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M. Rafeeque Ahmed gets Padma Shri Award

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M. Rafeeque Ahmed, chairman of the Farida Group and the recently elected chairman of the Council for Leather Exports has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for the current year 2011. It is a befitting honour to him and the leather industry he represents. The leather fraternity in Tamil Nadu is happy over this honour.

The Almighty Allah has paid good dividends to Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed for his principled approach, determination and efforts to achieve what he wants along with his friendly nature - a beautiful trait inherited from his ever smiling, cool and calm but at the same time strong willed father the late Mecca Abdul Majeed sahib.

Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed expanded his family business - the Farida Group - founded in 1957 by his father to the present position. To put it in the words of the group, what started off as a small unit in Ambur, Farida today has expanded to 12 plants in the last five decades making them self-sufficient in sourcing of raw materials like finished leather and other shoe components and sub-assemblies from their own subsidiaries. They have a work force of about 7000 people in their units and almost double the number benefit through indirect employment from this group.

Mr. Rafeeque Ahmed has also been serving the cause of the leather industry through holding high posts in different trade associations. He is now the Chairman of the Council for Leather Exports, President of the All India Skin and Hide Tanners and Merchants Association, Chairman of the Ambur Economic Development Organization Ltd. (AEDOL) etc. He was instrumental in establishing the Aedol icon “Ambur Trade Centre” in Ambur at the cost of Rs. 11.5 crore with the government assistance for the development of leather and leather products industry. He also holds other posts in some other organizations. He is the President of the TN state council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He is also a Director of the Apollo Hospitals. He is also associated with different educational institutions and associations. He holds high posts in the Ambur Muslim Educational Society (AMES) and the Muslim Educational Association of Southern India (MEASI). He played an important part in the three-day Centenary Celebrations of the AMES in June 2006 to which Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was invited when he was the President of India. He is an active gentleman well-known in the national and international leather circles.  (V. M. Khaleelur Rahman) .

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2011 on page no. 16

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