Mahesh Koneru, Tollywood producer and well-known public relations manager in the Telugu film industry, passed away after a cardiac arrest in Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Tuesday. Mahesh Koneru was known to be a close confidant of the Nandamuri family including, Jr NTR, Kalyan Ram and Bala Krishna. According to reports, he was 40.
Under his production company East Coast Productions, Mahesh had produced recent Telugu films like 118, Thimmarusu, and Miss India. He was also backing upcoming films such as the Allari Naresh starrer Sabhaku Namaskaram to be directed by debutant Sateesh Mallampati and Police Vaari Hecharika, starring Naga Shaurya and helmed by another debutant director KP Rajendra. Mahesh was also known for being part of the PR team of successful movies like the Baahubali films.
His sudden demise has come as a rude shock to the film fraternity, and condolences have been pouring in for the producer. Extending his condolences, actor Jr NTR tweeted, â€śWith the heaviest of heart and in utter disbelief, I am letting you all know that my dearest friend S M Koneru is no more. I am shell shocked and utterly speechless. My sincerest condolences to his family and his near and dear.â€ť
Actor Kalyan Ram Nandamuri also tweeted, â€śAbsolutely shook and in disbelief. A man who is a friend, family and well-wisher is no more. Mahesh Koneru has been our backbone no matter what. Huge loss to me personally and the whole industry. Strength to his near and dear ones.â€ť
With the heaviest of heart and in utter disbelief, I am letting you all know that my dearest friend @SMKoneru is no more. I am shell shocked and utterly speechless.â€” Jr NTR (@tarak9999) October 12, 2021
My sincerest condolences to his family and his near and dear. pic.twitter.com/VhurazUPQk
Absolutely shook and in disbelief. A man who is a friend, family and well wisher is no more.â€” Kalyanram Nandamuri (@NANDAMURIKALYAN) October 12, 2021
Mahesh Koneru garu has been our backbone no matter what.
Huge loss to me personally and the whole industry.
Strength to his near and dear ones. pic.twitter.com/I8RbQNNRpH
Meanwhile, his dear friend CR Hemanth, a film critic turned producer spoke about his relationship with Mahesh Koneru and posted about Maheshâ€™s journey in the industry from a journalist to producer.
â€śHe had come back from Singapore when I met him for the first time, while I was working at 123 Telugu (a website), he was going to take up my role in the website after I quit. We became good friends. His passion for cinema and more importantly automobiles was endearing. His knowledge about cars and bikes was phenomenal..he loved to go on long rides, off-roading etc. But his heart was firmly in movies..by the time he joined Arka (A production company) and then as PR for Baahubali, he had already made up his mind to produce movies. Over the years, he has become a part of Jr NTR and Nandamuri Kalyan Ramâ€™s team and a close confidant to both of them..both Tarak and Kalyan Ram meant the world to him and he put his heart and soul into his work as their PR. S M Koneru, we will miss you bro.â€ť
He had come back from Singapore when I met him for the first time, while I was working at 123telugu he was going to take up my role in the website after I quit. We became good friends. His passion for cinema, and more importantly, automobiles was endearing @smkoneruâ€” Hemanth Kumar C R (@crhemanth) October 12, 2021
Actor Satya Dev, who'd played the lead in Thimmarasu, a film produced by Mahesh Koneru, tweeted, â€śShocked and shattered. Extremely painful to know you are no more. Will miss you Mahesh garu.â€ť
Producer Mahesh koneru passed away due to cardiac arrest today in Vizag.â€” VamsiShekar (@UrsVamsiShekar) October 12, 2021
May his soul Rest in peace!
We miss you anna pic.twitter.com/6CxrT1Rlg5
Shocked and shattered. Extremely painful to know you are no more. Will miss you Mahesh Garu. pic.twitter.com/9cK9VUiYKxâ€” Satya Dev (@ActorSatyaDev) October 12, 2021
Omg!!This is shattering!!Iâ€™m in shivers reading about Mahesh. @crhemanth, @vamsikaka, Mahesh and I started off our careers around the same time..we all knew we had each otherâ€™s back. Spoke to him a month ago. Iâ€™m really shaken. Condolences to the family. RIP. Good bye my friend. https://t.co/tcTWQVYc5fâ€” Vrinda Prasad (@vrindaprasad) October 12, 2021
Tollywood director Maruthi tweeted, â€śShocking & saddened. At this young age it should not have happened. Deepest condolences to his dear and near."