N Sankar, Chairman of Sanmar group, passes away at 76

Sankar headed many industry organisations, including Assocham, Indo–US Joint Business Council, MCCI and MMA. He also served as the Honorary Consul General of Denmark in South.
N Sankar, Chairman of Sanmar group, passes away at 76
N Sankar, Chairman of Sanmar group

By Hema Venkataraman

Chennai: N Sankar, an icon of Indian Industry was at the forefront of the Indian PVC Industry for over five decades. Sankar was Chairman of the billion dollar global diversified conglomerate Sanmar Group, with presence in India, the US, Mexico and Egypt. A role model for entrepreneurs and institution builders alike characterised by an unusual combination of business acumen and ethical conviction, upright, farsighted and innovative and open to new technologies.

Sankar headed many industry organisations, including Assocham, Indo–US Joint Business Council, MCCI and MMA. He also served as the Honorary Consul General of Denmark in South. A pioneer in PVC manufacture, he came up with some of the original choices for highly integrated manufacturing processes at various manufacturing facilities of Chemplast, the Group’s flagship company for almost 55 years now.

Corporate governance was an article of faith with Sankar and his business Group echoed this philosophy in its vision statement “Combining Integrity with Excellence.” Sankar was among the pioneers to separate ownership from the management and he empowered the management with a pool of talented professionals.

A third generation entrepreneur, Sankar carved a niche for himself as an out of the box entrepreneur. A Chemical Engineering grad from AC Tech College of technology and a masters from Illinois Institute of technology, Chicago, he had also hands-on experience at plant level. The people-centric leader spent lot of time and money to recruit talented people and train and develop them.

N Sankar
N Sankar

Sankar joined Chemplast on 4/5/67 (1967) as a trainee, when his father KS Narayanan was the promoter and director. He was 26 years when he started his entrepreneurial career by acquiring a major stake in Industrial Chemicals and Monomers. Sankar had been a patron of sports – Cricket and tennis. The Sanmar family runs two cricket clubs – the Jolly Rovers, for over 50 years and the Alwarpet Cricket Club. He was the President of Tamil Nadu Cricket and Tennis Associations and also President of the Madras Cricket Club.

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman Emeritus, TVS Group, said “Sankar was one of the pioneering industrialists of South. I have known him over many decades and watched him lead the Sanmar group with foresight. He was early to adopt modern management practices and focused on building competence in his companies. He pushed international growth and investment to make Sanmar a leading player globally.”

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