Packaging stalwart CS Purushothaman no more

Packaging industry stalwart CS Purushothaman passed away due to Covid-19 on 22 August 2020. He helmed SIES SOP from 2008-2013 after taking charge from PV Narayanan who also passed away due to the pandemic.

24 Aug 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

CS Purushothaman (1947-2020)

Purushothaman has been a mentor to several packaging industry leaders through his wealth of knowledge. His five decades of experience in the field of packaging saw him associate with projects and organisations in close to 28 countries. He was instrumental in the developments of packages, packaging system and testing equipment and also has patents to his credit.

After receiving a post-graduate in chemistry from the University of Mumbai, Purushothaman went on to be qualified as an industrial engineer, a packaging technologist and a lead auditor for quality management systems along with a Six Sigma Black Belt. He completed his industrial training on mechanisation of packaging at Robert Bosch, Germany, and has studied packaging technology in six overseas institutions such as EMPA in Switzerland, IvVTNO in Netherlands and PIRA in the UK. His ocean of knowledge in packaging enabled him to become a strong advisor and consultant for leading companies such as Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, Lakme, Cussons International, Marico, Ahmed Mills and Castrol India, among others.

In the late nineties, after a request from his multinational client, Castrol India, he became an entrepreneur and had set up Crest Packaging, in which he was the founder managing director. This organisation is a professional contract packaging unit, which produces 3,000 tonnes of lubricating oil monthly from its two facilities.

The packaging veteran was a former deputy director at the Indian Institute of Packaging, a member of the packaging standards drafting committee at the Bureau of Indian Standards and a director at Packaging Professional Group – a packaging management advisory organisation. He was also a member at the American Society for Quality, Institute of Packaging, UK’s International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, National Safety Council of India, a fellow of the Chemical Society of India and Institute of Chemist India, and licentiate of the Federation of Insurance Institute, among other organisations.

Purushothaman was also part of the corporate world with his stints in multinationals such as Colgate Palmolive and Hindustan Unilever. He was twice awarded the Colgate chairman’s global You Can Make A Difference award for his innovations. 

Later, he became a full-time chair professor director of SIES School of Packaging and Packaging Technology Centre wherein he modified the academic culture by bringing out an industrial approach. His objective was to set up a second line of defence with a group of qualified young professional and later work as their mentor. He was also a research guide to the MSc (Food Science) students at the Mumbai and SNDT universities and a regular speaker at organisations such as Bombay Chamber of Commerce, College of Insurance and NIBM.

The industry veteran has authored more than 60 papers and articles and was associated with various educational institutions and forums as a faculty and programme co-coordinator.

Purushothaman was a renowned mentor and teacher in the field of packaging

In Memoriam – CS Purushothaman

Ainain Shahidi, director, SIES School of Packaging
I have been one of the few lucky professionals to be closely associated with CSP Sir. His down to earth approach and ever-enthusiastic mindset will always be remembered. He was a packaging stalwart, who has immensely contributed to the packaging landscape in India. 

I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of our CSP Sir. He has truly inspired every person who had the pleasure of knowing him. I had always have been in awe of him and will always remember him fondly. I pray to the almighty to grant strength to his family to go through these traumatic times. He will always be a beacon of light and inspiration for all who came in touch with him. 

Prasad Balan Iyer, vice-principal and head, department of printing and packaging technology, SIES GST
CSP sir, as we lovingly called him, was a mentor and father figure for me. From the day I stepped into SIES, he has guided me till date. Anything I request him, seldom will he give an answer like no. He was my first packaging guru who was either directly or indirectly involved in training and enabling me to do what I am doing today.

He was a very passionate academician and entrepreneur who could show you the opportunities and positive side of things. Very dynamic, tireless personality with a never-say-die attitude who would rub it off on us, too. He was loved so much by the students that they would never miss his lecture even if it's a Saturday or a Sunday. His physical demise leaves a deep pain, but his memories, training and legacy will stay with us to continue them and pass it on to the future professionals.

Venu Ayyar, associate director, MCMA
CS Purushottaman was my teacher when I studied Packaging at SIES SOP. He was my mentor. He was an excellent educator who had loads of patience, explaining each minute detail about different areas of packaging. We have worked together on many projects, which gave immense practical knowledge that helped me grown in my career.

I pray for the salvation of his soul.

Vijaykumar Nair, co-owner at Crest Packaging
I met him 25 years ago during the packaging development of a tube for an MNC. Our association began as friends which later got converted to business partners. He was reluctant to enter business since his passion always was teaching. But eventually, we started our business, that too, in the name suggested by him as Crest Packaging. His motto behind selecting that name was anything you do; you should be at Crest of the same. Till this date, we are proud to hold our company on top.

When the SIES school of packaging started, he was excited to be a member of the faculty and spend his spare time for the benefit of students. His passion for teaching was complete when he took charge as the head of SIES school of packaging. After that stint, he taught various packaging subjects for Mumbai, SNDT and Kerala government universities.

My advice to him always was to travel less and take rest. Even the day before he got admitted, he had taken an online class for students. More than a businessman, I will say we lost a good teacher and a master in packaging technology. No further words since we feel that he is still at home quarantine and will resume as a captain once this Covid-19 scare is over.

V Regunathan, ex-colleague of CS Purushothaman at IIP Mumbai
The sudden demise of CSP, one of the stalwarts in the packaging and management industry is shocking news to the entire packaging professional fraternity. He was an extremely well-mannered, qualified, experienced and skilled being, who had the passion to teach, train, motivate and develop students and his team wherever he was. A mentor and guru in the real sense to many in the packaging industry. He had sown the seeds to place many young students and professionals to excel in the industry. All of them are bemoaning his demise and praying for his soul to rest in peace.

I pray to the creator to give mental solace to his family, near and dear.