Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad, chairman and managing director of Andhra Sugars Limited, passed away on Saturday while undergoing treatment at a corporate hospital. He’s 90 and survived by wife, five daughters and three sons.
Regarded as one of the pioneers of the industry in Andhra Pradesh, Prasad started Andhra Sugars on August 11, 1947 at Tanuku in West Godavari district. Set up with an installed cane crushing capacity of 600 tonne per day (tpd), Andhra Sugars has grown into a 10,000-tpd unit, with 12,000 employees and an annual turnover of Rs 500 crore.
Over the years, the company has also diversified into the production of a wide range of organic and inorganic chemicals. Born into a family of agriculturists on June 28, 1921, Prasad became the president of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) in 1977-78. Condoling his death, Fapcci stated that Prasad's contribution to the state industry was “so significant that he is often called as the Andhra Birla”.
A doyen among business leaders in the south, Prasad had also been active in the political field. He had been elected to the Legislative Council and also the Legislative Assembly.
Though Prasad had started his political career as a Congress man, he had also been close to late NT Rama Rao, the thespian and the founder of the Telugu Desam Party.
Always dressed in white Kurta and Dhoti, Prasad was known for his simplicity and affection. Entrepreneurs also remember him for his punctuality and discipline. Known for his philanthropic activities, Prasad had launched various welfare activities for the benefit of the people in his district. He set up educational and medical trusts and had donated liberally for the establishment of the Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada.
Prasad, however, never sought publicity for his activities. In fact, he rarely came forward to talk to the media.