Kozhikode: MM Ramachandran, better known as Atlas Ramachandran, is perhaps the most familiar face known to Malayalis for his iconic advertising slogan — Janakodikalude Vishwastha Sthapanam. He is remembered by many for his brief cameos in Malayalam movies, often as businessman wearing a business executive dress and cracking witty jokes.
He also produced noted films like Vaisali (1988) and Sukrutham (1994) and was also a lead actor in Subhadram (2007) and acted in movies like Arabikkatha, Malabar Wedding, 2 Harihar Nagar and several others. Even before he turned his attention to films and arts, he was a banker from Kerala who tried his luck and created a successful venture in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He started his career as a banker in India before moving abroad to join the Commercial Bank of Kuwait. Ramchandran succeeded in turning his fortune after trying his luck in the jewellery business. During the 1970s, he recognised the potential of the gold business and used his shrewd brains to attract customers through eye-catching offers.
However, his life took an ugly turn in 2015 after Dubai police arrested him for financial fraud and sentenced to three-year jail term.
Dubai Police arrested him for failing to repay loans he had taken from banks in UAE. He served three years of imprisonment in Dubai and was released from prison in 2018. He was unable to return to India due to money he owed to banks.
However, he tried to relaunch his business but failed to find a partner who shared his vision. A few years back, he sold a hospital owned by him in Muscat to pay a portion of his debts. He was actively taking part in cultural events in Dubai and had plans to pay off his debts and return to Kerala.