Dubai – MENA Herald: Dr, Ravi Pillai, Chairman, RP Group of Companies has topped the list of 13 people from the south Indian state of Kerala included in the Top 50 Richest Indians rankings in the Gulf, announced by Arabian Business, the region’s leading business magazine.

Dr Pillai ranks No. 3 on the overall list of the 50 richest Indians in the region which is led by Sunil Vaswani, Chairman, Stallion Group, at No 1, while Micky Jagtiani, Chairman of Landmark Group stands at No.2.

The RP Group founder’s net worth has been estimated at US$4.6 billion, with his wealth built on the back of the Saudi Arabia-based RP Group which has wide-ranging investments in hospitality, construction and industrial development, healthcare and wellness, education and trading, and operates across Middle East, Africa, Australia and Asia.

The group is a successful global business network that is one of the largest employment providers in the Middle East with over 100,000 employees and has executed projects worth over $25 billion globally; the conglomerate has 26 business entities in 20 cities across nine countries with a prominent part of the firm being its oil & gas construction business, making it the largest industrial contractor in the Middle East.

Last year was a significant year for RP Group as it won large industrial construction contracts in the Gulf’s O&G sector worth over US$2 billion, while its real estate arm, RP Global, announced the construction of two major projects in the Downtown Dubai area for a combined cost of US$1.5 billion.

Dr Pillai also owns six hotels – four in India and two in Dubai, with a seventh hotel, a new Crowne Plaza in Dubai Marina, set to open this year. The RP Group’s hospitality division owns the Leela Raviz Kovalam, the most awarded five-star beachfront luxury hotel in Kerala.

The 13 Keralites are worth nearly US$20 billion, and form 26 per cent of the Top 50 list of Richest Indians with an estimated wealth of nearly US$60 billion, reflecting the southern Indian state’s growing influence in the regional economic scene.

Other notable Keralites to make the list this year are Yusuffali MA, Chairman of Lulu Group International, the leading retail group, who comes in No 2 among the list of richest Keralites. Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman of GEMS Education, the world’s largest K12 education provider, is at No 3.

Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman of Aster DM Group ranks fourth among the richest Malayalees in the region, making him the most successful Indians in the Gulf’s healthcare sector, followed by PNC Menon, Chairman, Sobha Group and Joy Allukkas, Owner of the Joyalukkas Group.

Arabian Business selected the 50 richest Indians estimating the value of their assets, shareholdings and projected company value were it to be floated on the stock market. The team also ascertained the value of the holdings of the richest Indians in equities, bonds, real estate and other assets.