AMM Foundation: Murugappa Group’s Philanthropic Arm Completes A Century Of Service

AMM Foundation: Murugappa Group’s Philanthropic Arm Completes A Century Of Service

www.connectedtoindia.comUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 01:41 PM IST
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MM Murugappan, Trustee of the AMM Foundation, Chairman of Carborundum Universal Ltd, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited, and Murugappa Water & Technology Solutions. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube. |

The AMM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Murugappa Group — an over USD 7 billion conglomerate founded by Dewan Bahadur AM Murugappa Chettiar in 1900 — has just turned 100. Starting with the construction of a temple tank in Tamil Nadu’s Pallathur, the Murugappa Group’s philanthropic arm diversified into education and healthcare soon after.

MM Murugappan, Trustee, AMM Foundation, says, “My forefathers had a great vision, they had a vision for India.” That vision eventually led to the foundation diversifying into education, healthcare, sports and nature conservation.

One common factor across the group’s charities is affordability. The services, while not entirely free of cost, are priced at a point that can be leveraged by the economically weaker section.

“We have been involved for more than 100 years in business, but to be involved 100 years in charity, that itself is a very great thing,” says MA Alagappan, Managing Trustee, AMM Foundation. 

MA Alagappan, Managing Trustee, AMM Foundation. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube.

MA Alagappan, Managing Trustee, AMM Foundation. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube. |

The family has a fund of over INR 40 crore (USD 4.8 million) allocated for its charitable activities. Earlier, the foundation — founded by brothers AMM Murugappa Chettiar, AMM Vellayan Chettiar and AMM Arunachalam — was known as AMM Charities Trust. The AMM Charities Trust paved the way for the AMM Foundation later.

The AMM Foundation centenary celebrations took place earlier this year. Photo courtesy: AMM Foundation.

The AMM Foundation centenary celebrations took place earlier this year. Photo courtesy: AMM Foundation. |

Meenakshi Murugappan, who serves as the President of the AMM Hospital in Pallathur in the Sivaganga district and as the Correspondent of the TI School in Chennai, says the group derives satisfaction from serving people. “It’s a feeling of satisfaction because we are serving the community and the people of the ancestral village from where we hail”.

The AMM Hospital in Pallathur, Tamil Nadu. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube

The AMM Hospital in Pallathur, Tamil Nadu. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube |

Under its healthcare division, the group manages five hospitals — AMM Hospital (Pallathur), Sir Ivan Stedeford Hospital (Avadi, Chennai), AMM Arunachalam Hospital (Nellikuppam, Cuddalore), Valliammai Achi Hospital (Kadayalumoodu, Kanyakumari) and Coromandel Hospital (Kakinada).

As per the family members, the first charitable activity, which took place in the 1920s, was building a temple tank to store water. It was followed by the construction of a hospital next to the temple, with the aim of serving the society and community at large. 

With the passage of time, the scope of philanthropy widened, and healthcare and education was made the core of the foundation’s activities.

A doctor on duty at one of the hospitals run by the foundation. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube.

A doctor on duty at one of the hospitals run by the foundation. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube. |

Highlighting the facilities in the hospitals run by the foundation, MA Alagappan says that health consultations are done at a lower price than other places. “Open heart surgeries are done at reasonable costs,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu recently.

The sentiment is shared by Valli Alagappan, who is a member of the Founding Family of the AMM School in Chennai. She says the values were instilled by her father, AMM Arunachalam. “My Father would always say [that] rich children can go anywhere. But it’s these children who need quality education at an affordable price. That was his mantra for this school (AMM School) and the TI School.” 

Under its aegis, the AMM Foundation runs five educational institutions — Murugappa Polytechnic College, Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar Higher Secondary School, Vellayan Chettiar Higher Secondary School, TI School, and AMM School. While academics is given preference, the Murugappa family aims to provide holistic learning.

Meenakshi Murugappan says, “It’s never always been about academics. The focus is on holistic development.” 

400 students from three AMM Foundation-run schools receive football training at the MYFA. Photo courtesy: AMM Foundation.

400 students from three AMM Foundation-run schools receive football training at the MYFA. Photo courtesy: AMM Foundation. |

In line with her statement, the foundation, which also runs the Murugappa Youth Football Academy (MYFA), formed a special partnership with German and European football giants Borussia Dortmund in 2023. 

MYFA currently coaches over 400 youngsters across three of the foundation’s schools in Chennai. Recently, they started a program in Pallathur, Sivaganga, as well, which has received a lot of good traction. Additionally, several other exciting sports partnerships and collaborations have been lined up through the course of 2024 and beyond. 

Veeru Murugappan, who heads up the sports vertical at the AMM Foundation, says, “The family’s ethos has always been putting people before products and profits, and community welfare before commercial success.” He added, “Our objective with this brand new vertical is to use sport as a vehicle for social change and social inclusion.” 

Apart from this, the foundation has also taken keen interest in preserving and rejuvenating water bodies through its ‘Nanneer’ project. A joint venture by the AMM Foundation and Parry Nutraceuticals with Siruthuli as the implementation partner, the project has been running successfully in Sivagangai, Pudukkottai, Erode and Cuddalore Districts of Tamil Nadu.

The AMM Foundation is preserving and rejuvenating waterbodies through its Nanneer Project. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube.

The AMM Foundation is preserving and rejuvenating waterbodies through its Nanneer Project. Photo courtesy: Screengrab from YouTube. |

While its first project was the rejuvenation a pond in the Kanadukathan panchayat in 2022, Nanneer has already completed rejuvenation of 17 water bodies in the four aforementioned districts in last two years.

As the AMM Foundation raises its bat in 2024, it has come a long way to build a solid legacy that’s built upon the motto of serving others. Arguably, the charities floated by the foundation have touched millions of lives over a century and have become indispensable.

And looking at the next chapter, there’s more to be done as MM Murugappan explains. “We need to take forward this legacy with a great sense of gratitude on one side and a great sense of responsibility on the other.”

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)

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