Bringing Disneyland to Chennai
The VGP Group is not just into amusement parks but is also entrenched in the electronics and real estate industry. VGP Universal Kingdom is synonymous with fun and frolic. It is Chennai’s very own Disney Land. Retail PLUS catches up with Mr. V.G.P. Ravidas, the Managing Director of VGP Group
The name VGP is synonymous with entertainment. No wonder, because the word VGP triggers flashes of fun amidst the scenic locations in Universal Kingdom. But little does one know that the VGP group started their business empire with electronics. “V. G. Paneerdas was the founder and was the first to introduce the concept of the electronics showroom,” reveals Mr. V.G.P. Ravidas, Managing Director of VGP Group of companies which is into real estate also. “Moreover, we were the first one’s to kick start the hire-purchase formula,” he proudly exclaims.
So, how did VGP Universal Kingdome come into existence? “Even now, many of them know VGP as Golden Beach. Back then, we just had the beach and later on, we decided to add some small rides to amuse the children who come there,” he explains. The rest, as they say, is history. The small rides gave way to larger ones and in 1997, the VGP Universal Kingdom was started as a full-fledged amusement park. VGP Golden Beach is now VGP Universal Kingdom.
“Our main source of inspiration was the Universal Studios which are very famous in the United States. Since the architecture closely resembles the bygone Indian kingdom of Chola dynasty, we suffixed Kingdom. Hence, Universal Kingdome came into existence,” explains Ravidas. The architecture of VGP Universal Kingdom transports you to the Chola era and lets you capture the spirit of that time. “VGP Universal Kingdom has the largest footfall when compared to any other amusement park. We target the mass audience who find that our rates (Rs. 125) are affordable,” he says.
Amusement parks are not child’s play however! Running them is a mammoth task. But Ravidas manages it with élan. “My hobby is the visit amusement parks whenever I go on a trip abroad. This way, I can get an idea as to how I can improve VGP Universal Kingdom,” he smiles. With stiff competition from other amusement parks, VGP Universal Kingdom manages to attract more customers. “People come to amusement parks to get a totally different experience. Each time they come here, they find something different which is not found in any other amusement park,” he declares. VGP Universal kingdom has hosted many shows with international artistes, which are not done by any other amusement park in the world. “Leave alone the shows, the crowning glory of VGP Universal Kingdom is the beach which is a part of the amusement park. Now, which other amusement park boasts of a beach in its midst?” asks Ravidas.
The constant upgrading of rides is every amusement park’s need in order to keep running. This would mean only one thing - more thrilling rides! “Chennai is ideal for amusement parks because the weather is constant all around the year unlike Delhi where they are closed approximately for three months due to extremely cold weather,” explains Ravidas.
The VGP Group has been the pioneer in the arena of amusement parks and in the future they have a mall in the pipeline.
“VGP Universal Kingdom started the ball rolling. It was after this that other parks came into existence,” he says. Moreover, Chennai is the only city in the entire world to boast of four huge amusement parks! Chennai is the new destination for those looking to enjoy themselves in the frenzied rides at amusement parks.
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