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BW Businessworld

The New ‘Kids’ On The Block

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In a year when the Sensex regained its mojo, several companies decided to take a plunge and list their stocks on the market. The initial public  offerings of the year have ensured that at least 10 businessmen have made it to BW ’s super rich list. BW’s Shailesh Menon spoke to four of the newly minted billionaires on what they did and how their fortunes changed over the year.

In Favour Of Flavour
Anjan Chatterjee, managing director, Speciality Restaurants
Worth: Rs 477.8 crore

Fifty-three-year-old Anjan Chatterjee likes to bring cheer to people by “serving good food”. After graduating from Mumbai’s Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology, he tried his hand at advertising sales and marketing before starting a restaurant chain. Twenty years later, he owns nine easily recognisable brands, including Mainland China and Oh! Calcutta, and is looking to expand. Chatterjee credits his success to globally popular Indian and Chinese cuisines, but is now open to new flavours.

Geared For Expansion

Anil Agrawal, Non-executive director, Comfort Fincap
Worth: Rs 217.65 crore

Comfort Fincap’s Anil Agrawal likes “to stay low and focus on my business”, given the current economic scenario. The firm gives out loans, offers trade financing and bill discounting services, and trades in the equities and commodity markets. The CA and cost accountant, with 27 years’ experience in share trading, says the firm now plans to expand its capital base.

Tailor-Made Plan For Success
Alit Agarwal, Chairman & managing director, V-Mart Retail
Worth: Rs 178.91 crore

His love affair with cutting cloth and costs started when Lalit Agarwal was just 12 — at his father’s textile and tailoring shop. After 30 years and a partnership (with his cousin for Vishal Mega Mart), Agarwal opened the first V-Mart store in 2002, and went public in 2013. Focusing on tier-2 and tier-3 cities, he plans to have around 120 stores by 2015. His survival strategy: keep overheads and debt low.

Laying A Solid Foundation
V.K. Sukumaran, Chairman & managing director, VKS Projects
Worth: Rs 144.8 crore

If you thought the V.K. Sukumaran-founded VKS Projects was named after him, you couldn’t be more wrong. The CMD says it stands for “vision, knowledge and sincerity”. The firm, which started in 1998 with just Rs 1 lakh, today has interests across engineering contracting, specialty piping projects, critical heavy equipment erection and structural fabrication. The company raised Rs 55 crore through an initial public offering in 2012. After the listing, it completed a bonus issue, and is now looking to expand its business in the Gulf region.

Raining Gems ‘N’ Jewels
The past year saw four gilded names in the jewellery business not only drive manufacturing and retail sales, but also push their respective firms into expansion mode. These include Rajeev Sheth (Tara Jewels), Shrikant Zaveri, head of the 19th-century heritage jewellers Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), and Balram Garg and P.C. Gupta, who have powered PC Jewellers.

Sheth expanded Tara Jewels, an award-winning jewellery designer, manufacturer and supplier, across 12 countries in 15 years and raised Rs 180 crore through an IPO in November. Its subsidiary, Tara Jewellers, operates 30 stores across India  and is expanding. Meanwhile, wedding jewellery specialist PC Jewellers raised Rs 609 crore in December, added seven stores last year and expects to add another 13 this year. Zaveri, who controls 18 TBZ showrooms across 10 cities (the rest is held by sister concern, the TBZ Nirmal Zaveri Group), raised Rs 200 crore in April last year. He intends to invest Rs 1,200 crore and add 43 new showrooms by 2015.

Gurbir Singh

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 17-06-2013)