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Kalliyath Abdul Gafoor, the visionary entrepreneur who revolutionised steel industry in Kerala

Kalliyath Abdul Gafoor

Kalliyath Abdul Gafoor, the pioneering industrialist who revolutionised Kerala’s steel industry, passed away on July 5, 2024, at his residence in Kozhikode. He was 70 years old. The last rites were performed at Puthiyangadi Juma Masjid at his ancestral home town Tirur, attended by family, friends, and countless admirers from the business community.

Abdul Gafoor, a first-generation entrepreneur, founded Kairali TMT, at a time when Kerala’s industrial landscape was considered inhospitable to manufacturing ventures. Defying sceptics and overcoming numerous challenges, he built his company from the ground up, transforming it into one of the state’s most respected steel manufacturers.

Born into a modest family in Tirur, Malappuram, Abdul Gafoor’s journey from a small-town dreamer to an industrial titan is a testament to his indomitable spirit and business acumen. He started his career as a small-scale steel trader before venturing into manufacturing, identifying a gap in the local market for high-quality steel products.

When Abdul Gafoor established Kairali TMT, the Kerala steel market was dominated by companies from North India. Undeterred by fierce competition and logistical challenges, he focused on producing superior quality TMT (Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars, earning the trust of builders and engineers across Kerala and other states.

Abdul Gafoor’s unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction became the cornerstone of Kairali TMT’s success. He invested heavily in state-of-the-art technology and rigorous quality control measures, ensuring that every product leaving his factory met the highest standards. This dedication to excellence gradually earned Kairali TMT a reputation as the go-to brand for construction projects in Kerala and neighbouring states.

Beyond his business achievements, Abdul Gafoor was known for his philanthropic efforts and commitment to employee welfare. He established several educational institutions and healthcare facilities in his hometown, believing firmly in giving back to the community that supported his early endeavours.

Abdul Gafoor’s success inspired a generation of entrepreneurs in Kerala, proving that with vision and perseverance, it was possible to build world-class industries in the state. His life and work played a significant role in changing perceptions about Kerala’s industrial potential.

Abdul Gafoor leaves behind a legacy that extends far beyond the steel industry. He will be remembered as a visionary who not only built a successful business but also contributed significantly to Kerala’s industrial growth and economic development.

His life’s work, Kairali TMT, stands as a testament to his vision, perseverance, and unwavering commitment to quality – a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs in Kerala and beyond.

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