Dr. Mullapudi Harischandra Prasad, Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Sugars Limited, passed away on Saturday at 2.10 pm, while undergoing treatment at Care Hospital, Banjara Hills. He was 91 and survived by wife, five daughters and three sons.
Born into a family of agriculturists on June 28, 1921 and with an education up to SSLC, Sri Prasad pioneered into industrial field at a young age of 26 years and set up Andhra Sugars – one among the first industries set up in Independent India – on August 11, 1947 at Tanuku in West Godavari District. At an inauguration at a Jute Factory, Sri Prasad said that he had established Andhra Sugars at a time when there was not even electricity in what then was a very small village, Tanuku“. He imported a generator to run his factory. 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. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the industry in Andhra Pradesh and fondly referred to as “Andhra Birla”.Over the years, the Andhra Sugars Group has diversified into the production of aspirin, first time in India, to rocket fuel and a wide range of organic and inorganic chemicals, textiles and fertilizers.
A doyen among business leaders in the south, Prasad had also been active in the political field. Sri Prasad was elected as an MLC in erstwhile combined Madras State. Later he was elected twice to Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh between 1955 and 1967. He was not confined to industry alone. He set up a Polytechnic College, a Hospital, a Library in the name of Timmaraju Memorial Library. He made a significant contribution in the establishment of Rangaraya Medical College.
Sri Prasad became the president of The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) in 1977-78. During his tenure as President Sri Prasad purchased an old building of 1500 Sq Yards land on which the present FAPCCI building stands.
Always dressed in white Kurta and Dhoti, Sri Prasad was known for his simplicity, affection and for his punctuality and discipline.