Sanmar group Chairman N Sankar passes away

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Chennai, April 17

Chennai-based Sanmar Group's Chairman N.Sankar passed away here on Sunday, said an official. He was 76.

The over $1 billion Sanmar, a diversified business group, has interests within and outside India in chemicals, engineering, and shipping.

"It is true. Sankar passed away here on Sunday," the official said.

A Chemical Engineering graduate from AC College of Technology here, and obtaining his Masters degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Sankar was at the forefront of India's PVC sector and was instrumental for having an integrated plant.

"He was a pioneer in PVC manufacturing. He was a sharp person and spoke to the point. Sankar used to say that inherited business is not a bed of roses and the younger generation is on the lookout for different career paths," a retired business journalist said.

The group, partnering with AMP of Australia, floated the first life insurance company headquartered in Chennai, AMP Sanmar Life Insurance Company Ltd. The life insurance company was later sold to the Reliance Group.

One of the notable features of the Sanmar group was managing joint ventures in a smooth fashion for several years.

Sankar used to say for a successful partnership, the partners should appreciate the need for the joint venture, clearly agree on how the venture should be managed, the partners should have interaction at different levels and be financially strong to bring in capital as and when needed.

Also, Sanmar was one of the groups that had separated ownership and management. The group under Sankar had appointed professionals as the heads of the group companies.

Over the years, Sankar has held office in several public bodies representing trade and industry, including President, ASSOCHAM, Chairman, Indo-US Joint Business Council, Chairman, Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and President, Madras Management Association.

He was the Honorary Consul General for Denmark in south India and was awarded the 'Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog, First Class' by the Danish Government in recognition of his services.

Sankar had received awards recognising his services to business and industry, such as the 'Lala Shriram National Award for Leadership in Chemical Industry' from the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, and 'Rasa Udyog Ratna' from the Chemical Industries Association.

He was elected a Fellow of the IIChE, and an honorary member of the Chemical Industries Association.

Sankar was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at TiECON, Chennai 2010.

He was also involved with the management of many educational and charitable organisations. He was a member of the Management Boards of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, the Cancer Institute, Chennai, the Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation, and other similar organisations.

Keenly interested in sports, he was the Vice President of the All India Tennis Association, and President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket and Tennis Associations.


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