Participating in the platinum jubilee celebration of KCP, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu complimented the group as an example of the entrepreneurial spirit of family-promoted businesses in the south.
Founded by V Ramakrishna, the KCP group had its origin in 1941 in a small cooperative sugar plant. Over the years KCP evolved as a diversified business group. Today, its turnover is over $ 200 million with interests in cement, heavy engineering, sugar, power and information technology.
Ramakrishna studied at the London School of Economics and at Oxford before getting into the ICS. He served as a senior civil servant in the composite Madras state. As Director of Industries, he organised the handloom industry as a cooperative. Today, Tamil Nadu’s Co-optex is globally renowned.
Ramakrishna set up sugar factories at Vuyyur and Jeypore in Odisha. The Vuyyur plant became famous for the Krishna Confectioneries under the KCP brand and a superphosphate factory at Nidadavolu in AP. After the demise of the founder in 1968 sons V M Rao and V L Dutt expanded operations. In the 1970s KCP’s heavy engineering division earned a reputation for supplying sophisticated equipment for steel mills, sugar, cement and power equipment plants. KCP seized the opportunity to evolve as a significant producer of cement by setting up a cement plant in 1958 to supply cement for the Nagarjunasagar dam. For over four decades the dam continues to provide irrigation and power to Andhra Pradesh.
Since the 1990s KCP has been supplying sugar machinery to mills in Vietnam. KCP also extended its expertise to raise sugarcane in Vietnam to feed a 2500 tcd sugar plant. It has since expanded its capacity to 6000 tcd. Dutt developed his overseas operations through a joint venture with Fives Group, France, the Fives-Cail KCP, to install sugar plants.
Ramakrishna’s family has more entrepreneurs: daughter Rajeswari is a sugar baron heading Jeypore Sugars. Her husband P R Ramakrishnan was a member of parliament and a prominent industrialist of Coimbatore. Son R Prabhu was a Congress Minister.
IE wishes KCP an even more impressive march towards its centenary.