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Wednesday April 24, 2024

Indian father and son battle for billion-dollar empire

By AFP
January 03, 2019

NEW DELHI: Vijaypat Singhania thought he was keeping his billion-dollar Indian textile empire in the family when he gifted control of the Raymond Group to his son Gautam three years ago.

But their relationship has disintegrated spectacularly since, with the father accusing the son of cheating him out of a exclusive apartment and of unceremoniously kicking him out of the company offices.

Vijaypat now bitterly regrets his decision, which he claims was made because of "emotional blackmail", marking the latest in a long long line of high-profile family feuds to scar corporate India.

The 80-year-old transformed a small textile business into a household name in India, and the Raymond Group today claims to be the world´s biggest producer of high-quality worsted wool suits.

It is yet another success story for one of South Asia´s great entrepreneurial families, different branches of the Singhania family have interests in cement, dairy and tech.

India ranks third in the world for the number of family owned conglomerates, behind China and the United States, according to a recent Credit Suisse report.

And with more than its fair share of power struggles and a new generation itching to take control, some analysts say the country needs more global corporate standards to better govern such businesses.It may help avoid the kind of sparring that happened in the Ambani family.Mukesh Ambani, currently Asia´s richest man, fought with his brother Anil for years over the Reliance conglomerate after their father Dhirubhai died without leaving a will.Hostilities were far more intense between liquor and property baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep, who killed each other in a 2012 shootout as they fought over their company.

And assault accusations have flown between billionaires Shivinder and Malvinder Singh as they battle for the family pharmaceutical empire.