Families have created of many of the world’s most successful businesses. No matter how successful, however, a family involved in business is not immune from breakdown. Unfortunately, this possibility has become reality for the well-known Hinduja family, who find themselves at the centre of a series of lawsuits, as recently reported by Bloomberg.
Founded by Parmanand Hinduja in 1914, in the Sindh region of British India, the one-time commodities-trading firm was rapidly diversified by his four sons, with early success coming from distributing Bollywood films outside India. Now in London, the family is neighbours with Queen Elizabeth; their Carlton House Terrace a short stroll away from Buckingham Palace.
With a collective net worth of about $15 billion, the Hinduja brothers have always presented a united front, with little to suggest a divergence in philosophy. With dozens of companies, including six publicly traded entities in India, the closely held Hinduja Group employs more than 150,000 people in 38 countries, across truck-making, banking, chemicals, power, media and healthcare.
What was once a steadfast business empire, however, is now on the precipice of evolution. Karam Hinduja, the 31 year old grandson of the eldest brother, Srichand Hinduja, is now asking for the once unthinkable; that the group’s assets be broken up. The young and ambitious entrepreneur wishes to establish his own vision of the future, independent of the past.
As lawsuits piles up in the courts of London and Switzerland over control of the group, Srichand and his brothers Gopichand, Prakash, and Ashok cling to the family motto; “everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone.” But the conglomerate of 107 years may be about to encounter one of life’s ancient lessons; the only constant is change.