KOCHI: Shrikant Bhasi, promoter and chairman of the Carnival Group, which announced its 700-crore acquisition of Anil Ambani’s Big Cinemas on Monday, began his journey to entrepreneurship when he was in his 20s.
Angamali-born Bhasi, joined biscuit company Britannia as a trainee in Bhopal, the place where he grew up, back in 1988. In 1992, he founded soybean crushing company Action Management Group (AMG), along with Ravi Nigam, who was his senior colleague in Britannia, and founder of Tasty Bites eatables.
The turning-point came when Bhasi shifted his base to Mumbai as AMG faced rough weather following changes in government policies. In Mumbai, Bhasi started agro commodities trading (soya and allied products) as well as a trading firm for commodities like steel, iron ore in 2004, through Advantage Overseas. The company was into exports to South East Asia and South Korea, as well as import of palm oil and pulses for supplying in the domestic market.
Slowly, the group started spreading its wings to a range of other sectors, from multiplexes to food courts, film production to events management, IT to media and real estate. The flagship of the company is Advantage Overseas, which reported a turnover of nearly `50,300 crore in the 2013-14 financial year. Bhasi also has a multiplex in his hometown Angamali, which shows regional, national and international movies. The movies produced by his company AOPL Entertainment are ‘Violin’, ‘Second Show’, ‘Matinee’ and ‘Hangover’ (all Malayalam) and ‘War Chod Na Yaar’ (Hindi).