As India celebrates its 68th Independence Day, we take a look at Indians who made it big in London
Sri and Gopi Hinduja
The top 30 richest footballers are together worth £961m – Sri and Gopi Hinduja are worth more than ten times of that. Owners of the global conglomerate Hinduja Group, the duo are the not just the richest Indians in the UK, they are the richest people in the UK. Their business, spread across 37 countries, includes everything from trucks and lubricants to banking and healthcare.
Neighbours to the Queen, their 25-bedroom Carlton Terrace home mirrors the extent of their wealth.
Lakshmi Mittal and family
Lakshmi Mittal, very aptly named after the Indian goddess of wealth, is the poster boy for Indians in the UK. Chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steel making company, he spent eight years at the top of the list till 2013. He is now the third richest man in the UK.
Mittal’s best known for spending a whopping £60m on his daughter Vanisha’s wedding in 2004 – that’s more than triple the cost of the royal wedding in 2011. Hosted in Versailles Palace, the wedding event saw performances by Kylie Minogue and Bollywood superstars including Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai.
Sri Prakash Lohia
Sri Prakash Lohia heads Indorama, one of the world’s largest textile and plastics outfits. He has an Indonesian citizenship and according to Forbes, he is the sixth-richest person in Indonesia. A big fan of collecting art, Lohia claims he has the world’s second-largest collection of coloured lithographs. Oh and he’s married to Lakshmi Mittal’s sister.
Lord Paul and family
Like Mittal, Lord Swaraj Paul is a man of steel. He came to London in 1966 and set up steel manufacturer Caparo, which is worth a stonking £1.6bn. The steel business has operations over 80 locations across the world and boasts profits of £50m on sales of £921m.
Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources was the first Indian company to list on the London Stock Exchange. Agarwal grew up in the interiors of Bihar, India’s poorest state, and came to London to make it big. In a recent interview with the FT, Agarwal said: “Though I live in London, I have not come out of Bihar. I eat with my hands, I sing local countryside music, and no matter how much I am trying to improve my English, the same accent comes out.
“Sometimes I try to improve, and then I say, no, leave it . . . I will always remain the man on the street, there is no question of arrogance.”
Ajay Kalsi and family
Indian-born Kalsi made his bucks after getting a degree from Cambridge University and London School of Economics. According to the Sunday Times rich list, his gas goliath Indus Gas is now worth £1.09bn.
Jasminder Singh and family
Jasminder Singh came to the capital in 1973 from Kenya and ran a post office with his father. The father-son duo may have millions under their belt but they’re in a bitter dispute over the business.
Jasminder’s father Bal Mohinder Singh filed a law suit against his son arguing that under Sikh tradition he is entitled to a third of the family wealth.
Back in April Singh Sr lost the case. However, the family continue to live in the same seven-bedroom country house Tetworth Hall near Ascot racecourse.
Pharma pharaoh Yuruf Hamied had been running Indian drug giant Cipla for over five decades before announcing his retirement in February. Cipla supplies one third of the world’s HIV population with antiretroviral drugs. Last year, he led a deal with rival Merck to develop an HIV drug in India. He runs a free cancer hospital in Pune, western India and is known for his charity work in Africa.
“In Africa, Cipla is a temple and Dr Hamied is God,” Ajit Dangi, former head of Johnson & Johnson’s drug unit in India, told the media last year.
The Jatania brothers
Mike, George, Vin, and Danny Jatania received a collective £120m windfall last year by selling Lornamead, the personal care company which owns brands like CD, Finesse, Harmony, Vosene, Witch and Yardley. The brothers, whose roots are in Gujrat, are known to be very close-knit and live together in a block of flats in Marble Arch.
The Matharu brothers
The Matharu brothers, Raj, Harpal and Tony, started their hotels business by converting offices into luxury hotels. Together they run the Grange hotel chain which operates 17 luxury hotels in London.