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M.CT.M. Chidambaram Chettyar International School Chennai – IB World School Claim

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About Shri. M.Ct.M.Chidambaram Chettyar

M.Ct.M.Chidambaram Chettyar was born on August 2, 1908. “M.CT”, as he was popularly known, came from a conservative merchant community, once renowned for trading, financing and banking, but he went on to beat a different path and play a pioneering role in economic development in Southern India. Sadly, his life is a story of a journey that ended long before it should have.

M.CT. was a dreamer who lived far ahead of his time. He was a visionary. Beginning, his business career in 1929, with a small but pioneering life insurance company, The United India Life Assurance Co.Ltd., M.CT grew it into a national organisation at a time when foreign-owned insurance companies dominated the scene. He went on to build on its foundation, in 1938, another pioneering Indian-owned venture, The United India Fire & General Insurance Co.Ltd., that proved as successful as his previous venture. He established, in 1936, a bank, The Indian Overseas Bank Ltd., (specialising in foreign exchange), with branches all over India, and in South and Southeast Asia. And he pioneered a major industry in South India in 1946, promoting and building South and Southeast Asia’s first synthetic fibre manufacturing facility, the Travancore Rayons Ltd.

To have accomplished all this in a 25-year period, -starting when he was barely 21 years – when Indians were still restricted by foreign governance and then had to find their feet in a new industry-encouraging but ambivalent environment, where government encouraged industry yet fettered it with controls, made Chidambaram Chettyar’s accomplishments truly phenomenal.

The first skyscraper of Madras which is the towering LIC building today that stands guard over arterial Mount Road ( now Anna Salai) and which was built by him to house the united India Life Assurance Company and other companies in his group , is an everlasting memorial to him.

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