Dr CK Rajkumar, the Founder of Sujatha Bio Tech and the owner of household brands like Nivaran 90 and Velvette shampoo, passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Wednesday. He was reportedly admitted in the hospital a few days ago and was in critical condition. Rajkumar was 68. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
CK Kumaravel, the Founder and CEO of Naturals chain of salons and spa, and CK Rajkumar’s brother made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday night. “With immense grief & deep regret I announce the passing away of our beloved brother Dr CK Rajkumar, the CMD of #velvette international & a dynamic entrepreneur who taught us to dream big & never to give up,” he tweeted. CK Rajkumar is also the brother of CK Ranganathan, who is the Founder Chairman of CavinKare.
With immense grief & deep regret I announce the passing away of our beloved brother Dr CK Rajkumar, the CMD of #velvette international & a dynamic entrepreneur who taught us to dream big & never to give up.#Entrepreneur #SachetRevolutuon #SachetKing #NivaranCoughSyrup #CKFamily pic.twitter.com/fdKGvg2QHk— CK Kumaravel (@ckknaturals) October 7, 2020
He was born in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, as part of a big family with five other siblings and completed his MBBS in Government Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, where his early experiments in sachet-based sales of shampoo came to light. He later went on to found Sujatha Bio Tech and brands like Nivaran90 cough syrup and Velvette Shampoo. He also launched Memory Plus, a memory enhancer product.
Rajkumar is widely known as the pioneer who started manufacturing and marketing shampoos and cough syrup in tiny sachets, thus making it accessible to the common man in terms of price. Most of his formulations were reportedly developed in-house in his own lab and then scaled up as commercial products.
CK Rajkumar was recently in the news after one of their experiments to find a cure for COVID-19 went wrong in their lab in Chennai. His long-time associate and manager Sivanesan and Rajkumar had allegedly ingested Sodium Nitrate tablets and fainted in the lab. Rajkumar’s family members rescued the duo and rushed them to a nearby hospital where Sivanesan died soon after.
Rajkumar’s final rites will be performed on Thursday afternoon.