Mallineni Rajaiah , who came to Vijayawada with a good luck charm his mother gave him, is now the chairman and MD of Vijay Agro Products Pvt. Ltd. and Taj Gateway Hotel with an annual turnover of Rs. 200 crore

Leaving behind his village Amanacharla in Nellore district, he came to the ‘City of Victory’ in 1968 as an ordinary employee of a private solvent extraction company.

All he had was a Rs.2-coin clasped tightly in his fist, a good luck charm his mother gave him while seeing him off, an abundance of hope and of course, a steely grit to make it big in life.

Meet Mallineni Rajaiah, a prominent industrialist who is credited with placing Vijayawada a notch higher by bringing into the city the landmark Taj Group of hotels –Hotel Taj Gateway. Today, the businesses he is involved in fetch him an annual turnover of Rs. 200 crore. Mr. Rajaiah is the Chairman and Managing Director of Vijay Agro Products Pvt. Ltd. at Enikepadu and Taj Gateway Hotel.

In 1973, he set up his own enterprise. “I burnt my fingers but it did not deter me from making a fresh attempt two years later”.

In 1980, he started a solvent extraction unit and after three years, he launched the agro company. He then gradually diversified his business into pisciculture, cold storage and hospitality sector.

In 2007, the much-awaited Gateway Hotel came into operation. “I bought a site in the heart of the city and wanted to build a landmark structure here. Many friends and well-wishers warned me. But I followed my gut instinct and went ahead and here we are,” he says, letting out a winning smile.

“We are far ahead of others. This is only the beginning,” he says dropping broad hints that he has many more major projects up his sleeve.

Known for being vocal about perennial apathy of the successive governments towards Seemandhra region, Mr. Rajaiah says he is not against the State division. “I resent the manner in which we have been thrown out like an abandoned child. There are several unanswered questions causing a great deal of unrest among people in this region,” he says.

It is a misconception that there is no land available in Krishna district, he argues, informing that there are more than 27,000 acres of forest, temple and government land in East Krishna which can be put to good use.

Mr. Rajaiah foresees a bright future. “We are efficient, hard-working and good entrepreneurs. There is no dearth of aptitude but we need to bring back our youth who are away for want of good jobs,” he says.

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