The history of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group can be traced back to 1820, when Ramdutt Goenka came to Calcutta (now Kolkata) from a small town in Rajasthan, India. He arrived in this part of the eastern coast of India to do business with the British East India Company.
By the 1900s, the Goenkas had established themselves in diverse business sectors such as banking, textiles, jute and tea. For their outstanding contribution to business and the community, the Queen of England conferred knighthood on Sir Hariram Goenka and Sir Badridas Goenka.
In 1933, Sir Badridas Goenka became the first Indian to be appointed as the Chairman of the Imperial Bank of India (now the State Bank of India). He was later elected as the President of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in 1945.
Keshav Prasad Goenka (son of Sir Badridas Goenka) carried the spirit of entrepreneurship forward. In 1950, the Goenkas acquired two British trading houses - Duncan Brothers and Octavius Steel.
After the successful acquisitions in the areas of tea, automobiles, tyres, jute, cotton textiles and electric cables, Keshav Prasad Goenka handed over the reins of his business empire to his three sons.
One of the sons, Dr Rama Prasad Goenka (more prominently known as RP Goenka), established RPG Enterprises in 1979 with Phillips Carbon Black Ltd (PCBL), Asian Cables, Agarpara Jute and Murphy India as its constituents.
The 1980s witnessed further acquisitions by the Group; the first being that of CEAT Tyres India in 1981. The Group then went on to acquire KEC in 1982, Searle India (now RPG Life Sciences) in 1983, Dunlop Tyres in 1984, Gramophone Company of India Ltd (now Saregama India) in 1986, CESC in 1989, followed by Harrisons Malayalam, Spencer & Co and ICIM.
Sanjiv Goenka took over the reigns as Chairman of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group in July 2011.
CESC's existing operations in the Group's Power sector comprise generation and distribution of electricity to its 2.9 million customers across its licensed areas in Kolkata and Howrah, West Bengal.
A 2 x 300 MW coal fired thermal power project at Chandrapur in Maharashtra was commisioned by Dhariwal Infrastructure Limited (DIL), which is a 100% subsidiary of CESC Infrastructure Limited.
CESC had initiated commercial production at its first Wind Power project in Dangri, Rajasthan. The 24 MW project was implemented during the later part of the financial year 2012-13 by Surya Vidyut Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of CESC. The power from the project is being sold to State Discoms, under two separate power purchase agreements.
In 2012, Spen Liq Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CESC, purchased a majority stake in Firstsource Solutions Limited (FSL), one of India's largest BPO companies. FSL has delivery centres spread across India, the US, the UK, Ireland, Sri Lanka and Philippines. It serves over 100 global clients including 21 Fortune 500 companies and nine FTSE 100 companies.
Spencer's Retail Limited, a multi-format retailer runs 120 stores, including 37 Hyper stores in over 35 cities in India.
Late Dr Rama Prasad Goenka, the 'Chairman Emeritus' of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, as well as the Chairman of CESC Ltd, passed away in April 2013. Sanjiv Goenka took over as the Chairman of CESC Ltd after his father's demise.