Millennium Post

Hinduja bros UK’s richest Indians; Lakshmi Mittal 2nd

The India-born brothers G P Hinduja and S P Hinduja topped the ‘Asian Rich List 2016’ released here and the annual rankings showed that they had added £1 billion to their personal fortune in a year to be worth an estimated £16.5 billion. The ‘Asian Rich List’ assesses the total wealth of Britain’s top 101 richest Asians and is compiled by UK-based publishing house Asian Media and Market. Steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal was ranked second in the list, released by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna.

The fortune of Mittal, however, has plummeted by £3.3 billion to £6.4 billion. Leading NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul is listed as 15th richest with a fortune worth £500 million. This year’s analysis shows that the UK’s richest Asians have their fortunes worth £55.54 billion, up from £54.48 billion in 2015. 

The highest riser and a new entrant is Cyrus Vandrevala, with £2 billion, at number five.  He moved to London with his wife Priya, having made his money in the USA in the Internet business. He is now in private equity and real estate. Prakash Lohia, chairman of Indorama Corporation, is listed 3rd richest with a fortune worth £3 billion. 

The Arora brothers — Simon, Bobby and Robin — owners of discount retail chains are the 4th richest with a fortune worth £2.1 billion. Within the Hinduja group — a conglomerate with interests across automotive, real estate and oil — Gulf Oil, Ashok Leyland, IndusInd Bank and Hinduja Global Solutions appear to have done particularly well. 

According to the Asian Rich List, Gopi Hinduja, co-chairman of the Hinduja group, does not think that wealth should be measured only or even mainly by how much there is in someone’s bank account. 

“If you consider one to be wealthy or rich only because of his money, you are totally wrong,” he said.  “I consider someone to be wealthy and rich if he has good friends, good contacts, good relationships. If you want to calculate my wealth by counting my money, then you are wrong,” he said.

“My father always told his children, ‘Act local but think global’ and be diversified in your businesses. Don’t be in one sector, be in different sectors, and also be spread geographically. Don’t be in just one country so that you are always balanced. If one sector is not doing well, the other will.” 

Gopi Hinduja said, “My message is very clear. Be diversified; be in different countries and you will never have shocks. I have not seen any adverse impact on our businesses because we are spread across 38 countries and reach a hundred countries.” 

“Since the recession in 2008, the US has picked up. However, everyone is now nervous about China where the GDP growth has fallen to between 6 per cent and 6.5 per cent. But people forget the trillions of dollars China has in its reserves.”  He said that the country that offered the best investment potential is India. “India is the best destination. In India today your GDP is 7.3 per cent — plus a lot of reforms are going to come in. We have a good Budget,” he said.

He said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a good goal but his problem is similar to that of Manmohan Singh — and that is implementation. So he has to have a team to implement what he is doing, but I think he is making improvements. Maybe in the next six months we will see there will be a structure where things started getting implemented. If you are in the private sector, you have huge opportunities.” 
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