Padmashri Awardees

S.V. Rama Rao

Siramdasu Venkata Rama Rao born in a small village in Andhra Pradesh in 1936, to a family of artisans was educated at the prestigious Government School of Arts and Crafts in Madras. He moved to England to study at the Slade School of Art, London, on research fellowship by the Indian Government. Studying under Sir William Coldstream, he developed a particular brand of abstract expressionism. His experiments in this practice led for Commonwealth Fellowship award from the British government in 1962.
He was the only Indian artist to become a professor to teach in the London County Council. He left for America to teach in American univerisities, which included Tufts University, Boston, and the University of Cincinnatti, Ohio. He continues to live and work in Illinois. His works have been shown in numerous exhibitions worldwide. He was awarded PADMASHRI by Government of India in 2001.

Nalli Kuppusami Chetty

Nalli Kuppusami Chetty, is the recipient of the PADMASHRI award from the Government of India for ‘Best Trader’ in 2003. He is the third generation owner of the Nalli chain. He continues a tradition practised by his father and grandfather when the store was established in 1928. He is the author of several books on business management. He advocates personalised service establishing a rapport with customers.
A sari from Nalli occupies pride of place in the closet of the discerning Indian woman, demonstrating the iconic company’s significant brand equity.
With 19 branches worldwide and a turnover of Rs. 450 crore (US $92 million), this store offers both the warmth of heritage and styles for contemporary wear.
The Chetty family hails from the silk capital of Kancheepuram. The history of Nalli is peppered with interesting anecdotes. When King George V, visited Chennai (then known as Madras) in 1911, Chinnasami Chetty was given the task of creating a classic Kancheepuram sari as a souvenir. While many traders shut shop during World War II, Nalli bravely remained open.
Nalli’s business now includes the manufacture and export of fabrics, apparel and home furnishings. It retails accessories like jewellery, stoles and dupattas as well.
Nalli Next, piloted by Lavanya R Nalli, the fifth generation entrepreneur from the family, targets the young urban woman.

Gajam Govardhana

Gajam Govardhana was born in a poor Ikat fabric producing family of Puttapaka, in Samsthan Narayanpur Mandal of Nalgonda District in 1949. He won the National Award in the year 1983 and Shilpa Guru Award in the Year 2007. He also won UNESCO and other International Awards for excellence in Telia Rumal Weaving. National and International institutes documented his works and published books on his works, and documentation of the process of Telia Rumals Production.
He was conferred with PADMASHRI by Government of India in the year 2010.


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