M E Meeran, Chairman of Eastern Group, dies

He was 71 and survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.Meeran, whose Eastern Group has been India's largest exporter of spice blends for the past 12 years, was suffering from heart ailment and was admitted to the hospital last week, a company statement said.
Meeran took his first steps as an entrepreneur by setting up a stationery business and went on to start the Eastern group. He launched Eastern Coffee in 1983, but did not do as well as expected because international coffee prices went up.

He went on to launch Eastern Curry Powder, considered a bold step as 99 per cent of the curry powder market was unorganised and was being sold as loose powder, the statement said.

Eastern now commands 70 per cent of the market. Meeran's initiatives helped in increasing the total branded market share to 60 percent against one per cent when he first entered the market in 1983, the statement said.

Meeran ventured out of Kerala in 1995 for the first time by introducing the Eastern brand in Bangalore and Chennai. Now, the Eastern products are available across India and exported to the Middle East, Singapore, USA, UK, Canada and Australia.

Meeran also set up a matress business, branded Sunidra Mattress, a Tyre Tread Company, Eastern Treads Ltd, a clothing company branded as King Richard and a Mineral Water division.

Meeran had been honoured with many awards including the 'Businessman of Kerala' award by Business Deepika and M G University's 'Eminent Entrepreneur' award.

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