Stanes was the founder of UNTE.
He arrived in India in 1858, having spent 96 days
on a ship named Trafalgar. Still a young boy of 17,
Robert Stanes immediately launched himself on a career
that was remarkable blend of entrepreneurship and
had been in India 55 years before UNTE was formed,
by which time he had already been Knighted in recognition
of his generous contribution to society. Those 55
years also saw Robert Stanes grow from a diffident
boy who had written about his landing in Madras as
being "quite an ordeal and somewhat
alarming", into a dynamic head
of a business empire. Cotton mills, coffee plantations,
tea, coffee curing, motor works and tyre retreading
made up the diverse interests of his business. . He
set up and developed the Stanes High School,
the city's premier educational institution of its
time. The Stanes family subsequently started the Stanes
School in Coonoor too. For his contribution to society
Robert Stanes was also conferred the title of Kaiser-e-Hind.
Stanes was also a man with a commendable sense
of social responsibility. When the City Council
for Coimbatore was first formed, he took on
In 1960, Sri.
S. Anantharamakrishnan, father of the present
chairman Mr. Sivasailam, bought over
the interest of the Stanes family, not only in UNTE,
but in a score of other family businesses in Coimbatore
and the Nilgiris. UNTE along with
other companies from the Stanes 'stable, became a
part of South India's pioneering business conglomerate
the Amalgamations Group.