Bollygarch

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A Bollygarch (a portmanteau of Bollywood and oligarch) is a multimillionaire Indian businessman or women who, like their Russian counterparts, wields significant influence over the social and political agenda through big business and some philanthropic work. The name is believed to have been coined by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs based in Chanakyapuri.

The influence of Bollygarchs is becoming increasingly multinational and many of them are choosing to relocate to London, England. Although India itself is moving fast there is still little access to sophisticated capital markets, therefore the entrepreneurs in question are migrating to London where their spending power is credited with propping up the UK housing market in recent years, among other things.[1]

Notable personalities[edit]

Below is a list of some of the most influential members of this group:

Anurag Dikshit[edit]

Despite pleading guilty to charges of breaking the laws governing online gaming in the United States (and incurring the fine of £185m), Dikshit is believed to devote most of his time to a Trust which funds projects to further medicine, education and the community in India, Gibraltar and the UK. Born in Jharkhand, India, Dikshit's first break came during the dotcom boom when he was working as a software developer in the United States and wrote the new company's betting software. He is now reported to be worth £559m.[2]

Cyrus Vandrevala[edit]

Cyrus Vandrevala is a private equity investor who began investing in technology businesses in his 20s and now has global investments in a multiplicity of public and private companies, ranging from telecommunications, infrastructure, energy and real estate to food and cement. To date, Vandrevala, through various investment groups, has invested over £6 billion across approximately 100 different companies.

Vandrevala has made major donations to the Elephant Family, a charity set up by Mark Shand (the Duchess of Cornwall's brother) in order to raise money and awareness regarding the endangered Indian elephant; as part of this effort (in partnership with the Elephant Parade), 260 hand-painted baby elephant models were placed around various London landmarks in the summer of 2010. Vandrevala and his wife, Priya, have also set up a foundation in their name – the Vandrevala Foundation – to help fund treatment for those suffering from multiple sclerosis and mental illness.

Lakshmi Mittal[edit]

Born into a business family from the Indian state of Rajasthan in 1950, Lakshmi Mittal founded the Mittal Steel Company in 1976, and it's now the largest steelmaker in the world. Mittal's $28.7bn fortune makes him not only the richest man in the UK[3] but also in Europe. His London house in Kensington Palace Gardens, is said to have set a property price record when it was bought for £70m in 2003.

Naresh Goyal[edit]

Naresh Goyal is the owner of Jet Airways, India's largest domestic airline. After starting out as public relations manager of Iraqi Airlines, he established Jet Airways in 1992.

Savitri Jindal[edit]

Savitri Jindal is the richest woman in India, with a net worth of $12.2bn.[4] A widow with nine children, she became non-executive chair of the Jindal Organisation on her late husband's death in a helicopter crash in 2005. Her husband, Om Prakash Jindal (known as O.P) started his career making buckets and pipes in an Indian village in the 1950s. The Jindal Organisation is now a multi-billion dollar business involved in all aspects of steel production, from mining iron ore to manufacturing. Jindal lives in Kensington, London with her four sons, all of whom are involved in the business.

Sunil Mittal[edit]

The son of a politician, Sunil Mittal began his business life after graduating from Punjabi University, as a bicycle parts dealer in New Delhi. His company, Bharti Group, is now the largest mobile phone operator in India, with over 121m subscribers. He is said to be working on a joint venture with WalMart in an attempt to reorganise the way Indians shop. The Times of India puts his net worth at $12bn.[5]

Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja[edit]

There are four Hinduja brothers – two of them, Srichand and Gopichand, have been based in the UK since 1979 when they moved to London to develop their father's trading business. They now reside in Carlton House Terrace, London. Allegedly the second richest Asians in Britain, with 25,000 people employed by the Hinduja Group around the world, they have contributed to the building of two Hindu temples in the south-east, and put in £1.5m to the Millennium Dome. Their wealth has been reported to be £8bn.[6]

Swaraj Paul[edit]

Lord Paul was born into a small foundry making steel buckets, tubs, trunks and farm equipment. He and his brother transformed the modest enterprise at home into an industrial group with interests in steel, engineering, pharmaceuticals, hotels, shipping and tea. After moving to Britain in 1966, Lord Paul became a peer in 1996. Paul remained in the UK, dedicating his development of the Caparo Group to his daughter Ambika's memory. In 1994, he rebuilt the London Children's Zoo in her name: when under treatment for Leukemia, the Zoo had been a favourite outing. Lord Paul and his family are said to be worth £500m.

Tom Singh[edit]

Tom Singh, graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, founded the fashion chain New Look in Weymouth in 1969 by borrowing £5,000 with his wife Kuljit to open the first shop. Singh still lives in Weymouth, even though the company now has over 1,000 stores in different countries, including 543 in the UK. He and his family are now worth £149m.

Vijay Mallya[edit]

Vijay Mallya is the Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines and is listed as India's third richest man. His property portfolio includes – as well as residences in California, New York, Monaco and all the main cities in India – a castle in Scotland, a country house in Berkshire and a London house. A former racing driver, Dr Mallya speaks eight languages, is a qualified scuba diver and pilot, loves music and collects art. He is also a member of the upper house of the Indian parliament.

Vijay and Bikhu Patel[edit]

Vijay and Bikhu Patel founded Waymade Healthcare, creating a business turning over £300m yearly from a single chemist's shop.[7]

References[edit]

  1. Aslet, Clive (24 April 2010). "The rise of the Bollygarchs". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  2. "TimesOnline: Anurag Dikshit". Business.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  3. "Lakshmi Mittal". Forbes. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  4. Houston, 6 May (PTI). "Savitri Jindal among top five world's richest mothers". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  5. Times of India: Ambanis, Mittal in Forbes' list of richest Indians Archived 26 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. '+relative_time(twitters[i].created_at)+'. "CEO World: Top 10 richest persons in India". Ceoworld.biz. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  7. "Waymade Group: History". Waymade.co.uk. Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.


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