More than a century in the making, RPG’s history can be traced back to the early 1800s when, Ramdutt Goenka came to Calcutta from a small town in Rajasthan, a state in Western India famous for its businessmen, to get into business with the British East India Company. Once there, he linked up with several British firms and expanded his business rapidly. Over the course of time, the company established itself in diverse business sectors such as banking, textiles, jute and tea.
The turn of the twentieth century saw the rise of the fourth generation of the Goenkas. Together, Sir Badridas Goenka and Sir Hariram Goenka dominated the business community and also assumed positions in several government bodies, Calcutta’s local government and in the central legislature. It was during this time that Sir Badridas Goenka and Sir Hariram Goenka were knighted by the British for their outstanding contribution to the business and community.
Carrying this inherited spirit of entrepreneurship forward was Keshav Prasad Goenka, Sir Badridas Goenka’s son. The next decade saw the group acquire two British trading houses, Duncan Brothers and Octavius Steel. Many setbacks and numerous successful acquisitions later, Keshav Prasad Goenka passed on his business empire of automobiles, tyres and electric cables to his three sons.
His son, Rama Prasad Goenka established RPG Enterprises in 1979 with Phillips Carbon Black, Asian Cables, Agarpara Jute and Murphy India as constituents.
The 1980’s saw further acquisitions by the RPG group, the first being CEAT Tyres of India in 1981. The group then went on to acquire KEC (1982), Searle India, now RPG Life Sciences (1983), Dunlop (1984), Gramophone Company of India Ltd, now Saregama India (1986) and finally CESC, Harrisons Malayalam, Spencer & Co. and ICIM (1989). In the year 2010, the group businesses were divided between Rama Prasad Goenka’s sons, Harsh and Sanjiv.
Harsh Goenka leads the Mumbai head-quartered RPG Enterprises (also known as RPG Group), which consists of over fifteen companies across core sectors of the economy, with a turnover in excess of US $3 billion.