N. Venkataramani, Chairman and Managing Director of India Pistons Ltd., is no more. A self-effacing personality, he had been with the company since 1967.
A Fellow of The Institute of Mechanical Engineers, who had completed his Masters from Imperial College London, he held board positions in many Amalgamations group companies.
His simplicity and humility set him apart. “He belonged to a gentleman generation,” said T.T. Srinivasaraghavan, MD, Sundaram Finance. Preferring a low profile, Mr. Venkatarmani was ever dignified. He was contemporary in knowledge and up-to-date in details on business and trends. A widely respected voice in board meetings, his passion for doing things and perspective on issues — both technical and otherwise — were rarities in the modern business world.
His peers were often stumped by his unhesitating readiness to share knowledge. A sports lover, he avidly followed cricket and tennis.
His passion for cricket remained unadvertised. An incident from the 1990s gives us a clue to his humane side.
Cricketer J.R. Madanagopal, now a top BCCI umpire, was a frustrated man. Despite consistent scores in the 1st division league, he was nowhere near a call for the State and on the verge of quitting the game. Mr. Venkataramani asked him not to give up. In return, he promised all the support.
Mr. Madanagopal heeded the advice and went on to play for both Tamil Nadu and the South Zone.
In 1991, he served the Madras Chamber of Commerce as President. An advocate of co-partnership, he believed that industry had to co-travel with labour to progress consistently. His passing has left a huge void in Tamil Nadu’s industrial scene.