Ravi Pillai : The Middle East construction tycoon
Ravi Pillai is the head of RP Group of constructions. He was born on 2 September 1953 in Kollam. He comes from a farmer’s family. He always dreamt to become an entrepreneur. He graduated from a local college and pursed his Business Administration at Cochin University. He holds a doctoral degree from the Excelsior College, New York.Initially he started with a Chit Fund. At his time construction sector was more profitable than his Chit Funds. He worked by contracts for Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, Hindustan Newsprint Limited and Cochin Refineries. He had to discontinue the business and close down as the laborers went on strike.
With his savings he moved to Saudi Arabia in 1979. He worked with a businessman called Abdullah Jufan. Finally he made his dream come true by the construction business Nasser Al Hajri Corporation. He has a 50% partnership in the company. It was the largest industrial contractor in the MiddleEast. It included many projects covering oil, gas, refineries, petrochemicals, fertilizers, cement, power, desalination, aluminum and steel.
He also started the RP Group. Nasser Al-Hajri Corporation is a vertical under RP Group. He built the first shopping mall in his home town in South Kerala.
Now, the RP Group has become a global business conglomerate operating in the Middle East, Asia, Australia and Africa by $4 billion revenues a year. He has about 15,000 people staying in each worker’s camp. It has 24 hours open canteen with the best quality food. He arranged special vehicles transporting food to the construction sites. He knew that without the support of the workers it is hard to do anything.
Slowly he expanded his business in United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and India which includes construction, hospitality, steel, cement, oil and gas industries. He also started the health care by Upasana Hospital and Research Centre. His net worth is now $2.3 Billion which leads a place in India’s richest people’s list. He is also involved in Crowne Plaza hotel which will be opened in 2016.
It is a 110-story tower. Now he is working under mega venture as a developer for Dubai property. He lives in the 106th floor of the BurjKhalifa. It is a four bedroom apartment which surveys the Dubai skyline.He is now storming into the real estate market as a developer with $1.5 billion projects in Dubai.RP Group holds stakes in hotels like LeelaKovalam which is a beach property in Kerala, Hotel Ravizin Kollam and Welcome Hotel RavizKadavu in Kozhikode.
In 2008, he was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Government of India.
In 2010, he was honored with Padma Shri.