B. Ravi Pillai (born 2 September 1953) is an Indian billionaire businessman. He is the founder and managing director of RP Group of Companies.
Early life and education
Ravi Pillai was born on 2 September 1953 at Chavara, a coastal town in Kollam, in the South Indian state of Kerala in a family of farmers. After graduating from Baby John Memorial Government College, he continued his studies in Business Administration at Cochin University.
During his time at university, he launched his first business, a chit fund in Kollam on reportedly borrowed money. Later, he started an engineering contract business and worked for some of the major industrial houses in Kerala such as Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, Hindustan Newsprint Limited, and Cochin Refineries. However, a labour strike forced him to close down his business, after which he went to Saudi Arabia in 1978 where he started a small trading business. Two years later, he moved into construction, and established Nasser Al Hajri Corporation with 150 employees, which has over the years grown to become the flagship company of his business group, RP Group, which is known to employ over 70,000 employees across its businesses. The shopping mall in South Kerala, RP Mall at Kollam city is owned by Pillai.
Pillai has expanded his business to other countries including United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain, and has interests in construction, hospitality, steel, cement, and oil and gas industries. RP Group is known to hold stakes in hotels such as Leela Kovalam, Hotel Raviz, Kollam, and WelcomHotel Raviz Kadavu, Kozhikode in his home state of Kerala. He is involved in health care through Upasana Hospital and Research Centre, a 300-bed multispecialty hospital in Kollam.