Ramco Group Founder Sri P.A.C.Ramasamy Raja (1894 - 1962)
Birth of a Visionary
On April 24, 1894, when a son was born to Poosapadi Chinnaiah Raja, there was great jubilation in the family. Sri Chinnaiah Raja believed that the child was born with the blessings of the Lord of Rameswaram, and named the child Ramasamy Raja. Little did anyone imagine that the infant was one day going to change the face of Rajapalayam, a panoramic town on the foothills of the Western Ghats in South Tamilnadu. Sri Ramasamy Raja, known as PACR, was only 24 years old when his father died. A promising academic life was rudely terminated. The young shoulders had to take on the family responsibilities. A saga of perseverance, endurance, dedication and triumph unfolded.
Selfless Service to People
Sri Ramasamy Raja wanted to try his hand at business apart from agriculture. He started off with a provision shop and a hardware shop. Along with his nephew, he started a transport corporation with five buses. He was the President of the Panchayat and later the Chairman of the Rajapalayam Municipality from 1941 to 1947. He carried out his responsibilities very efficiently and soon the people of Rajapalayam put him on a pedestal and respected him for his selfless service to the people. It was he who made Rajapalayam what it is today.
Sri Ramasamy Raja was looking for something more enterprising than the family business. He therefore became an agent for Harvey Mills of Madurai. This move changed Sri Ramasamy Raja's life. He realized the potential of his own land. Instead of sending cotton to Madurai to be converted into yarn, he realized that the same could be done in Rajapalayam itself. He concluded that Rajapalayam, which was otherwise a very backward area with very little job opportunities, would be vastly benefited by setting up a spinning mill. The story of the House of Ramco is the story of industrial development of Rajapalayam. The man who wrote the story - not with pen and ink - but with brick and mortar, with men and machine, with vision and foresight, was Sri PACR the "Sun of Rajapalayam".
Rajapalayam Mills Ltd
Thanks to his illustrious background and his own reputation, he got the required capital ready, within no time. On September 05, 1938, the then State Minister for Labour, Sri V.V.Giri, inaugurated the mill and Rajapalayam Mills Ltd commenced operations. There was no looking back for Sri Ramasamy Raja. The mill was a great success. He followed this up with other successful ventures. He started The Ramaraju Surgical Cotton Mills Ltd along with his son-in-law Sri Rama Raju.
The Ramco Cements Limited (formerly, Madras Cements Ltd.):
At that time, cement was not considered a favorable venture due to price controls. Sri. Manubai Shah, Central Minister for Industries, called upon Sri Ramasamy Raja and appealed to him to start a cement factory. This was how The Ramco Cements Limited came into being in 1961. Sri Ramasamy Raja needed Rs.1 crore as capital. Appreciating his efforts in establishing an industry of this size in one of the most backward districts, the state government invested Rs. 10 lakh in a private industry for the first time in the history of India. This shows the total trust and implicit faith the government had in him.
Service to humanity
For Sri Ramasamy Raja, charity and religion were part and parcel of his life. He realized that it was only education that could erase poverty and the pitiable condition of the people. He founded P.A.C.Ramasamy Raja Education Charity Trust in 1950 and started various educational institutions that provide education to over 8500 students, today. He also started a hospital for the benefit of the people.
Realizing the dream of PACR
The Ramco Empire continues to expand under the leadership of Sri PACR's son, the present Group Chairman, Sri P.R.Ramasubrahmaneya Rajha, who is fulfilling the vision of Sri PACR. Today, the Ramco Group has attained a national prominence with its expansions in many parts of the country. The group has diversified into fibre cement roofing sheets, pressure pipes, Calcium Silicate boards and other building products under the banner of Ramco Industries Ltd, and into software solutions, with the establishment of Ramco Systems Ltd. With the entry of third-generation in the business, the Group is making strides in global markets as well. Currently, the turnover of the group is estimated at about Rs. 5100 crore.
Thus one can now appreciate how Sri P.A.C.Ramasamy Raja carved out for himself an eternal life, as the early Greek philosopher said on fame "so long as they speak your name, you shall never die".