Beta groups records 20 bn turnover
Monday, 19 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Beta group, a conglomerate of nine companies formed in memory of late Kerala businessman K. Rajan Pillai, has recorded a turnover of 20 billion in the financial year ended March 31 and is set to spread to the Middle East. "In the Middle East, we are soon signing up with a major marketing company who would take care of the entire market in the region," Beta group head and Pillai's younger brother J. Rajmohan Pillai said Saturday. The group's companies process and market a variety of products including cashew nuts and other dry fruit. The group already has a presence in Nepal, Bangladesh as also in north and northeast India. It will soon establish a state-of-the art plant in Nepal to feed markets in the kingdom as also in Bangladesh and Bhutan, Rajmohan Pillai said. Rajan Pillai was known as India's biscuit king after he acquired control of Britannia Industries in the late 1980s. He, however, lost management control and fled to India in 1995 from Singapore, where he was then based, after being accused of fraud. Arrested on charges of skimming money from Britannia Industries, Pillai died in 1995 of an alleged liver disease while lodged in the Tihar Jail. Rajmohan Pillai had formed the Beta group soon after his elder brother's death. The Nutking brand of cashew nut, one of the most popular of the group's products, has become the exclusive brand served at nearly 60 hotels of the Taj group, Pillai said. Other buyers of the product include the Oberoi, ITC, Le Meridian and JP Marriot group of hotels. Among the other products the group markets are dehydrated jackfruit, papaya and pineapple. "We are in the process of continuous product development and may soon enter into the field of vegetables too," Pillai said.