P. Rajagopal (businessman)

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Rajagopal with his sons, 2010
Born 1947 (age 69–70)
Punnaiyadi, Tuticorin District, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Founder of Saravana Bhavan
Net worth Increase US$ 700 million
Children P. R. Shivakumar and R. Saravanan, sons[1]

P. Rajagopal (Tamil: பி.ராஜகோபால்) (born 1947) is the founder of Hotel Saravana Bhavan chain of restaurants. He is the son of a farmer who plied onion wholesale trade. He was born in a small village called Punnaiyadi, Tuticorin District, in 1947. In 1973, a few years after he came to Chennai, he started a general provisions store in K K Nagar. In 1981, he started a small hotel in K K Nagar.[2]

Life sentence[edit]

In 2009, the brand value of the restaurant chain plunged after the founder Rajagopal was sentenced to life imprisonment by Madras High Court after being convicted of the murder of employee Prince Santhakumar in 2001 and sexual harassment of Santhakumar's wife Jeevajothi. Santhakumar was a close friend of Jeevajothi, the daughter of one of his assistant managers. Rajagopal wanted to marry Jeevajothi, but she was interested in Santhakumar. After several warnings when they did not stop meeting, Santhakumar was kidnapped and his body was found a few days later near the Western Ghats mountain ranges.[3][4] Rajagopal is currently free on bail for medical reasons while his case is appealed to the Indian Supreme Court, with no resolution expected to occur anytime in the near future.[5]


  1. ^ "Saravana Bhavan owner sentenced to life". express buzz. 20 March 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hotel Saravana Bhavan". Chennaibest.com. 
  3. ^ Founder convicted of murder and sexual harassment
  4. ^ "Saravana Bhavan founder gets life for murder". The Hindu. 19 March 2009. 
  5. ^ Romig, Rollo. "Masala Dosa to Die For". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2014.