To provide an opportunity for new and rising ventures
to become established businesses with the right capital and expertise.
To nurture the best talents, ideas, and companies by seeding and empowering entrepreneurs to successfully manage their businesses on a daily basis, while increasing their stake in the organizations as they go along.
Key Events That Have Shaped the GP Group for Over a Century
GP Group was officially founded in Yangoon, Myanmar Named after two men, a merchant and his son – Ketsee and Devjee – the company was called Gangjee Premjee & Co, and specialized in trading rice sourced from Burma, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Gangjee Premjee & Co moved its operational base to Thailand and Premjee’s only son Chimanlal became the only non-Chinese rice trader in Bangkok.
The Premjee family later adopted the surname “Shah,” which means “merchant” or “trader” in the West Indian region of Gujarat. Chimanlal then became widely known as “the Shah of Bangkok” for his hospitality, extending an open-door policy to the local Indian community.
Chimanlal’s son, Kirit, was encouraged by his father to travel the world for fresh ideas and to meet with present and prospective customers. He returned from the trip with a realization that the company needed diversification. Thanks to his vision, Gangjee & Premjee & Co began dealing in a wide variety of commodities.
When Kirit was appointed Chairman of the Group, he continued to diversify, adding heavy industries such as coal and steel, to consumer goods like cooking oil and canned goods to the portfolio. He also formed new companies including the first Thai enterprise to manufacture raw pharmaceutical chemicals.
Kirit also guided the launch of Precious Shipping Ltd., the first dry bulk company to sail its way onto the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The company was renamed to G Premjee. It added real estate and construction ventures to its portfolio. By 1996, G Premjee owned or had interests in over 150 different companies. The company, now called the GP Group, enjoyed a remarkable recovery during the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997.
After graduating from Boston University, Kirit’s eldest daughter Nishita joined the Shah family business, serving as the director on various boards ranging from shipping and mining to pharmaceuticals and aviation.
With 44 vessels, Precious Shipping Ltd. became Thailand’s second largest shipping company. Its financial performance was ranked no. 1 internationally by the prestigious Marine Money magazine.
Nishita was appointed Managing Director of the GP Group. She became the Group’s new public face and was also included on the Top 20 list of richest tycoons by Forbes Asia.
Chairman Kirit Shah turned 60, while the company celebrated 145 years of its success as a family business.