Shri Kanumuru Venkata Krishna Raju, was the spirit of humane entrepreneurship in the Indian Industry. Among the new generation of technocrat entrepreneurs, KVK as he was fondly known, occupied a unique position in many respects – He had a unique background, he was unique in his entrepreneurial approach and had unique qualities as a person. He was a perfect combination of a self-made professional manager-cum-entrepreneur with an extraordinary human touch.
Shri KVK Raju was born in Juvvalapalem, West Godavari District, AP, in a humble agricultural family.
A graduate from the Banaras Hindu University and the Madras Institute of Technology, he went on to pursue his higher education at the Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota, USA. He specialized in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.
After a short stint in USA, Shri Raju returned to India, and worked for Caltex Oil Refinery, Orient General Industries, Associated Electrical Industries. He later joined Union Carbide of India, where he served for 15 years. It was during this period that his deep-rooted urge to contribute to the industrial development, impelled him to plunge into entrepreneurship.
In 1976 Shri Raju along with his son Shri K S Raju, launched the Nagarjuna Group, by establishing Nagarjuna Steels Limited. Nagarjuna Steels served as a nucleus around which the astounding growth took place in the following years. Today, the Nagarjuna Group has grown manifold, to become a multi-crore corporate conglomerate, and has diversified into fields like fertilizers, agro chemicals and petroleum products.
Shri Raju strongly believed in the principle of “Service to Society through Industry”.
One of his noteworthy contributions is the green ecology set up around the Kakinada Fertilizer Plant. It is spread over 600 acres, and comprises more than 4,00,000 trees, water bodies, bird and animal sanctuaries, and stands as a testimony to his commitment and love for protecting and preserving the ecological system.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to industry and society, scores of awards and distinctions were conferred upon Shri KVK Raju. The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University conferred upon him the title “Doctorate of Science”. Shri KVK Raju was also the recipient of awards like, the Manager of the Year from Hyderabad Management Association, Prof Y Nayudamma Memorial Gold Medal, Udyog Ratna Award, prestigious Dr. K L Rao Award for Excellence, Productivity Award and Industrial Promotion Award from Government of Andhra Pradesh.