One of the most prominent and respected businessmen of India and the Chairman of Videocon chain of companies, Venugopal Dhoot is responsible for many successes, immense popularity and growth of the group.. He is also the 53rd richest person of India with the total monetary value of 1.55 billion dollars in 2013. He lives with his wife, Rama Dhoot and two children, Anirudh and Surbhi. His younger brothers are Member of Parliament in the present BJP government at the center, Raj Kumar Dhoot and Pradeep Kumar Dhoot.
He is a huge cricket fan and plans to buy an IPL team for himself. He has launched a cricket training school in Kolkata to nurture young cricketers between ages 10 and 17 to be guided by the cricket star SauravGanguly. The name of this academy is “The Videocon School of Cricket”. Apart from his interest in cricket, he is an environment freak. He has been acknowledged for completing a project of afforestation which aimed to plant 2 million teak trees across India.
He was born on 30th September, 1951. He completed his graduation from Ferguson College of engineering in Pune and presently he is the Promoter as well as Chairman of the distinguished company. He had to make a way for himself with the only motto coming to his rescue being hard work is the key to success despite the fact that his father started the chain of companies. With the technological advancement, starting a business such as Videocon, can be tricky. However, Dhoot managed it all like the king that he is.
His entrepreneurship began early with his father NandlalMadhavlal Dhoot who was an Indian industrialist who made his earlier fortune in the sugarcane and cotton industry. Nandlal Dhoot was the one who founded Videocon Corporation and other business ventures such as Videocon Electronics which were developed by Venugopal to an all new level. The company’s major breakthrough came when it received one of India’s first licenses to manufacture color TVs.
- b) A small fall
Nandlal Dhoot wanted to open a sugar mill and he did manage to open one too. However, from here began to arise many problems. Nandlalji faced the huge problem of electricity in neighboring villages which seemed to be a problem with no solution.
- c) The ultimate comeback
He countered this problem, however, by beginning the first ever Industrial Revolution in Maharashtra with the support of some other people. Over time, he introduced strategies and ways to make Maharashtra the hub of Indian industrial activity. He was given the title ‘The Pioneer of industrial activity’.
As he saw the changing times, he changed with it and introduced his three sons into business as well in the early 1980s and decided to take the ultimate decision which was to change the life of his son Venugopal forever. With the technical collaboration with Japan-based Toshiba Corporation and the reliable support of his three sons, he founded Videocon in 1984.
- d) The soaring expansion
They gained their first major breakthrough on receiving one of India’s first license to manufacture color televisions. And with that Videocon started the manufacture of B&W and Color televisions. In 1989, the company launched home entertainment systems and air conditioners which was followed by the manufacture of CRT glass shells at Gujarat around the mid of 90s. By 1995, the company had brought on refrigerators and coolers to its list of services too.
Just within a decade of the start of the company, Venugopal took the reigns of the company into his able hands and transformed the company into one of India’s leading brand of color televisions. From here began the actual soaring rise of the company which took it to newer heights every day.
- Consumer Electronics
Consumer products like color televisions were the priority of the company from the very first day of its founding. It increased to the manufacture of air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens and many other home appliances as technology advanced. Through a multi-brand strategy, the company holds one of the largest sales and services network in India.
For a long time, Videocon remained unbeatable when it came to Consumer Products. However, with the coming of Korean companies in the Indian market things have changed a bit. Yet the market position of Videocon is still at #3 even after the exponential rise in competition.
- Oil and Gas
After consumer products, the company diversified into Oil and Gas exploration too in October 1994. With the signing of the Production Sharing Contract for the RAVVA Oil and Gas offshore Field off Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Videocon joined as a 25% non-operating partner. This division became a huge asset in terms of expansion of the company. Their RAVVA oil field is widely known to be with one of the lowest operating costs in the world and produces an astonishing 500,000 barrels of oil per day.
In the year 2006, Videocon Group also diversified their business by successfully winning the bid for Offshore Blocks in Timor Sea and Sultanate of Oman. Thus, Videocon went international within two decades of its founding. Today, the group holds a huge share interest in multiple international oil and gas concessions through its various subsidiaries and affiliates in Brazil, Indonesia, and East Timor which means a lot for Indian business in oil and gas.
A dead investment made in Mozambique recently turned out to be successful when they discovered gas. The company’s investment rose more than tenfold in just a matter of three years. It seems difficult to be considered real but Venugopal’s Mozambique gas field has the potential for producing six times the reserves of Reliance and Bharat Petroleum.
After a successful phase in Oil and Gas business, it was the turn of retail to come under the umbrella of Videocon. Presently, Videocon owns three major retail brands which are Next, Planet M &DigiWorld.
Next Retail India Ltd was founded in 2003 and is one of India’s largest retailing consumer electronics chain. It holds more than thousand showrooms across India as of now. Planet M was a music retail store founded by The Times Group (BCCL) and was sold to Next Retail India Ltd. for $32 Million in the year 2007. It is currently spread across 140 locations in India.DigiWorld was founded in the year 2011 and is an exponentially growing multi-brand consumer electronic and home appliances retail store chain in India. It is located in most of the urban and semi-urban areas of India.
- Mobile Phones & Telecommunications
Videocon moved to the Mobile Phones and Telecommunications arena in the year 2009 most strategically when mobile phones were on a huge demand. The company launched a new wing, wherein, they went on to introduce a range of cell phone models for the local Indian consumers.Within a short period of time, Videocon also launched a number of handsets which range from basic color FM phones to high-end Android devices in the technologically advancing world.
In 2010, Videocon also launched another company of theirs called ‘Videocon Telecommunications Limited’ in an attempt to provide mobile service operations across India, which was in perfect sink with their current business of mobile phones.This was a very strategic move and with this Videocon also went on to provide different schemes to its consumers such as the concept of ‘Zero’ paisa per second with bundled SIM cards of Videocon mobile services.More recently, the company has launched its own flagship smart phone called ‘Videocon A55HD’ in India for a price of Rs. 13,499.
While Videocon launched their Mobile & Telecom wing, they also launched another subsidiary in DTH sector called D2H at around the same time. Being one of the first companies to offer DTH service, Videocon used to offer its consumers LCD and TVs with a built-in DTH satellite receiver with sizes ranging from 19 to 42 inches to promote their new business venture. They offer 500 channels and services which include 28 HD channels, 21 Active Music Services and one 3D channel all in one package.
Videocon d2h as of January 2014 has a whopping 11 million subscribers as compared to its direct competitors like Airtel digital TV, Reliance Big TV, DD Free Dish, Dish TV, Sun Direct and TATA Sky.
The company has, since, transformed into a group of companies which collectively amount to a $5 Billion conglomerate with an amazing employee strength of more than 15000 members. The company is widely known to have never had a single day’s manpower loss in the last 15 years owing to any problem. This group of companies are spread across 17 sites in India, mainland China, Poland, Italy and Mexico. There diversified portfolio gives them the trustworthy status of being acknowledged by other industries and countries.
Today the group’s core areas of business are consumer electronics and home appliances which they started from. However, they also hold a strong presence in fields like DTH, power, oil exploration and telecommunication.
Image Credit: indianexpress.com
In 2005, Videocon acquired the Color Picture Tube (CPT) businesses from Thomson S.A which had manufacturing, support research and development facilities in Poland, Italy, Mexico and China at that time. When Videocon entered the race for bidding in November 2004, there were 16 other bidders which included well-known brands like LG, Philips, Samsung and Matsushita, Daewoo and several Chinese manufacturers and Videocon stood a thin chance to win beating all competitors. They managed success here as well.
Industry insiders believe that the major reasons behind this acquisition were a tremendous cost cutting, vertical integration and rationalization of product profile to name a few important ones. Videocon also went official to say that “The word is out in the world that India and Indian companies are not just a good bet by themselves, but also a hedge against China.”
Venugopal had also tried his hands at lottery business, acquiring Daewoo, Indian Airlines, HPCL and BPCL. However, he was meant to be elsewhere and pretty much in the line of the top successful people of India.
Awards and Achievements
Videocon was noted as the “the proud face of Global India” by Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Venugopal Dhoot appointed President of “Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)”
Dhoot appointed President of “Electronic Industries Association of Marathwada”
He was also appointed Member of Advisory Committee of “Poona University Information Employment & Guidance”
Appointed Adviser to the Government of Orissa for Industrial Development of the state
Was ranked 36th in the ‘Top 50 Power List’ by India Today in 2009
Was awarded with “MarathwadaBhushan Award” in 2005
These are few of his achievements. There is a quote that remains close to his heart – “An entrepreneur is an ‘opportunist’, in the sense of being good at spotting an opportunity or, creating one where none existed before.”He has quite successfully proved this quote correct with his hard work and dedication and evolution.