Rajam (Srikakulam district): Life always paints a contrasting picture, isn't it? The life of Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao best explains it. Born on July 14, 1950 at Rajam in the backward and far-flung Srikakulam district where seeds of naxalism or left-wing extremism were sown in this part of India when Srikakulam Peasant Uprising took place in 1960s , GM Rao, as the founder of GMR Group is popularly known, began his entrepreneurial journey with a small jute mill in this small remote town in 1978 and went on to build one of the leading infrastructure groups in the country, with presence in airports, energy, roads, transportation and urban infrastructure now.
Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Trusts and GM Rao, Chairman, GMR, lighting a lamp during the valedictory function of Silver Jubilee of GMRVF
The world-class, sprawling Hyderabad International Airport is a glowing feather in in the crown of GMR group which has since gone global with airports projects in Turkey and Philippines. It is currently developing Goa's Greenfield international airport in Mopa. As his group expanded and diversified into new areas and business verticals, he started giving back to his native place. Thus, Rajam, located nearly 40 km from the district headquarters, has massive educational campus called GMR Institute of Technology (GMR IT) where more than 3,500 students’ study. Established in 1997, the engineering college offers high quality education in all major engineering streams.
GM Rao who as jute mill owner saw poverty from close quarters cited lack of proper education, healthcare facilities and lack of motivation as the reasons for the prevalence of poverty in the country. "Providing skill and imparting education are the best tools for eradicating poverty as it changes live of an entire family forever", he said at the valedictory function of the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of GMR Varalakshmi Foundation here, in which Ratan Tata, former chairman of Tata Group, took part as chief guest.