"Here is a boy who washes his own clothes, cooks his own food and stands supreme in this class" was the succinct remark made by Mr. P. S. M. Pereira, former Head Master of St. Aloysius School, Sri Lanka".
Born on 1916 at Idayangudi, a village in Radhapuram Taluk of Tirunelveli District, Mr. A. Chelladurai had his elementary education up to Std. VII. He had to discontinue his studies and leave to Sri Lanka in 1928, where he later continued his education. In 1934, he returned to India and settled down at Sivakasi, a town renowned for cottage industries in South India. He joined a cottage match factory where he earned Rs. 10 per month.
As his request for a raise of Rs. 2 a month was turned down, he quit the factory for good. "It was a turning point in my life. I walked out of the factory and started making matches on my own. I sold them on the streets," were his own words about his experience.
In the 1930s, matches were imported from Burma, Sweden and Japan. These were machine-made and had a polished finish. Mr. Chelladurai's matches were handmade and still, he competed with the foreign companies.
Eventually, he turned his attention to fireworks. In the beginning, he imported raw materials from other countries and conducted various trials. Later, he surged ahead in the field of pyrotechnics and broke the monopoly of countries like China and Taiwan.
Today, the company he founded employs about 9000 workers and is the technical adviser to the Indian Army, besides supplying them with practice bombs, hand grenades and so on. The company also supplies fog signals to Indian Railways and provides guidance to the Sri Lankan government. In addition to fireworks, he was associated with a number of industries. His company, Bell Pins, manufactures several wire based products like pins, clips, staplers and so on. Today, pins and other products sold under the Bell banner are a household name in India.
Mr. Chelladurai's contributions were recognized far and wide, and he was the recipient of several locally and nationally acclaimed awards and certifications, which are listed below:
|1966-||Recipient of Scroll of Honor from the Inspector General of Police, Government of Tamil Nadu for Crime Detection|
|1968-||Presidential Award for Import Substitution|
|1978-||Export Promotion Award for breaking the World Monopoly of China in the export of Fireworks|
|1978-||Award for Excellence in Printing by Directorate Advertising & Visual Publicity|
|1990-||For the sake of Honor Award" by Rotary Club of Tirunelveli|
|1990-||12th Shironmani Award for signal contribution to the National Development Technological Inventions - By Shironmani Award Institute, New Delhi|
|1990-||Vijay Shree Award for Role of the South Indians in the Development of India -By India International Friendship Society, New Delhi|
|1992-||Samaj Shree Award in recognition of services rendered to the Public - By Indian Council of Management Executives|
|1992-||Glory of India International Award for exceptional excellence for working for peace, unity and friendship amongst mankind - By International Friendship Society of India, New Delhi|
|1997-||Udyog Patra Award for contribution to the general Development of the Country by Self-made Industrialists - By Institute of Trade & Industrial Development|
|1997-||Udyog Pragati Award for promoting all round Development of the country and for their Distinctive Achievements - By Global Economic Council, New Delhi|
|1997-||Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of outstanding Achievements - By American Biographical Institute|
|1997-||Award for Distinguished service by the Tirunelveli Diocese Church of South Indian recognition of charities to deserving causes all over South India|
|1997-||Indira Gandhi Solidarity Award for Outstanding Achievement|