Sentini Group, an emerging, manufacturing conglomerate is set to move into the retail segment with mall developments. It plans to invest upto ₹500 crore in the next four years to build five-six malls in the southern States.

The Hyderabad-based Group with a turnover of ₹2,000 crore, has one mall in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The retail sector promises to be the future, especially the whole range of essential products, said Tipirneni Seshagiri Rao, Founder and Chairman. An entrepreneurial venture of Seshagiri Rao, who left three decades in government service to start the Group in 1999 has diversified interests in manufacturing, infrastructure, IT, alcohol, transport, hospitality, healthcare and sSecurity.

New CPVC unit

The Group is going to commission in September a ₹240 crore CPVC pipe manufacturing plant with a capacity of 20,000 tonnes a year in Nellore district, he said.

On the expansion front, growth will be seen in transport, IT and Infra projects. The company is a leader in manufacture of fire tenders (trucks). It produces 900-1,000 trucks at the Hyderabad unit and supplies to most of the States.

The journey

It began its journey two decades ago, manufacturing ceramic tiles for Johnson’s under a joint venture with a plant in Krishna district. Today, it’s capacity in two units is 10 million sq m per annum.

The family-owned conglomerate has firmed up plans to double its turnover to ₹4,000 crore by 2024. So far it has made ₹1,000 crore investments. “We will raise bank debt and internal accruals to shore up expansion and diversification”, Seshagiri Rao told BusinessLine . In early 2018, Sentini sold off the majority stake in its sanitaryware company, with a million units per year capacity to Lixil Group of Japan for approximately ₹250 crore earlier, it sold a IT venture to Cyient for about $20 million.

The Group employs 2,000 permanent staff and plans to grow the numbers substantially as it expands into labour intensive sectors, says Seshagiri Rao, the 76-year-old, who did his MBA in the second batch of Andhra University, Visakhaptanam in 1965.

In IT, Sentini Geosol specialises in data security, Artificial Intelligence and networking. It is executing a project for New York disaster management and soon in Atlanta too. The company run by his son, T Srinivas has 120 staff in India and 80 in the US.

Sentini has executed two residential projects in Bengaluru and more are in the pipeline.