R Madhavan Nayar


R Madhavan Nayar


Shri R Madhavan Nayar was a pioneer in business, industry, art, history, sports and philanthropy. With early training in classical music and dance, history and art he always stressed the importance of education in alternative streams.

The birth of the Museum...

In 1984 he set up the Madhavan Nayar Foundation in pursuit of his passion for the arts with the dream of building a museum of Kerala.

In the year 1986 he curated a sound and light walk-through of the story of Kerala to be charted through the people at the turning points of its history and began work on the Museum of Kerala History. He invited the famous sculptor Karamana Rajagopal from Thiruananthapuram, to reside on the Museum premises and sculpt the thirty seven tableaux and 90 figures that now form the Museum Tour. As a student of History, he was  personally involved in the development of the script, set and costume for each tableaux. The Museum of Kerala History was inaugurated and open to the public in the year 1987.
He then studied and collected works of renowned Indian painters and sculptors, through visits to various art galleries in the country and personal visits to some of the artists’ homes, to commission works for The Gallery of Contemporary Indian Art, which was inaugurated in 1992, within the premises of the Kerala Museum.

  • His first employment after his degree in History, was as assistant to Lord Bristow, who was then Chief Officer at the Cochin Port Trust.
  • An entrepreneur, with sharp business acumen, he pioneered the business of seafood export in India with an enterprise by the name of Cochin Company. The seafood industry has now grown into one of the best foreign exchange earnings for this country, standing at over Rs.7000 Crores annually, and employing many lakhs of workers.  
  • Mr Nayar was, on more than one occasion, an invited speaker at the UN’s FAO meetings. 
  • In 1969, Madhavan Nayar’s Cochin Company won the Best Export Award from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • In February 1992, Shri Madhavan Nayar was honoured on the occasion of the Ninth Indian Seafood Fair with a Scroll as the “Father of the Seafood Export Industry in India”.
  • Madhavan Nayar’s contribution in the field of Medicine and alleviation of human suffering through his support to The R Madhavan Nayar Centre For Comprehensive Epilepsy Care in the Shri Chithra Tirunal Institute in Thiruvananthapuram in the year 1998, opened up new possibilities in the successful treatment of Epilepsy and is the largest of it's kind in India and South Asia .
  • He was instrumental in setting up several cultural organisations in Cochin city, such as the Kerala Fine Arts Society and invited renowned artists to perform in the city and hosting them in his own home.
  • He was also an ardent lover and patron of Sports and Games and organised several international sports events in Cochin.
  • The “DISTINGUSHED SERVICE AWARD”, the first and only one of his kind, in recognition of achievements in the field of Kerala history and culture was presented to Shri.Madhavan Nayar by the Federation of Kerala Associations in North America at a Kerala Convention held in Chicago in July 1988.
  • In recognition of the services rendered by him to the people of Kochi, an important road in the heart of the City stands in his name.