Dr.N. Ramanthan M.Sc., (Distn.), Ph.D. (Mumbai), Ph.D. (Leeds)has became the Director of CLRI in 1981. He had a brilliant academic career and he joined CLRI in 1957. He served in various capacities and he has planned, organized, guided and conducted a large number of research and development projects on hides and skins, leather, leather fibres and footwear. He has guided a number of students for their doctorate degree.

Dr. Ramanathan was a founder fellow of the Tamil Nadu Academy of Sciences and he was fellow of the Indian National Science Academy.

He has widely travelled and worked abroad in Canada, USA, France, Germany, Sweden, U.K. and Japan.