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M. M. Ramachandran (born 31 July 1942), better known as Atlas Ramachandran is an Indian jeweller, film producer and actor. He is the chairman of Atlas Jewellery. He is known for the tagline of his jewellery, "Janakodikalude Vishwasthasthapanam". He has produced and distributed films under the banner "Chandrakanth Films". Vaisali (1988) and Sukrutham (1994) are his classic films.
M. M. Ramachandran
31 July 1942
|Occupation||Chairman of Atlas Jewellery|
Mathukkara Moothedath Ramachandran was born in Thrissur on 31 July 1942 into a family with a rich cultural and literary background. His father, late V. Kamalakara Menon (d. 1995), was a poet and there were frequent Akshara Shlokam recitation sessions at his home. Ramachandran was the third of the eight children of his parents, and the second son. After acquiring his bachelor's degree in commerce from St.Thomas College, Thrissur affiliate to Kerala University, Ramachandran left to New Delhi for work.
In Delhi, Ramachandran started his career in the banking industry. He joined Canara Bank and completed a post-graduate degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics. Later on, selected as a probationary officer by the State Bank of India, he moved to the State Bank of Travancore where he was a field officer, accountant and manager. By the time he left the bank, he was the superintendent of over 100 branches.
Having been convinced of immense demand for gold ornaments, he opened the first ATLAS showroom in Souk Al Watya in Kuwait.[when?] He started the showroom with just two kilos of gold ornaments.
ATLAS was the first gold outlet in the Souk Al Watya. Every Sunday, the worshippers at the nearby church visited the shop after the service. Within six months, the business flourished.
In just a few years, he opened five more outlets. Unlike other jewelers in the region at the time, he was enthusiastic about advertising. He wanted customers to be informed about gold prices and the products in his stores. He released several commercials for which ATLAS is well known today. He also fixed the gold rate separately for 22 and 24 karat gold jewellery and pioneered transparency in the gold business by advertising the ATLAS daily gold rates through all mass media as well as 24 hours a day through a telephone hotline. These undertakings earned him much appreciation from the World Gold Council and this marked a new era in the regional gold retail trade. Within three to four year ATLAS had captured the market and became a household name.
Kuwait was looted and Ramachandran experienced a total loss, so he started over in the United Arab Emirates. He introduced the concept of mega-offers in the regional gold trade. From gold bars to luxurious cars, shoppers won generous prizes. ATLAS served well over a million customers. This led to the coining of the now famous slogan, "ATLAS jewellery-Trusted by Millions", with Ramachandran himself serving as the Brand Ambassador and lending his face and voice for the advertisements.
Ramachandran developed numerous marketing strategies hitherto unknown in the gold industry. He believed in joint promotions with well known brands. Some of his innovative promotions were:
Ramachandran was elected to serve as the first Chairman of the Gold Promotion Committee of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and was instrumental in crafting the concept of a gold-based shopping incentive. In the inaugural year of the DSF, 43 kilos of gold were given away as prizes. He served in this position for three consecutive years. ATLAS supports the DSF.
Other note-worthy positions include:
Both in his adopted home in the Gulf and in India, his community initiatives include welfare, education, film, literature and music. He gave scores of gold medals in the UAE schools. He also gave scholarships to deserving students of limited means in Kerala. He ensured that every patient who visited ATLAS Hospitals was served properly whether or not they were able to pay their bills. In the same way, customers of ATLAS Jewellery were handed over the ornaments selected by them even if they were short of money. He patronized many competitions including reciting the Quran held by the Islamic organizations in the Gulf
Art and cultureEdit
Ramachandran is an ardent lover of art forms including music. He is a patron of Thrissur Kathakali Club and Akhila Kerala Aksharasloka Parishad. He distributed gold medals in the competitions held for V Kamalakara Menon Memorial Competitions in connection with Trissur Pooram. He also promotes Aksharaslokam through FM radio stations in UAE. He participated in many radio drama serials of Radio Asia like Abhayarthikal and Sakshi.
Ramachandran ventured into film production and distribution. He was known as Vaisali Ramachandran due to the fame from his debut film production 'Vaisali', an episode from Mahabharata, which was a classic in the Malayalam film industry. He resigned from the Commercial Bank to focus solely on the jewellery business and motion pictures. At the time of his resignation, he was one of the most highly respected and highly paid bank managers in Kuwait. With his new focus, he either produced or distributed the hit films Sukrutham, Dhanam, Kauravar, Chakoram, Vasthuhara, Innale and Venkalam. A number of his films were selected to Indian Panorama, were critically acclaimed, and won prestigious awards.
|Holidays||2010||M. M. Ramachandran||Director|
|Anantha Vruthantham||1990||P. Anil||Distributor|
|Chakoram||1994||M. A. Venu||Distributor|
|Youth Festival||2004||Jose Thomas||Actor|
|2 Harihar Nagar||2009||Lal||Actor|
|Thatwamasi||2010||Swami Viswa Chaithanya (Sunil)||Actor|
|3 Char Sou Bees||2010||Govindankutty||Actor|
|Bombay Mittayi||2013||Umer Karikkad||Actor|
|Balyakala Sakhi||2014||Pramod Payyannur||Actor|
|Daivathinte Kayyoppu||2016||Benny Ashamsa||Actor|
|Meghangal (Tele Film)||2016||Shaji Kallur||Actor|
Awards and accoladesEdit
Ramachandran has been presented with a number of awards and honors for his contributions to the business world, film, literature, culture and charity.
The accolades include:
- Pravasi Excellence Award from the Pravasi Rehabilitation Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Pravasi Shree Award from the Pratheeksha Trust for his outstanding contribution to business and culture
- Businessman of the Year Award given by the Thrissur District Souhritha Vedi
- Millennium Award for Best NRI Businessman presented by Kerala Kala Kendra
- Chalachithra Prathiba Puraskaram - 2005 from the Kerala Film Critics Association
- Vivasaya Ratnam from the Governor of Kerala