Kerala, although known as the least industrialized state in India, has a cash inflow of ₹1 trillion as remittance from emigrants each year, according to an article on Livemint. This figure is almost four times the inflow of Tamil Nadu and nearly 10 times that of Gujarat. Kerala is not only God’s Own Country, it also is the land of affluent entrepreneurs. Malayalis have successfully secured their place on the global map in terms of their net worth.
Here’s a look at some of the wealthiest businessmen who claim their origins to this state.
Top Businessmen of Kerala
The major businesses of Malayali tycoons range from retail to jewelry and construction to education, banking, and even software.
Yousaffali, with personal wealth of almost $5.2 billion, was ranked as the 21st wealthiest man from India and the 394th richest in the world by Forbes, in 2019. Also, he was ranked #1 in the Top 100 Indian Business Owners in The Arab World for 2018. According to Forbes, Yousaffali presides over $8.1 billion in revenues for LuLu Group. There are 133 stores under him in the Gulf region, India, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. Also, 113 hypermarkets spread over nine countries.
Credentials: Founder and MD, Lulu Hypermarket
Net Worth: $5 Billion
Originally From: Thrissur
B. Ravi Pillai
Businessman Ravi Pillai has a global rank of 559, with personal wealth worth $3.8 billion. He started off with a small construction business in Kerala, which eventually did not work out. Post this, he restarted in 1979 and went on to build a construction firm, RP Group of Companies, with $5.3 billion in revenues From Middle East countries. He has promised to employ 3,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia, who lost their jobs due to the economic crisis. He owns NSH and 25 other companies, which generate ₹26,800 crores annually.
Credentials: Founder and CEO, RP Group of Companies
Net Worth: $3.8 Billion
Originally From: Kollam
Tycoon Sunny Varkey is a Dubai-based education entrepreneur and philanthropist, originally from Kerala. He ranked at #1088 globally in 2017, with net worth of $1.97 billion at that time. He is the owner of GEMS Education, which runs 89 schools spread all across the world. He never stepped beyond high school himself yet laid the foundation for his parents’ Our Own English School in 1980. Today, this school is being funded by many organizations, with Blackstone Group being one of them. The main motivation behind this was Varkey’s strong belief that there is no substitute for good quality education. Apart from the Middle East, GEMS Education operates in Africa, some regions of Asia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Credentials: Founder and Chairman, GEMS Education
Net Worth: 2.5 Billion
Originally From: Pathnamthitta
Gopalakrishnan is the fifth richest man of India, as well as the co-founder and CEO of Infosys. He has more than 3.9 crore shares of the company, with an estimated market value of ₹7,860 crores. He has invested in 50 startups, 15 of which he invested in through his business incubator, Axilor Ventures. Apart from this, Itihaasa is a digital app funded by him, which has made a major contribution to the IT sector in India.
Credentials: Executive Vice Chairman, Infosys
Net Worth: $1.62 Billion
Originally From: Thiruvananthapuram
Time and again, Kerala has emerged as a state that not only flourishes due to travel and tourism, but also in terms of intellectual and entrepreneurial prowess.