Businessman Atlas Ramachandran passes away at 80

His death happened at a time when he was gearing up to restart his jewellery chain Atlas Jewellery, which is defunct.

Businessman M. M. Ramachandran, also known as Atlas Ramachandran, 80, died late on Sunday night from a heart attack at Bur Dubai Aster Mankhool Hospital. Later, the funeral would take place in Dubai.

On Saturday night, he was hospitalised after experiencing chest trouble. When he passed away, his daughter Dr. Manju and wife Indira were by his side. He passed away just as he was getting ready to revive his now-defunct jewellery chain, Atlas Jewellery.

Former Atlas Jewellery chairman Atlas Ramachandran has been “working hard to rebuild” on his WhatsApp status for a while. When he celebrated his 80th birthday with a small group of his friends at his flat in Bur Dubai in August, he made headlines. He was the son of M M Rugmini Amma and V Kamalakara Menon, and he was born in Thrissur on July 31, 1942.

The Dubai Police “detained” the banker-turned-jeweler in May 2018 for the failure to repay bank loans made while he was away, in the banker’s words.

He described how his former supervisors had tricked him, which resulted in his arrest and prison sentence, in an August interview with The New Indian Express. When he was released from prison, 3,000 plus kilogrammes of gold worth 740 million AED (Rs 1583.77 crores), dispersed among 44 jewellery stores in the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries, had vanished, leaving him in a state of penury. He used to get ready in his fancy kurta every day by 8:30 am, acting as though he was heading to his office and holding virtual meetings with his attorneys.

In 1981, Atlas Ramachandran used whatever cash he had on hand to purchase two kilogrammes of gold, which was the beginning of his gold jewellery business. There was no turning back from that point till his arrest by the Dubai Police in 2018.

His competitors in the industry did not take kindly to him holding several coveted positions, such as chairman of the Dubai Shopping Festival’s Gold Promotion Council and secretary of the Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, or being awarded the contract to open Atlas Jewellery at the Cochin International Airport Limited. When the CEOs of the various businesses refused to donate their names, Ramachandran created the slogan “Atlas Jewellery – Janakodikalude Vishwasthasthapanam” to promote the jewellery line (Trusted by millions).

His situation is similar to that of “Jacobinte Swargarajyam,” wherein Atlas Ramachandran’s wife, Indu, or as he affectionately called her, took baby steps in business by selling their two hospitals, following up with the banks, and securing his release from prison.

In addition to acting in Arabikatha, Subhadram, Anandabhairavi, Malabar Wedding, and 2 Harihar Nagar, he produced a number of movies, including Vaishali, Dhanam, Vasthuhara, Kauravar, Chakoram, Innale, and Sukrutham.

He owned Chandrakantha films and had also directed the movie Holidays. Even though the travel ban had been lifted, Atlas Ramachandran wanted to resolve the last few civil lawsuits brought against him before leaving for Kerala.

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