Dubai: Businessman and film producer MM Ramachandran, popularly known as Atlas Ramachandran has died. He was 80.
He had been admitted to a hospital in Dubai with liver-related ailments and reportedly died of a cardiac arrest Sunday night.
Ramachandran was born in 1942 in Kerala's Thrissur district. He became a household name through a unique style of advertising his business, Atlas Jewellery. Ramachandran used to feature in the advertisements and deliver a line: Atlas Jewellery, the trusted name of crores of people.
Atlas Jewellery Group, which was started three decades ago, had about 50 branches in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They had branches in Kerala too.
Atlas Group also ventured into the healthcare, real estate and film distribution sectors.
He had started of as a bank employee before shifting to business. Ramachandran was passionate about movies and had acted in and produced a few.
Popular Malayalam movies Vaishali and Sukrutham were produced by Ramachandran. He also acted in over a dozen movies. In 2015, Ramachandran was arrested for financial fraud and jailed for three years.
He is survived by his wife Indira and two children - Dr Manju and Srikanth.
CM condoles Atlas Ramachandran's demise
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was among the many who condoled the demise of Atlas Ramachandran.
He labelled the bank employee-turned-entrepreneur as someone who was always ready to help the poor, Vijayan said.
"He also maintained a close contact with the non-resident Malayalis. He was an active presence in public forums and cultural gatherings in Dubai," Vijayan said.
The chief minister also lauded Ramachandran's stint in the film industry.