Sanjiv Goenka is an Indian industrialist and businessman, who founded the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG Group) in 2011. In 2022, Forbes ranked him 83 out of the 100 richest people in India.
Sanjiv Goenka was born on Sunday, 29 January 1961 (age 61 years; as of 2022) in Kolkata (now Calcutta), West Bengal, India. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. After completing his schooling at St Xavier’s Collegiate School in Kolkata, Sanjiv earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce in 1981 from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, West Bengal.
Height (approx.): 5′ 10″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Sanjiv Goenka with Gautam Gambhir and Yogi Adityanath
Sanjiv Goenka was born into a Rajasthani Marwari business-class family.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Rama Prasad Goenka, was a prominent businessman and the founder of the RPG Group. He died on 14 April 2013.
Sanjiv Goenka with his father, R. P. Goenka
His mother’s name is Sushila Devi Goenka (deceased). His elder brother, Harsh Vardhan Goenka, is the chairman of the RPG Group.
A picture of Sushila Devi Goenka
Harsh Vardhan Goenka, elder brother of Sanjiv Goenka
Wife & Children
His wife, Preeti Goenka, is an interior designer, co-founder of Stylefile, and the director of Properties & Projects at Spencer International Hotels Limited.
A picture of Sanjiv Goenka with his wife
His son, Shashwat Goenka, is the head of the retail business for RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. His daughter, Avarna Jain, is the additional non-executive director of Saregama India Limited.
From left to right: Sanjiv’s son-in-law, Avarna Jain, Sanjiv Goenka, and Shashwat Goenka
Sanjiv Goenka’s great-grandfather, Badridas Goenka, was a businessman. He was awarded the Rai Bahadur (1925), Companions of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) (1928), and Knight Bachelor (1934).
Badridas Goenka, great-grandfather of Sanjiv Goenka
Sanjiv Goenka’s grandfather, Keshav Prasad Goenka, was a businessman. He was awarded India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, in 1969.
A photo of Keshav Prasad Goenka
Sanjiv Goenka follows Hinduism. According to Sanjiv, he is very religious as well as spiritual. He also visits temples often. Talking about it, In an interview, he said,
Taking a bath, followed by puja, specially before I go to bed, is one of the many rituals that I follow. I catch myself chanting shlokas in the car many a time. I come from a very religious family. Since I was a child, my upbringing has ensured that I go to the mandir every day, without fail.”
Sanjiv Goenka resides at Goenka Niwas, 19 Belvedere Rd, Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal-700027.
At the age of 26, he joined his father’s company RPG Group. On 29 April 1989, he acquired a public limited company named Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) and became its director. According to Sanjiv, he acquired CESC despite his father’s disapproval. Initially, the company worked at less than 52% of productivity; however, after Sanjiv implemented several new policies, the output increased manifold.
An old photograph of Sanjiv Goenka with Rajiv Gandhi
On 5 May 1989, he was appointed as the director of Spencer And Company Limited. He became the director of Phillips Carbon Black Limited on 30 October 1986. On 17 August 1991, he assumed the position of director at Saregama India Limited. On 29 September 1999, he became the director of Spencer International Hotels Limited. In 2001, he became the youngest chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Talking about it, in an interview, he said,
It was a huge learning experience and a humbling thing for me because at that age I was dealing with the best economist in the country, the heads of states of other countries, and the best and the senior-most cabinet ministers from India.”
Sanjiv Goenka founded the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG Group) on 13 July 2011 after his father’s company, RPG Group, was divided among him and his elder brother Harsh Goenka. After the division, Sanjiv Goenka acquired CESC Ltd, tyre ingredient maker Phillips Carbon Black Ltd, supermarket operator Spencer’s Retail Ltd, and entertainment firm Saregama India Ltd. In an interview, he said,
I had the ownership of and the right to RPG as much as my elder brother Harsh did, but look at it 15 years from now, and it will be my nephew and my son at the helm. Why should we leave them with a legacy which could even potentially lead to any family conflict? Who would be the next chairman of RPG Group?”
Sanjiv later served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Woodlands Medical Centre Limited in Kolkata. Sanjiv expanded RPSG Group by establishing several new businesses in the fields of energy, Information and Technology (IT), media and entertainment, consumer and retail, education and infrastructure, sports, and plantation. He also acquired the 2010-established International Management Institute (IMI). On 3 December 2012, he assumed the position of director at Firstsource Solutions Limited. The company has employed approximately 10k people in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). Under CESC, Sanjiv Goenka established another thermal power plant in Haldia, West Bengal, and assumed the position of director on 22 May 2018. He has also established power plants in different states like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. In 2016, Sanjiv acquired the franchise of an IPL team, Rising Pune Supergiants.
Sanjiv Goenka with M. S. Dhoni, holding the jersey of Rising Pune Supergiants
In 2020, he bought 80 per cent of stakes of West Bengal-based Mohun Bagan Football Club and later merged it with his Atlético de Kolkata (ATK) Football Club and renamed the team, ATK Mohun Bagan. In October 2021, he acquired Lucknow Supergiants, an IPL team, for Rs 7,090 crore.
A photo of Sanjiv Goenka taken in Lucknow Super Giant’s jersey
He also owns many companies including Nature’s Basket, Spencer’s Retail, Harrisons Malayalam Limited, and many more. Sanjiv Goenka has given employment to more than 45,500 employees.
The companies owned by Sanjiv Goenka under the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG Group)
Allegations of acquiring coal blocks fraudulently
In September 2022, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lodged a complaint against RPSG-owned CESC for signing contracts for coal production by indulging in corruption, cheating, and criminal conspiracies. According to the chargesheet filed by the CBI, the CESC, between 1993 to 1995, acquired coal blocks in Deocha Pachami, Tara West, Mahan, and South Dadhu. Before the formation of RPSG in 2011, CESC functioned under the flagship of the Rama Prasad Goenka (RPG) Group. In 2012, the Central Vigilance Commission, upon finding documentation discrepancies, handed the case to CBI for investigation. According to the preliminary probe of the CBI, while applying for acquiring the coal blocks, CESC and RPG Group lied to the Coal Ministry about the actual company that would construct and operate the powerplants at Sarisatoli, Tara West, and Deocha Pachami. Similarly, more applications were filed by different companies of the RPG Group for acquiring other coal blocks. The complaint stated,
The companies misrepresented about the ownership, development, operation of proposed power plant for getting the coal block allocated. At one place it is mentioned that plant will be developed by RPG Industries, whereas other places it is mentioned that the power plant will be developed by CESC. The [ministry] has allocated the blocks to one company, RPG Industries Ltd, whereas the application was made by other companies interchangeably, and the proposed power plant was to be set up by the other company.”
The CBI further revealed that to get clearance from the Rajasthan government for acquiring coal mines in Dholpur, Rajasthan, in 1995, RPG Group and CESC interchangeably applied for clearance from the government. The CBI also said that while the contract for the production of electricity was signed between the Rajasthan State Electricity Board and the RPG Enterprises, the coal mines were allocated to RPG Group.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- In 1993, the World Economic Forum (WEF) awarded Sanjiv Goenka with the Global Leader for Tomorrow award.
- In 2002, the Young Presidents Organisation presented The Legacy Honour to him.
- In 2012, he was awarded the Nihil Ultra Award of Honour by St. Xaviers College.
A photo of Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Nihil Ultra Award from St. Xavier’s College
- In the same year, Sanjiv Goenka was conferred with a lifetime fellowship by AIMA.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the lifetime fellowship from AIMA
- He was awarded the Indian Business Leader of the Year award during the Belfast Global India Business Meet in 2013.
- In 2015, the Government of West Bengal awarded him Banga Bibhushan Award.
Sanjiv Goenka getting felicitated by CM of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, during the award ceremony
- In 2016, he was selected as the Businessman of the Year at Hello! Hall of Fame.
- The Institute of Directors awarded him the Distinguished Fellowship Award in the same year.
- In 2018, the University of North Bengal bestowed an honourary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa D Litt) upon him.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa D Litt) from the University of North Bengal
- In 2019, the Asian Association of Management Organisations gave Sanjiv the Asian Leadership Award.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Asian Leadership Award
- In October 2019, the Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB) bestowed an honourary Doctor of Business Management degree upon him.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Honoris Doctorate in Business Management from the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar
- In the same year, Amity University bestowed an honourary Doctor of Philosophy degree upon him.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Honoris Doctorate in Philosophy from Amity University
- The AIMA awarded Sanjiv with the Indian Business Leader of the Year award in 2021.
Sanjiv Goenka receiving the Indian Business Leader of the Year Award
Sanjiv Goenka’s name has often been associated with the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) chief Mamata Banerjee as one of her close confidantes. He also believes that Mamata, as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, is beneficial for the state.
A photo of Mamata Banerjee with Sanjiv Goenka
Sanjiv Goenka owns a three-story bungalow named Goenka Niwas in Kolkata, West Bengal. He also owns a mansion in Lutyens’ Delhi.
A picture of Goenka Niwas
As of 29 December 2022, Sanjiv Goenka’s net worth is $2.3 billion (Rs 20.250 crores).
- Chocolate: Lindt (Swiss chocolate)
- In 2021, Sanjiv Goenka was ranked number 24 in the Top 50 Most Powerful People in India list of India Today.
- Sanjiv has also served as the president of the All India Management Association (AIMA). He was also appointed as the chairman of the Board of Governors of IIT, Kharagpur.
- From 2013 to 2014, Sanjiv Goenka was appointed as a member of the National Council on Corporate Governance and Regulatory Affairs. He has also served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry.
- He has also been appointed as the Honourary Consul of Canada in Kolkata.
- RPSG Group also publishes a news magazine titled Open.
A photo of the cover of RSPG Group’s Open magazine
- Sanjiv Goenka is an avid sports lover and takes a keen interest in football, cricket, lawn tennis, and table tennis.
- According to his daughter, Sanjiv has a sweet tooth and likes to eat chocolates after supper.