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Radhe Shyam Agarwal | Success story of the Emami Group



Radhe Shyam Agarwal

The Indian entrepreneur, Radhe Shyam Agarwal, is the executive chairperson of the Emami Group. He started this company in 1973 to produce paints and soap powder. He has a net worth of $1.43 bn (2015), with plans for a cement factory, edible oils business & healthcare.

Early Life

Agrawal is the son of a Marwari family from Kolkata and studied in St. Xavier’s College there, where he acquired his bachelor’s degree in commerce. He completed his LLB (law) & M Com (Master of commerce) at Calcutta University.

Radhe Shyam Agarwal
Radhe Shyam Agarwal with his wife and friends

Later, he went on to study for chartered accountancy exams with The Institute Of Chartered Accountants Of India. He also passed examinations set by the Institute of Company Secretaries In India. His extraordinary performance enabled him to join Aditya Birla Group as vice-president in 1970. He remained until 1995, when he retired with the title Vice Chairman-Emeritus at Emami Ltd., known as Emami Limited.

Agrawal married Usha Bansal, and they had two sons and one together: Aditya Agarwal, Harsh Agarwal & Priti Agarwal. Priti married Raj Surekha, who has now joined her father’s company, the Emami group.

The Emami group and Radhe Shyam Agarwal

In 1974, Agrawal and his school friend Radhe Shyam Goenka started Emami’s cosmetics company. They borrowed $2600 from Goenka’s father to start the company.

Today, it is multiple business groups with over one billion dollars in revenue. It has more than 300 products like Zandu balm & antiseptic cream Boroplus. Also, these products are sold through about 4 million retail outlets worldwide.

Mr. Agrawal is the joint Chairman of Emami Group companies and Executive Director at Emami Ltd.

Radhe Shyam Agarwal
Radhe Shyam Agarwal


Later in December 2011, AMRI Hospital in Dhakuria district erupted in fire. Almost 92 people died as they could not breathe due to smoke inhalation. The following day after the incident, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee canceled their license and ordered an inquiry.

The fire broke out because the hospital had flammable chemicals. The narrow and congested roads leading to the hospital affected rescue efforts. All doors and windows were locked, and none of the fire alarms or sprinklers could work.

Later in July 2016, sixteen people were arrested for negligently causing death. It included board members like Agrawal & Goenka. Also, the court accused them of culpable homicide, not amounting to murder and negligence endangering human lives. Those are among other charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC).

Recent works

In 2019, Agarwal and Goenka sold their privately held cement business to fellow billionaire Karsanbhai Patel’s company for around $730 million.

Also Read: Vandana Luthra | Success story of the VLCC

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