R. N. Shetty

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Rama Nagappa Shetty
Born (1928-08-15) 15 August 1928 (age 90)
Spouse(s)Sudha Shetty
ChildrenSatish, Sunil, Naveen (sons)

Dr. Rama Nagappa Shetty is an Indian entrepreneur, philanthropist and an educationist.[1]

Early life[edit]

Rama Nagappa Shetty was born in Murudeshwar in Bhatkal Taluk, India in a family of farmers. His father was the Muktesar (Hereditary Administrator) of the Murudeshwar Temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. After completing high school education, Shetty started his career as a civil contractor in Sirsi.


The Gopuram in murudeshwara built through R N Shetty's financial help considered among the tallest in world.
The Shiva statue in murudeshwara built through R N Shetty's financial help considered among the tallest in the world.

In 1961, Rama Nagappa Shetty formed the R N Shetty & Company, a partnership firm. During the next four years, the company took up construction of three major projects - building bridges on Honnavar-Bangalore road. In 1966, he moved out of his native district and began operations from Hubli, a major city in northern Karnataka.[1]

In 1967, he formed Naveen Mechanised Construction Company Private Limited with other 7 civil contractors. The company bid for construction of Hidkal dam in Belgaum district. However, it did not live for long, suffering huge financial losses. In order to keep it alive other stakeholders in the company offered Shetty their share. Next year, he took over the company. In the next eight years, Shetty undertook several projects that nursed the company back to good health.[1] Both these companies have executed several major irrigation works and hydro power projects including construction of dams, canals, tunnels, bridges and buildings.[2] at places such as Hidkal, Tattihalla, Supa, Gerusoppa, Rajankollur, Gundalgera. The companies also built 18 tunnels for the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited and canals for the Upper Krishna Project.[1]

In 1975, he entered in the hospitality sector, by forming Naveen Hotels Limited. A five-star hotel was constructed to mark the group’s foray into hospitality business in Bangalore which was leased out to Taj Group. It is presently known as Taj Residency. Further, the hotels division constructed two more hotel properties in the Karnataka State, one at Hubli and a resort at Murudeshwar naming them Hotel Naveen and RNS Yatrinivas /Naveen Beach Resort respectively. Both these properties are managed by R N Shetty Group[1]

Diversifying further, Shetty established a manufacturing unit with the main aim of providing jobs to the local people of Karnataka. With this in view, Shetty established a ‘Mangalore Tiles’ tiles manufacturing unit in 1977 naming it Murudeshwar Tiles Private Limited. The unit with a capacity of 40,000 tiles per day is one of the largest Mangalore-tile units in the Coastal Karnataka region.[1]

In 1981, Shetty set up Naveen Structurals and Engineering Co Pvt Ltd, which specialises in skilled fabrication works, specific to construction industry. Their workshop in Hubli is highly sophisticated, and contains state-of-the-art equipment and machinery. It manufactures shuttering silos, crest gates and many other specialised structures in the past.[citation needed]

However, the group’s most prestigious industrial project took shape in 1987, when Shetty forayed into the manufacture of glazed ceramic tiles by setting up Murudeshwar Ceramics Limited (MCL), the only listed company in the group. Located at Hubli, MCL is one of the leading manufacturers of ceramic and vitrified porcelain floor and wall tiles in India. It also manufactures natural granites.[1] MCL is now in the process of setting up its second plant at Karaikal in Puducherry at a cost of Rs 40 crore to expand its capacity. The company reported Rs 4 crore net profit on a turnover of Rs 138 crore for the year 2002-03 and hopes to touch a total revenue of Rs 180 crore in the current year.[1]

In 1993, Shetty ventured into power sector with the setting up Murudeshwar Power Corporation Limited. The company has successfully developed and commissioned a mini hydel power project of 11.6 MW at Narayanpur Left Bank Canal in Bijapur district in 1999.[1]

The group has also taken the dealership of Maruthi Udyog Limited and has opened showrooms at Hubli, Bangalore (Yashwantpur and Hosur road) and Murudeshwar. One of its Bangalore showrooms is in fact the biggest in the country and has been rated as Maruti’s No 1 dealer in India for the last three years. His company has recently been awarded the Belgaum Bypass and Dharwad-Belgaum roadworks projects by National Highways Authority of India and roadworks at Maski in Raichur district by Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project.[1]

Shetty is also involved in a number of Philanthropic activities through the R. N. Shetty Trust established by him. The Trust runs a number of educational institutes(including RNS Institute of Technology ) and hospitals in Karnataka.[3][4][5]

A devout Hindu, Shetty is credited with the modernisation of the temple town of Murudeshwara as well as creating monuments in the town. The Murudeshwara Shiva temple and temple complex, including the 249 feet tall Raja Gopura, which is considered the tallest Gopuram in the Asia[6] as well as a huge towering statue of Hindu god Shiva in the temple complex considered the tallest statue of Shiva in the world standing at 123 feet (37 m).[7][8] were built by the finances provided by Dr. R.N. Shetty[6]

At present he is the owner of R N Shetty Group of companies which includes RNS Infrastructure Limited, RNS Maruti Suzuki (RNS Motors), Murdeshwar Ceramics and Naveen Hotel Limited and he is also Chairman of a chain of educational institutions under the R N Shetty trust.[9]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Bangalore University has awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Shetty in 2009[10] and in 2004 the Visvesvaraya Memorial Award was presented to Shetty by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (FKCCI)[11] [12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Aiyappa, Manu (16 August 2010). "Public Space Private Life Rama Nagappa Shetty". Times of India. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "100-bed hospital opened in Murudeshwar". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 22 February 2005.
  4. ^ http://www.rnsit.ac.in/
  5. ^ http://www.rnsit.ac.in/aboutus.html
  6. ^ a b Sahil online, TOI. "Murudeshwar Temple Now Tallest Gopuram in Asia". Daijiworld Media.
  7. ^ Newly constructed Shiva's statue in Bijapur is next to Murudeshwar statue
  8. ^ World's tallest Siva idol Archived 15 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ http://www.deccanherald.com/content/227794/F
  10. ^ "Honorary doctorates". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 30 April 2009.
  11. ^ "R.N. Shetty presented Visvesvaraya award". The Hindu.
  12. ^ "R.N. Shetty Photos".