Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stamp of Chennai - 10

A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar - a member of a family with a history that can be traced back more than a century and a family whose links contributed to one of the most famous and well known names in the City - Parry's Corner.
India Post released a stamp of A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar in October 2005 to commemorate his centenary.
From the information sheet published on the occassion: Son of Dewan Bahadur A.M. Murugappa Chettiar (the founder of the Murugappa Group, which is now headed by the fourth generation), A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar was born on January 22, 1902 at Pallathur in Ramnad District, Tamil Nadu. His vision resulted in teh establishement of the well known Tube Investments India Ltd in collaboration with the famous British Group, Tube Investments Ltd, Birmingham. Along with other companies in the group such as TI Metal Sections, Wright Saddles of India, TI Diamond Chain Ltd and TI Miller Ltd the group produced world famous brands of cycles -- Hercules, Phillips and BSA.
He was also responsible for developing Carborundum Universal in collaboration with the Carborundum Company, UK.
He set up a charitable trust, A.M.M. Charities, now A.M.M. Foundation which established A.M.M. Hospital, Murugappa Chettiar Memorial Polytechnic, Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar Higher Secondary School, Vellayan Chettiar Higher Secondary School, and Sir Ivan Stedford Hospital...

Here is an extract of the history of Dare House, the headquarters of the Murugappa Group, from the Group's Website.
"History of Dare House
The foundation of Dare House was laid in 1938 but the need for the building was felt as early as 1915. The existing building was inadequate spacewise for Parrys and architecturally better looking buildings were coming up in the vicinity. This contrast it was felt was not good for business. However the London office did not share similar views. Due to pressing demand for space the tenants in the lawyers block were turned out in 1919 but this did not help much and the need for a a new building become imperative. William Wright, the then chairman wrote to the London office that Parry's dingy approach and entrance would not fail to give the impression that the firm was out of date. Finally in 1938 the requisite money was mobilized for the new building and the foundation stone of Dare House was laid. With Parrys expanding year after year, Parry House was built behind Dare House and Parry Annexe came up in Moore Street.
Dare House is today one of the finest landmarks in Parrys rooted in a rich heritage and housing one of the futuristic conglomerates in the country - Murugappa Group."


Anonymous said...

Long ago/far away writes : Very interesting item about the Murugappa Chettiar stamp and history of Dare House- how these colonial links are so intertwined with our heritage and culture. Was the Dare house pic taken on a Sunday morning, when traffic was light? Otherise, i would think the entrance would be totally blocked by traffic, foot and vehicular. Thanks for the research and work you put into it.

R. Balaji said...

Actually, I think it was a `bandh' -- about two months back.