April 14, 2024
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GOKULAM GOPALAN – THE MAN AND HIS EMPIRE

“When I decided I should become a businessman, I did not have any confusion on what business
I should start.” Every word spoken by Mr Gokulam Gopalan had a sense of iron-clad certainty to
it. The world lacked certainty and people who would stand their ground, regardless of the
circumstance. Be it his principles or actions, they were set in stone.
But the man he is today didn’t emerge overnight, it was molded through the passage of time and
space. Born in a small village near Vadakara in Kerala as A.M Gopalan, he grew up much like
everyone else. Chathu and Maadhu, his parents were humble people. After securing an
undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Government Brennen College in Thalassery, he set
foot into the rat race we refer to as ‘earning a living’. With a bit of his heart set on acting, he
decided to move into Chennai, a city where film was more than simply motion pictures. Chennai
welcomed him with open arms. As a city which ranked people according to their efforts and not
simply their caste, religion or political ideology; Mr Gokulam Gopalan fit right in. Soon after which, he
tied the knot with Jalaja. The couple was blessed with three children; Baiju Gopalan, Lijisha
Gopalan, and Shabareesh Gopalan.
It was during one of his days in Chennai that he met a doctor who happened to be the one who’d
incidentally set a new spin on his life. The doctor found the young man impressive and offered
him his first job as a medical representative. Realizing that his financial situation was rather dire,
he wondered and pondered on how he could ‘earn’. And he decided to do what he, his father and
everyone in his hometown knew; chit business. He established a mini-chit fund with a mere ten
members and a monthly installment of Rs. 60 per person. The little startup which made a bit of
extra cash turned into one which made an annual turnover of over Rs. 500 crore. And from a
witty financial plan emerged Gokulam Group, an empire which conquered indeed. Currently, his
chit fund and finance company, Gokulam Chit Funds and Finance Private Limited, is around 63
years old. This six-decade-old company started in Chennai, and has as many as 473 branches
across the country.
As a follower of Sri Narayana Guru, Mr Gopalan didn’t fail to realize the delicate importance of
education in the modern world. Education wasn’t simply a way to earn a living in the future, but
a way to view and understand the world for everything it really is. The world is in dire need of
people who would change its doomed fate, and change comes about after an understanding of
reality. But education, higher education, in particular, didn’t fall into everyone’s lap. It was for
the wealthy man. Mr Gopalan found the reality troubling and strived toward a world where the
common man could learn. Currently, he oversees a number of educational institutions around the
globe, with a focus on the Middle East. One of the Group’s largest contributions is the Dovecote
Green Primary School in Dubai. The name Sree Gokulam Public School is now well-known and
esteemed throughout Kerala. In the state, the group operates more than seven schools and three
arts colleges.
While education stands upon a pedestal, alongside rests another giant; healthcare. With every day
that passes by, humanity learns the subtleties of human life and how it could be wiped out in
seconds. COVID-19 arrived as a mere virus and departed along with a few million lives. While
money lay as an iron curtain for many, the lack of hospital beds remained an equally high wall
for the patients to leap over. The pandemic articulated the extent of our healthcare services and
how the world was in desperate need of more people in the healthcare industry. But it wasn’t a
mission for one, it was for humanity as a whole. Mr Gokulam Gopalan did his part, ensuring the world was
a little better off than it was yesterday. The Sree Gokulam Medical College and Research
Foundation is a valuable asset to the state’s medical education sector. The Group’s college
provides world-class medical education and is one of the state’s most promising medical schools.
There is a separate block for the elderly at the medical college. The block largely serves the
underprivileged. The Gokulam Group owns GG Hospital (Trivandrum), one of the fastest
developing multi-speciality hospitals in this region of the world.

Gokulam Gopalan Sree Gokulam Group of Companies

Gokulam Gopalan

Amongst all of the good Mr Gopalan had done for the world, he made time to return to his
interests as well. As a prominent producer as well as actor, Mr Gopalan left his footprint in the
film industry as well. A number of films Malayalis hold close to their heart like Kerala Varma
Pazhassi Raja and Kayamkulam Kochunni carry the Gokulam Group’s production name. Mr.
Gokulam Gopalan was notable for being the producer of the first film directed by Tamil Superstar Vijay’s
father, Chandrasekhar. He had also acted in two films named Netaji and Clint in the year 2017
and 2019 respectively. Alongside the film industry, the Gokulam Group holds a significant place
in television as a major stakeholder in a rapidly growing Malayalam Television Channel, Flowers
TV, and a Malayalam news channel, 24. In the midst of it all, Mr Gopalan got the opportunity to
be a distributor for the latest TV series, Maha Guru, which aired on Kaumudy TV. As a producer,
he has debuted in no less than 15 films. He served as a film distributor for two films, two
television serials, and a television series as well
Some of his hospitality ventures include Gokulam Park (Chennai), Gokulam Park (Coimbatore),
Gokulam Park Sabari (OMR, Chennai), Gokulam Park Hotel & Convention Centre (Kochi), Sree
Gokulam Nalanda Resorts (Nileswaram), Sree Gokulam Vanamala (Guruvayur), Sree Gokulam
Residency (Thrissur), Hotel Gokulam Fort (Thalassery), and Gokulam Grand Hotel and Spa
(Bengaluru).
With a face in every corner of business, hospitality, entertainment, education, logistics, food and
manufacture; Gopalan Groups stands out front as a mission that succeeded. Providing
employment to over 11,000 people, hundreds of families earn their daily bread under the
establishment of Mr Gopalan. Some of his notable achievements include Chairman of Sree
Narayana Sahodara Dharmma Vedhi (SNSDV) and the president of Sree Narayana Dharma
Paripalana Yogam (SNDP Yogam) branch in Chennai. He also received the renowned “GEM OF
INDIA,’96” and UDYOG RATHNA,’97 awards in honour of his contribution to society through
his business ventures. He was also honoured with the State Forum of Bankers Club’s “Business
Man of the Year” award. The award was presented by former President Ram Nath Kovind and
recognises Shri Gokulam Gopalan’s invaluable contributions to the financial sector in Kerala,
even during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Another one of his notable
accomplishments is receiving the award Multibillionaire Business Achiever (MBA) Award.
For the readers out there seeking inspiration, take it from the humble young man who arrived in
Chennai with nothing more than a bit of will to make something for himself. The man who he
has grown into today didn’t have his cards all lined up and neither did he know every step of the
way. But none of it stopped him getting to where he is today.
As a man who considers “social service a divine practice”, Mr Gokulam Gopalan has indeed served
humanity. With an effort to grow society and aid the needy, the story of Mr Gokulam Gopalan isn’t just a
tale of human service but also one that narrates the unimaginable potential of working towards
one’s goals.

Gokulam Gopalan Sree Gokulam Group of Companies

Gokulam Gopalan & Family

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