Renowned businessman and film producer MM Ramachandran, popularly known as Atlas Ramachandran, died in Dubai on Sunday. He was 80 and survived by his wife and two children.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of businessman.

“His contributions in business and cultural fields were enormous,” he said in his condolence message.

He used to own a chain of jewellery shops in India and abroad among other business establishments. Ramachandran however, suffered financial setbacks and in 2015, he was arrested by Dubai police for allegedly duping banks and was subsequently sentenced to jail for three years.

Many good samaritans came together and collected money to pay fine after which he was released after two-and-half-years.

Also Read:Indian businessman ‘Atlas’ Ramachandran given 3-year jail term in Dubai

Atlas Jewellery group, started three decades ago, had about 40 branches in Gulf countries and many outlets in Kerala.

Later, he ventured into real estate, health care and film distribution.

He produced many Malayalam movies and also acted in a dozen films in side roles.

His films “Vaishali” and “Sukrutham” were huge box office successes.

He began his career as a bank employee in Thrissur. He quit his job in the late seventies and went to the Middle East. He worked in many banks and he started his own jewelry outlet in 1980s and got established in three decades with more than 75 outlets across India and abroad.

His liabilities also rose that turned banks against him. His business empire was once worth 25,000 crore.

“I never fled the country which gave me everything. I helped many people to come up but when I was in trouble most of them conveniently forgotten me. That is the way of the world,” he said in one of the interviews after his release from jail.

By Shadab

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