Industrialists, educationists and civil servants recall Karumuttu T Kannan’s contribution




As the younger generation acquires more and more technical knowledge, values such as emotional quotient and empathy towards other human beings are slowly beginning to dwindle, said Hans Raj Verma, Chairman, Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation.

He was delivering a guest of honour address at an event held on Thursday to pay tribute to renowned industrialist and philanthropist, Karumuttu T Kannan.

Kannan was the former chairman of the Thiagarajar Mills, Madurai, and former president of the Thiagarajar group of educational institutions. He passed away at his residence in Madurai on May 23 at the age of 70.

Verma, who is also the chairman of the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot), said anyone who came into contact with Kannan felt so better since he displayed empathy and ability to listen to others. “Such value systems should pass on to the current generation,” Verma added.

In his chief guest address, G Viswanathan, Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology, said, Kannan’s name is synonymous with industrial and educational development.

Viswanathan said India has a long way to go in educational development since the country’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) or access to higher education is only 27 per cent as against 60-100 per cent in case of advanced counties.

He added that government spending on education has not crossed 3.75 per cent of GDP. “Unless we spend on education and make it available to poor and middle class, we can never increase our GER,” he added.

In his address, Krishna Mahesh, MD, Sundaram Brake Linings recalled Kannan’s contribution as a board member of the company from July 1991 till the time of his passing away in May this year.

Kannan’s contribution in autoparts firm

He said during his time at the board, he helped the autoparts firm navigate several transformations including the reorganisation and realignment of the TVS Group and emerging challenges of light weight vehicles to name a few.

In his special address, Hari Thiagarajan, Executive director, Thiagarajar Mills recalled how his father stood way ahead by bringing the latest technologies in the textile industry.

“The first open-end spinning in India was installed at Thiagarajar Mills in the early 1980s and it grew from strength to strength because he believed in the mantra of quality,” he said.

Thiagarajan also recalled Kannan’s contribution as the chief administrator of Meenakshi Amman Temple for 18 years.

B Chandra Mohan, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, Tamil Nadu government recalled Kannan’s contribution to the beautification of the Meenakshi Amman Temple Lake in Madurai and his efforts in retrieving temple land from private encroachers.


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