Gopinath Pillai

Gopinath Pillai
Born 1937 (1937) (age 81)
Occupation Diplomat and business person

Priya Pillai and Preetha Pillai

Grandchildren: Arjuna Murthy,Aditya Murthy
Parent(s) K.S Pillai
Awards Padma Shri
National Day Award
NTUC Meritorious Award
NTUC Friend of Labour Award
SU Distinguished Alumni Award
MCD Award
Public Service Star Award BBM
Friend of IT Award
Website Official web site

Gopinath Pillai is a Singaporean diplomat of Indian origin[1] and business person. He is an Ambassador-at-large for the Government of Singapore.[2] He was honoured by the Government of India, in 2012, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.[3]


Gopinath Pillai was born in Singapore to K.S Pillai, a journalist who ran a daily, Kerala Bandhu, known to be the only Malayalam language daily published outside India.[2] He spent eight years of his childhood in the Indian state of Kerala where his family is from, as he could not return to Singapore after a visit to his native place due to the World War II.[2] Afterwards, with the closure of the daily, his family finances dwindled and Pillai opted for government funded education.[2] His graduate studies were at the University of Malaya where he was a member of the Socialist Club and secured the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1961.[4][5]

His career started as a journalist with Reuters[4][6] but had to abandon the job to fulfill his commitment to the government to work as a teacher, a prerequisite for availing government funding for education in Singapore.[2] Later, he joined Bangkok Bank[4] as Economic Research Officer and also worked as a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review.[2] He worked with the bank for five years and moved to Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd as an economist during which time Singapore became a separate country in 1965.[4] He stayed in Malaysia till 1969 and when country was rocked by riots of a racial nature, he returned to Singapore with his family to take up an appointment as the head of a Government run textile factory.[2] The next two moves were to United Industrial Corporation and then to the State Trading Corporation, Singapore[2] for a total service of around 10 years.[5][7]

Gopinath Pillai attends conferences and seminars and delivers keynote addresses.[1][6][8] He has authored two books, The History of Banking in Thailand[4][6] and The Political Economy of South Asian Diaspora: Patterns of Socio-Economic Influence.[9] Pillai is married and the couple has four children.[4]

Children:Preetha Pillai,the oldest child working in Conyers Dill and Pearman,a global law firm where .Prakash Pillai,a lawyer as well working in Claydens law firm .Priya Pillai,the youngest child a lecturer at a pre university institution in Singapore Grandchildren:Arjuna Murthy the oldest child and Aditya Murthy are both studying in the prestigious Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore .They live separately from the Father as he is in office as the President of the well known Valencia Club de Fútbol in Spain.If they are moving there is still unknown .

Government and diplomatic career

He is the first chairman of NTUC FairPrice when it was launched in 1983, a post he held till 1993[4] and remains as its Trustee.[10] The diplomatic career of Pillai started with his assignment with the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs in the Eighties.[4] In 1990, he was appointed as the non-resident Ambassador to Iran, a post he held till 2008.[4][11] Later, he also worked as the Singapore High Commissioner to Pakistan.[2][4] Pillai is an incumbent Ambassador-at-Large for the Government of Singapore.[2][4][8][12]

Business career

Gopinath Pillai launched KSP Group along with two of his friends, both Singaporeans of Indian origin, Sat Pal Khattar and Haider Sithawalla and holds the post of a Director of the company.[2][10] The company has since been rebranded as KSP Investments Private Limited, and serves as the holding company for Pillai's business investments.[2] He is reported to have invested in a number of businesses and holds positions in many of them. He is the executive chairman of Savant Infocomm, an IT company[4][5][10] , Playware Studios Pte Ltd [13][14] [15]and holds the chairmanship of companies such as Windmill International Private Limited[10][16] and Gateway Distriparks Limited and one of its subsidiaries, Snowman Logistics Limited.[2][5][10] He is the director of another Gateway Distriparks subsidiary, Gateway Rail Freight Limited[2] and JTC Consultancy Services (Holdings) Private Limited.[5] He is also the director of AEC Edu Group Private Limited[17] and holds directorship of two of its subsidiaries, AEC College and AEC Education Plc.[5][12]

Social career

Gopinath Pillai is the chairman of Management Board of the Institute of South Asian Studies,[4][8][10][12][12][18] a National University of Singapore funded research institute.[19] He also holds the post of the deputy chairman of Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital[4][6][8] a known healthcare centre in Singapore for rehabilitative care.[20]

Awards and recognitions

Gopinath Pillai, a recipient of Meritorious Award and Friend of Labour Award from National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)[5][10] and Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Singapore, received the MCD Award from the Ministry of Community Development and Sports, Singapore in 1998.[4][5][10] The next year, in 1999, he received the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star Award BBM).[4][5][10][12] Singapore Computer Society conferred on him the Friend of IT Award in 2001[5][10] and the Government of Singapore honoured Pillai, in 2009, with the National Day Award.[4] The Government of India included him in the Republic Day honours list in 2012 for the civilian honour of Padma Shri.[3][4][12]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Arabian Business". Arabian Business. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "Live Mint". Live Mint. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  3. 1 2 "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 "South Asian Diaspora". South Asian Diaspora. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Business Week". Business Week. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "LKY". LKY. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. "India Info". India Info. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Global Schools". Global Schools. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  9. Pillai, Gopinath (October 2013). The Political Economy of South Asian Diaspora: Patterns of Socio-Economic Influence. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137285966.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Savant Bio". Savant. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  11. "Arabian Business". Arabian Business. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Milken Institute". Milken Institute. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  13. "Gopinath Pillai - Chairman @ Playware Studios | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  14. Sek, Victoria, This S'pore Game Company Created An Epic 3D Board Game That Raised $122k On Kickstarter, retrieved 2018-03-17
  15. "". Retrieved 2018-03-17. External link in |title= (help)
  16. "Eastcom". Eastcom. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  17. "Bloomberg". Bloomberg. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  18. "ISAS". ISAS. 2014. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  19. "ISAS Home". ISAS. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  20. "AMKH". AMKH. 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.

Further reading

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