PM Raju, a senior director of Bristol Laboratories, one of the country’s leading generic manufacturers, passed away on Sunday after contracting the Coronavirus.
He was 63 and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter-in-law.
Raju was admitted to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London last month after his condition deteriorated following a Covid-19 infection.
He succumbed to complications arising from the virus after a month-long battle in the intensive care unit of the hospital.
Raju helped found Bristol Laboratories and was instrumental in its meteoric growth over the last decade. He is a close friend and ally of founder and CEO T Ramachandran, the chairman and managing director of Bristol Laboratories.
The two friends started the business from a small office in Harrow, North London in 1997 and together built an enterprise spanning the UK and Europe.
Ramachandran said: “I can never forget 40 years of unconditional partnership with him being side by side with me and my family in happiness and sorrow.
“He was a brother to me and my wife Sreedevi and a beloved uncle to my daughters. Words will never do justice for the greatness of one soul who touched the lives of everyone he met.”
Both Raju and Ramachandran formed a close association while working for several years at IPCA Laboratories – a large pharmaceutical company based in India.
In 1997, Mr Raju moved to the UK to help Ramachandran set up Bristol Laboratories and had since been overseeing all aspects of the company’s growth as “second in command”.
Paying tribute, the company said: “His passion, drive and loyalty towards the business was not just a professional one but a personal commitment to serve and excel in the field.
“He was a caring father, a passionate leader and always a phone call away when you needed him. He never said no to anyone and has left a void in our hearts forever.”
Raju was a highly respected and popular member of British pharma industry who did much to push innovation and develop new territories for Bristol Laboratories.
A regular face at industry events, he built strong relationships with wholesalers and community pharmacists who came to rely on Bristol Laboratories’ extensive product portfolio.
Born in Parakode in Adoor, Kerala, Raju completed his graduation in commerce from Kerala University.
He was the founder and a dedicated member of the Indian Orthodox Church in Hemel Hempstead, serving as the council member of the Diocese of UK-Europe and Africa for several years.
Reacting to the death of PM Raju, Diocesan Bishop Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios Metropolitan of the Indian Orthodox said: “No words can describe how sorry I am for his parting from this world. He always stood as a pillar on my right side for all my missions of the Diocese.
“A person we always depended on occasions of trouble and hardship. We could visualise the big void his departure created for the church and for me in person.”
Raju also played an important role in helping to establish a Malayalee Christian community in North London.
A religious leader who knew Raju personally spoke of the ways in which he would go out his way to help members of the community “in every way possible”.
“When people (from Kerala) landed in the UK, whoever got in touch with him would always get plenty of help – anything from finding accommodation to finding a job. This has been the case for many years,” he said.
The secretary of the Hemel Hempstead church praised Raju as a “very hard working, soft spoken person and a great role model to everyone”.
“An absolutely heart-breaking time for the Indian Orthodox Community” a social media post of the Church group said.
Offering his condolences to the bereaved family, the bishop added: “He was indeed a gentleman, truly genuine person, honestly faithful, a man with no frills attached and a person who is trustworthy.”
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