PLACING OTHERS FIRST – THE ART OF BEING SELFLESS – ARM Govindarajan
One of Swami Vivekanda’s quotes reads as “ They alone live, who live for others, the rest are more dead than alive.” It speaks of “Selflessness.” It is concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than one’s own. It is putting other’s needs ahead of their own. It is a virtue encouraged by all religions. Actions are motivated by empathy and understanding. ARM Govindarajan of Cholan paper and board mills Ltd is a “Living testimony” of selflessness. His uniqueness is his ability to integrate along with his age group, his seniors and juniors anywhere, all alike. Even in the university he was not limiting to relationships just with his batch-mates but with others in other faculties like agriculture, arts and science in our university.
At best we all would have spent five years in the hostel, ARM Govidarajan has been in the hostel right from his LKG at Alathur until engineering in Annamalai University !! That he puts others in front of him and being altruistic, never demanding anything in return for what he did to others and putting his whole-self in the betterment and well-being of the mankind earned him the label “Thalaivar !!” A Thalaivar has these qualities – Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership and Communication skills and ARMG has all of that.
Govindarajan’s father Mr A.R. Marimuthu was an elected representative in the Tamilnadu assembly in the Pattukkottai constituency. Mr Marimuthu’s grandfather onwards down the line all of them were leaders and looked up by people for advise and help. They were all village heads during their times. The uniqueness of the family of ARMG is affection towards others, empathy, and a helping tendency. They all looked at all as ONE.
After engineering, Govindarajan did not have plans to go for employment but immediately started a private Ltd company. Initially he wanted to buy a sick industry and revive it but then chose to start a new industry to manufacture white paper from waste paper. Accordingly Cholan paper and Board Mills Ltd was started. Production commenced from 20-11-1989. More than 400 people worked for Cholan. After 30 years of establishing themselves as one of the best in the industry today they have highly modern machines. They have their network system in Chennai, Bangalore and Madurai for the distribution.
Cholan makes 2.1 meter standard white paper with rolls of 1 meter diameter with their typical 44 – 100 GSM. They make more than 45 Ton per day. Papers are stored in 60 kg bundles. Requiring about 6000 liter of water per day the volume of water required is tremendous, they get it from Palar river. Most of the water is recycled to reduce the indent of water and they have effluent plants for taking care of the finally used water. They have modern machines for segregating grades, pupping machine, screening, hardening, rubber pressing, drying and calendaring.
Govindarajan was President of South Indian paper mills association for many years and has attended several meetings with his peers; On one occasion he met Dr Manmohan Singh, who was then Finance minister to solve a predicament which he did successfully.
We cannot survive without relationships. Relationships give meaning to life. The best way to help yourself is by helping others. Lift yourself by lifting others !! Govindarajan’s USP is Relationships. He continuously thinks how he can contribute to the society and to the farmers in particular. He thinks of educating the farmers agriculturally. He wants to teach them to maximize their outputs, how to commercialize, how to economize, how to mechanize, how to get more profits…
With his son Mr Jai Vardhan Rajiv, an alumnus of Nottingham university, Govindarajan now wants to diversify into areas of IT, Finance and Investment…