Dr.Ramanathan Vairavan, an entrepreneur and educationalist is the grandson of the late Philanthropist Dr. RM. Alagappa Chettiar. With more than 40 years’ experience in the health care industry, his experience working in executive management for the multinational German company Hoechst AG in the US, Germany & Singapore provided him a wealth of experience in various facets of the industry. This led him to be a co-founder of a biotechnology company based in Carlsbad, CA, that used novel biofilm chip technology to perform disease signatures through genomic and proteomic profiling with tests in genetic disorders, and oncology. Initially planned for an IPO the attractive technology garnered significant interests from healthcare firms and was sold. His focus now is with DiaCarta, a molecular diagnostics company that has developed a revolutionary approach to transform care for patients undergoing chemo and radiation therapy by providing effective precision diagnostics, mitigate adverse events and enhance patient care.
As the Chairman/ Secretary of the Dr. Alagappa Chettiar Educational Trust in Karaikudi and the Asoka Charitable Trust in Chennai, he manages over 8000 students in primary, secondary, and collegiate education. He has been actively involved in enhancing the quality of education and the infrastructure of the schools, both in Chennai and Karaikudi.
As students of Bharatanatyam, spend considerable time to learn and perform their Arangetram and are not rewarded with a degree for their years of learning, he pioneered in designing a first of its kind novel academic curriculum in 2005 to preserve the repertoire of Tamil culture that is embedded in the dance and founded Alagappa Performing Arts Academy by collaborating with leading artistes and Alagappa University. Today more than 35 dance centers offer this program in the US. The Academy boasts of almost 1000 enrolled students who get college credit from US Universities for enrolling in the program.
He established several institutions, including Alagappa Institute of Information Technology in Chennai (1999), Alagappa Foundation Inc. California, USA (2001), Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Dance Program (2005), Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Music Program (2008), Alagappa Performing Arts Academy, Vasthu Science (2012), Alagappa Academy (CBSE Program), Karaikudi (2014), Alagappa Girls School, Karaikudi (2015), the only all-girls school in Karaikudi, and the Alagappa College of Nursing (2018) Plans are underway to set up an Ayurvedic College in Karaikudi. and a defined mission to build a Medical College in Karaikudi.
He obtained a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from AC Tech in Madras, an MS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He was awarded a doctorate degree by Alagappa University, Tamil Nadu, India in 2018
Awards and Honors
Dr. Umayal Ramanathan, the daughter of Dr. Alagappa Chettiar became the Secretary of the Dr. Alagappa Chettiar Educational Trust following the demise of her father in 1957. This was a challenging task that she performed admirably as she had to manage and administer all the colleges with diverse faculty and students. During this period she celebrated the Silver Jubilee of the colleges in the presence of Prime Minister of India Smt. Indira Gandhi who made her maiden visit to the region. By donating 450 acres of land with functioning schools and colleges to the Tamil Nadu Government, during the regime of Chief Minister MG. Ramachandran, she was instrumental to found Alagappa University in 1985 fulfilling the dream of her father.
Dr. Umayal Ramanathan has embellished the value of social service and has passionately pursued it ever since. Her mission has clearly been to continue and pave the path to enhance education from primary schooling for children all way up to professional technical education. She expanded the educational opportunities for children by founding, play schools, primary and higher secondary schools in Karaikudi and in Chennai. She established a Women's College in Karaikudi in 2005 to empower women in this rural conservative region by offering academic programs and vocational training to enable them to advance their careers and enhance the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Her service to the cause of education and society was duly given recognition when she was awarded: