Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXII No. 2, May 1-15, 2022
Any publication of the niche variety needs content and support to survive. Madras Musings was fortunate in this respect. When it came to content it had Mr. S. Muthiah, our founder, who made sure that the magazine was a cut above others of its kind. But would Madras Musings have been able to survive on content alone? Certainly not. The magazine managed from 1991 to 1996 and then found the going tough. It would have certainly folded up then had not N. Sankar stepped in.
In his preface to our Silver Jubilee issue (ref page 4), Sankar has written in his customary self-effacing manner about what he did just then. But to give it is proper perspective, he used his personal clout with eleven other corporate houses of the city to commit themselves to an annual contribution to Madras Musings.
Not for nothing do they say that the pen is mightier than the sword. Words are powerful drivers of new ideas, conversation and change, and N. Sankar – as avid a reader as he was a sports aficionado – had an astute insight into the transformative role of publishing. Besides enabling a clutch of key publications to stay afloat, he played an important part in empowering the team at Sanmar to bring out excellent in-house periodicals that both educate and entertain. The role that Sankar played in the histories of three journals in particular deserves to be told – Aside, Matrix and Sruti.
N. Sankar was an unusual combination of business acumen and ethical conviction – upright, farsighted, innovative. He was responsible for some of the most original choices made in the field of PVC manufacture, including the highly integrated manufacturing processes at the numerous facilities of the chemicals division of The Sanmar Group, which he helmed for decades. His concern for the environment led to the concept and implementation of ZLD or zero liquid discharge in all of them, amidst a whole slew of steps taken to ensure sustainable growth.
It was in 2016 that Mr. S. Muthiah together with Mr. N. Sankar planned the silver jubilee of Madras Musings. A special commemorative volume comprising articles compiled from past issues of the magazine, together with a commentary by various members of a special silver jubilee committee, was brought out. We got N. Sankar to write a foreword for the book. He was rather reluctant at first but this was one occasion when we got to him to accede to our request. He agonised over it for days as was his wont – polishing