Kochouseph Chittilappilly is a remarkable human being.
He is a stunningly successful industrialist. He founded three businesses (so far) in his lifetime - V Guard, Wonderla Holidays and Veegaland Developers. All had their genesis in Kerala, which is among the most difficult places to do business in India. V Guard and Wonderla, the listed businesses are both debt free, have sustainable returns on capital comfortably above 20%, and enjoy market cap of ~$1.3 billion (8,500cr) & ~$300 million respectively.
He is an exceptionally kind human being and a generous philanthropist. At the age of 60, despite being advised against it by the doctors and the objections of his family, he volunteered to donate a kidney to a total stranger. The reason - "I wanted people to know that it is OK to donate one of your kidneys to save someone’s life provided you’re healthy."
He has nurtured an uncommon family comprised of his wife, two sons and their respective spouses. The family together runs four different B2C businesses across different sectors spanning household appliances, amusement parks, textiles and real estate. Kochouseph Chittilappilly, who has delegated himself out of a job in V Guard and Wonderla, two of the largest businesses in the group, today runs Veegaland Developers, the youngest business. Mithun Chittilappilly, his youngest son runs the flagship business- V Guard Industries. Arun Chittilappilly, his elder son runs Wonderla with his wife Priya, the amusement park business. His wife, Sheela Chittilappilly, started her own business in textiles called V Star.
How on earth did this postgraduate in Physics from an agriculture family with no background in business create such excellent brand-driven institutions in a state known as the graveyard of industries? How did a tiny acorn of $1,400, entirely borrowed, grow into mighty oak worth more than $1.5 billion?
It was a curious mix of qualities - stubbornness that began the business, unconventional decisions that led to antifragile strengthening of the business, and delegation that led to its scaling up. In short, it was a whole lot of intelligent fanaticism.
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