Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dr.J.Rajmohan Piilai Born on May 12th 1964, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai is at the helm of one of India’s largest and most successful business houses. Having Joined the family business in 1981, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai, was involved in the operations of one of the firms in the Group where hands on experience in management of an export business was acquired along with formal education. In the next 3 years he worked as a Management trainee at Parle Foods (Manufacturers of Thumbs Up, Limca, Gold Spot, then India’s Largest Selling Soft Drink), Iracema Industries de Caju S/A Fortaleiza (one of the largest exporters of Cashew kernels in Brazil, part of RJR Nabisco- one of the largest food company in the US) and Britannia Industries Ltd, the largest Biscuit Co. in Asia (Involved in operations of all the major departments of the company and teams successfully launching new products).

1984 saw Dr.J.Raj Mohan made the Director of Janso Soft Drinks (P) Ltd, bottlers of soft drink brands promoted by McDowell & Co. Ltd, part of the UB Group, where he was responsible for managing all the operations from production, finance, personnel to marketing and establishing a marketing network for the products in the State of Kerala. The following year, he took over the Chief Executive ship of KJP Group, one of the largest processors and exporters of cashew kernels in India. He successfully oversaw the growth in the volume of the Group more than doubling its turnover in 5 years. He also initiated diversification activities of the group into areas like Shipping, & finance.

During 91 and 94 Raj Mohan was made a Director of Weizmann Industries Ltd (a listed company in the Bombay Stock Exchange in the fields of Finance and Industry.), a Director and then Managing Director of Pace International Ltd, the first Public Limited Company with American tie up (M/s. ConAgra, the largest food company in the U.S.A) in the cashew industry and Thai Agri Foods Public Company Limited. ( the largest Limited Food Company in Thailand, marketing products in more than 50 countries.). It also saw him as Member of Committee of Administration of Cashew Export Promotion Council, Cochin, a member of Managing Committee of Kerala Chapter of Federation of Indian Exporters Organization (FIEO) and Governor of Export Panel of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Kerala Chapter, where he worked closely with other industry leaders and experts for the promotion and development of the business verticals.

In 1995, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai became the Chairman of the Betaempire, a conglomerate with activities in India, The Netherlands, France, USA, Spain, and Sri Lanka. Beta Group of Companies have an annual turnover exceeding 2,808 crores with an annual growth averaging 21 per cent. Their business interests cover a wide spectrum from food products to airlines to shipping and consultancy. They are pioneers with a premier status on the corporate front with more than 70 years in edible nuts and food products.

Being a man of vision, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai was instrumental in the establishing the KJP Research Foundation, where he is a member of the governing council carrying out research in the fields of cashew and other horticultural crops. He also established the Rajan Pillai Foundation in 1997 to perpetuate the memory of late business tycoon Mr. Rajan Pillai to promote among Indian citizens excellence in a wide spectrum of activities including arts, sports, social sciences, medicine, serving the cause of humanity and human rights, to institute trophies & awards of appreciation among Indian citizens. The Foundation instituted awards for outstanding achievement in the field and runs a Kalakshethram in the name and style “Njanadepam Vidyapeetam Samskarika Kalakshethram & Research Centre” in Kollam which is registered under Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Thrissur.

He has Published two highly successful books. “A Wasted Death”, the rise and fall of late Rajan Pillai published by Penguin Books (India) Pvt Ltd, and “K. Janardhanan Pillaiyude Jeevitham Daivathinte Nadakam” published by DC Books. He is a keen sportsman having represented his University in Tennis for five years consecutively. The team was the All India. Runners’ up for the Inter University Championship. He was involved in social activities right from University days and was a member of Rotract Club, the youth wing of Rotary International, where he held the post of District Rotract Representative (DRR) which is the highest office in the club on a national level and was an active member of Round Table India, a social and community service organization.

The Beta Group chairman, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai, has been awarded doctorate in business management by the New Age International University, Seborga, Italy.

This academic honour has been given in recognition of his general contribution to cashew industry and specifically on the basis of his dissertation on the world cashew economy from an Indian perspective.

In his thesis covering the entire gamut of cashew industry, Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai points to the emerging competition to India from Vietnam. The tiny east Asian state has made significant strides, both in production and processing, and may soon grab India's position as the world leader in cashew industry.

Dr.J.Raj Mohan Pillai brings to bear on his work a wealth of business management experience gained through two generations. He had told the saga of cashew, tracing its eerie heights and splendid unpredictabilities, in two books, one Malaylam and the other English.