Indian expat businessman Atlas Ramachandran passes away in Dubai

20221002 M.M. Ramachandran
M.M. Ramachandran
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Indian expat businessman MM Ramachandran aka Atlas Ramachandran died in Dubai late on Sunday night, his family said. He was 80.

He was admitted in a private hospital three days ago following low blood pressure and passed away after a cardiac arrest, his son-in-law Arun told Gulf News from the hospital.

He is survived by his wife Indira Ramachandran, daughter Manju and her family.

Hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala, Mathukkara Moothedath Ramachandran became Atlas Ramachandran after he established an empire of gold business under his jewellery group named Atlas in 1981.

He once presided over a vast business empire consisting over 40 branches of Atlas Jewellery stores across the Gulf, including 19 in the UAE. The business magnate had interests ranging from healthcare, movies, real estate and media also during his golden era.

He was well-respected by the Indian community members and had enjoyed celebrity status as a film producer, actor and a brand ambassador before he was hit with multiple loan default cases worth Dh550 million in the UAE.

He was jailed in 2015 after a court sentenced him to three years in prison after finding him guilty of issuing two bounced cheques worth Dh34 million to two banks as security.

Ramachandran had pledged to repay all his creditors and had been working on the repayment plan ever since his release from the jail in 2018.

The embattled business doyen had several fans and sympathisers who supported him through thick and thin.

According to family sources, he was working on opening a new jewellery outlet to begin afresh.

“He was approached by some investors and he was very optimistic,” said Manaf, a family friend who was with Ramachandran’ family at the time of his passing.

He said the family has decided to conduct the funeral of Ramachandran in Dubai on Monday.