Takeover tycoon RP Goenka passes away
Kolkata (Agencies): RPG Group founder Rama Prasad Goenka, a doyen of Indian industry and business titan...
Kolkata (Agencies): RPG Group founder Rama Prasad Goenka, a doyen of Indian industry and business titan of eastern India, died on Sunday morning at his South Kolkata home after a long battle with cancer. He breathed his last at 6 am on Sunday morning, the family sources said. He was 83, and is survived by wife Sushila and two sons Harsh Vardhan and Sanjiv - both leading industrialists. While Harsh is now RPG Enterprises chairman, his younger brother is the chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, after the tycoon amicably divided his entire business between them about three years ago, which has a combined turnover of Rs 30,000 crore. 2010, the RPG Group patriarch declared a formal split and division of assets between his two sons, who were running all the companies within the umbrella brand. Portrayed as "one of Bengal's true champion of Industry" by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, RP Goenka established his empire, RPG Enterprises in 1979. The undivided empire includes Phillips, Carbon Black, Asian Cables, Agarpara Jute Mill and Murphy India, CESC, CEAT, Saregama India, KEC International, Harrisons Malayalam, FirstSource, RPG Life Sciences (Searle India), etc. Some of these companies were taken over by him. Born March 1, 1930, into one of the oldest business families established in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1820 by his ancestor Ramdutt Goenka, who moved from Dundlod in Rajasthan to do business with the English East India Co, RP received his training from his grandfather Sir Badridas Goenka who was chairman of Imperial Bank of India. Perhaps he may be the only industrialist who did not move out of West Bengal irrespective of the disturbed industrial atmosphere during 70s and 80s. Interestingly, he took over several industries owned by expats during that period, who left for their native places. Thus, he was regarded as "takeover king". On political ground, he was very close to then prime minister Indira Gandhi, hence made Rajya Sabha member between 2000 and 2006. Goenka had served as president of FICCI and Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry besides served on the board of governors at IIT-Khargapur, which conferred him an honorary Doctor of Science degree.