Industry and Bengal were once synonymous as this was in fact the place where modern trade had its base during the British Raj. Over the decades, the scenario in the public eye has lost its sheen, however Bengal and Bengalis have had continued to influence trade across the country. The biggest challenge in understanding the growth of business in Bengal lies in the fact that most of these companies are unlisted in the stock exchange. But that does not discount the hard work and business acumen of these brilliant Bengali minds. Let us have a look at some of the noted names in the business in no specific order.
- Purnendu Chatterjee (Chairman of TCG : The Chatterjee Group)
This IIT Kharagpur and the University of California at Berkeley alumnus, heads a private equity fund with investments over $3.5 Billion in India alone over the last decade. He was a partner at McKinsey at 34 and was mentored by Billionaire Investor- George Soros who taught him the ropes at a crucial stage of his career. Currently TCG has its fingers in many pies ranging from Petrochemicals, Life Sciences, Information Technology, to Entertainment and Real Estate.He is also the largest private share-holder of Haldia Petrochemicals, and was part of the team that bought the global Petro – giant, Basell to India. Apart from this he was also one of the Founders of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
- Sunil Kanti Roy (Chairman: Peerless Group)
This Padma Shri awardee is easily the wealthiest resident Bengali in today’s times. He heads a Rs. 13,000 crores (US$ 2.8 Billion) Group with diversified interests in Hospitality, Healthcare, Finance, Investments and Real Estate.
- Kali P. Chaudhuri (Chairman: KPC Group)
He is considered as one of the most sought after Orthopedic surgeons in the world and is currently based out of Bay Area, California. However, his company KPC Group, has massive investments in West Bengal and India as a whole. His ventures together hold a combined valuation of over Rs. 8,300 crores (US$ 1.6 Billion), spread across Healthcare, Manufacturing, Pharma, Alternative Energy, ITeS, Education, Real Estate and Travel.
- Prasoon Mukherjee (Chairman: Universal Success Enterprises Limited)
Another non-resident Bengali that is ruling the roost in Bengal and world over is Prasoon Mukherjee. Currently based out of Singapore, he has made substantial investments in the past decade. He has industrial exposure spanning across Real Estate, Power, Hospitality, Ports, Townships, Tourism and Industrial Parks. This makes him a very bankable person which every minister of state is waiting to charm for the development of their state in India. His Group, which is currently valued way over Rs. 5,000 crores (US$ 1 Billion), has developed the Kolkata West International City township in Howrah, West Bengal and has a TVS motorcycle manufacturing plant in Eastern India.
- Satya Prasad Roy Burman (Chairman: Khadims Group)
His name is synonymous with the Indian leather industry. In addition to leather manufacturing facilities across Eastern India, the Company has over 700 retail stores (being 256 stores in West Bengal alone) across India. Recently, the Company has also forayed into Jewellery, Departmental Stores and Restaurants segments to cumulatively valued the group well over Rs. 2,000 crores (US$400 Million).
- Sudeep Dutta (Chairman: Ess Dee Aluminium)
The head of a listed company boasts of a business net worth of over Rs. 1,800 crores (US$ 350 Million) to be recognised as the biggest player in the Aluminium Packaging Business. A company that started in 1991 with merely 12 employees has since acquired the India Foils in 2008 and even got the International Venture Capitalist Firm Sequoia Capital to pick up a 7% stake in the company.
- Anjan Chatterjee (Chairman: Speciality Restaurants & Situations Advertising)
He is called India’s”Restaurant King” thanks to the 100 odd fine dining restaurants he has opened up across the country. His popular brands are: Oh! Calcutta, Mainland China, Haka, Flame & Grill, Sigree and Machaan to name a few. Apart from his core business of Hospitality, Catering and F&B, he also runs an advertising wing that in itself clocked in revenues of over 100 crores since inception. Together his businesses can be cumulatively valued over Rs. 1,000 crores (US$ 200 Million).
- Subhasish Chakraborty (Founder & CMD: DTDC Courier & Cargo)
Mr. Subhasish Chakraborty founded DTDC Courier & Cargo in July 1990 and till date serves as Chairman and Managing Director for the same. A former gold medalist from Calcutta University, he has over the decades revolutionized the Indian courier industry in India moving it from the government strong hold into a privatised industry. DTDC’s franchisee concept made it a roaring success story and achieved exponential growth while becoming the country’s largest courier network.