of jewellery stores in Kerala and abroad, died due to age-related ailments in Dubai, UAE, on Sunday.
The demise of Atlas Group chairman M M Ramachandran, popularly known as ‘Atlas’ Ramachandran, was condoled by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other political leaders, including BJP state president K Surendran.
Ramachandran, who was 80 years old, was planning to revive his defunct jewellery business which had gone bottom up after he was jailed in Dubai from 2015 to 2018 for failing to settle the outstanding amount of two bounced cheques worth USD 9.2 million.
As news of his death became public, social media was rife with comments by people who expressed their sadness over his demise and said they were expecting him to make a successful comeback.
Houses in Argentine colours, huge cutouts of players on display as Kerala gears up for football World Cup
People, on social media platforms, also said that he was a humble and innocent man who was betrayed leading to his downfall.
Vijayan, in a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), said the businessman was active in public forums and cultural gatherings in Dubai and had close contacts with the non-resident Malayalis.
He also helped the poor, the Chief Minister said in the statement.
Expressing his condolences, he said Ramachandran, who was a jeweller and also a film producer, died before he could realise his desire to return to his native land of Kerala.
The businessman is well known for his tagline — ‘trusted institution of crores’ — and besides producing movies, has also acted in some.
Ramachandran, born in Thrissur district of Kerala in 1942, started his career as a bank employee before moving into the jewellery business, the CMO statement said.