Coimbatore, July 14, 2010 – Mr. A Vellayan, Executive Chairman of the Murugappa Group was conferred the Degree of Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) today at the 31st Convocation of TNAU.

The Doctorate was conferred by Thiru Veerapandi S Arumugam, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Pro-Chancellor, TNAU at a function held at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore.

Mr. A. Sivasailam, Chairman – Amalgamations Group, Chennai; Mr. M. Manickam, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director – Sakthi Sugars Group, Coimbatore and Mrs. Santhi Duraisamy, Director – Sakthi Masala Group, Erode were the other dignitaries who were conferred the Honorary Doctorate at the convocation.

Accepting the Doctorate, A Vellayan said “This honour is really a recognition for the past and present services rendered by all employees of EID Parry and Coromandel in the field of Agriculture. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University is renowned for its ground breaking research and studies in Indian agriculture. I consider it a great privilege to receive the Doctorate Degree from this great institution. The university has conferred the Doctorate Degree on several illustrious personalities before me and I accept this honour with a deep sense of gratitude and humility.”

Arunachalam Vellayan is the Executive Chairman of the Murugappa Group, one of India’s leading business conglomerates that enjoy global leadership in many of its businesses Within the Group, A Vellayan is the non-executive Chairman of EID Parry and Coromandel International. Having worked with Coromandel since November 1999, Vellayan is now a recognised thought leader in the fertiliser industry and has changed the entire economics of Coromandel.

As a whole-time Director of Coromandel, he has helped the company grow manifold – increasing capacities by acquiring the fertiliser major GFCL and by increasing fertiliser volume of the Group from less than one million metric tonnes in the year 2002 to nearly three million metric tonnes in 2009.

Under the able leadership of Vellayan, Coromandel has been rendering remarkable service for the farming community, by providing free soil testing support, rural girl child programme and enabling the farming community to adopt latest and improved agricultural practices through extension support.

Vellayan is credited with having pioneered many innovative business solutions for the Murugappa Group.Besides his vast experience in managing diverse areas of the family business, Vellayan is actively associated with several leading Industry Associations and has held several key positions in them. He was the former Vice President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO). He currently holds key positions including President, Southern Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI), Director of Indian Overseas Bank and Co-Chairman of Fertilisers Association of India, New Delhi. He was also the former President of the ICC India. Vellayan played a pivotal role as the President of the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI) – Southern Region. He has served as the President of the All India Cycle Manufacturers’ Association and Board of Governors of Doon School.

About the Murugappa Group

Founded in 1900, the Rs. 13617 Crores (USD 3.03 billion) Murugappa Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates. The Group has 29 companies under its umbrella, of which seven are listed and actively traded in NSE & BSE. Headquartered in Chennai, the major companies of the Group include Carborundum Universal Ltd., Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd., Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd, Coromandel International Ltd, Coromandel Engineering Company Ltd, EID Parry (India) Ltd, Parry Agro Industries Ltd, Tube Investments of India Ltd and Wendt (India) Ltd.

Market leaders in served segments including Abrasives, Auto Components, Cycles, Sugar, Farm Inputs, Fertilizers, Plantations, Construction, Bio-products and Nutraceuticals, the Group has forged strong joint venture alliances with leading international companies like Mitsui Sumitomo, Foskor, Cargill, Groupe Chimique Tunisien, Winterthur Technology Group and Morgan Crucible. The Group has a wide geographical presence panning 13 states in India and 5 continents.

Renowned brands like BSA, Hercules, Ballmaster, Ajax, Parry’s, Gromor and Paramfos are from the Murugappa stable. The organization fosters an environment of professionalism and has a workforce of over 32,000 employees.