End of an era: SP Hinduja passes away at age 87

Read the details of SP Hinduja's life story.

Recently the world was hit with the sad news that SP Hinduja, the business tycoon and family patriarch, died at the age of 87. He was pivotal in the business giant’s success story. He, along with his brothers, turned a modest firm into a multibillion-dollar conglomerate.

A brief Introduction to the Hinduja Group

The Hinduja business started from a humble entrepreneurial aspiration in the 20th century in undivided India. Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja, born into a Sindhi family, established this business in 1914. He took his first step in the business field of retailing commodities. PD Hinduja’s entrepreneurial mind enabled him to take his business outside India and he opened his first office in Iran. The patriarch Parmanand is credited with creating a stream of trade between Persia (Iran) and India.

The office in Iran was running smoothly until the ‘Iranian Revolution’ in 1979. The Hinduja conglomerate then shifted its international base to Europe. After shifting the commercial base to Europe, Srichand P Hinduja and his siblings implemented various strategies to expand the business.

The second generation of the Hinduja Group decided that the newly liberalised economy was a good time to expand their business and invest more efforts into the export relations of the corporation. The corporation under the leadership of the four brothers soared to new heights. From a small-time trading firm in Shikarpur in Pakistan, it is now an international business firm with a valuation of over a billion dollars.

Since its establishment in 1914, the international corporation has also dipped its toes into diverse sectors. The Hinduja Group still functions as a family business, and this is visible in the homage to their patriarch, PD Hinduja.

SP Hinduja’s legacy

SP Hinduja is fondly called SP amongst his business associates. He is the eldest amongst the four brothers and the chairman of the Hinduja Group. Completing his education from Mumbai, he joined the family business in 1952, following which Gopichand Hinduja, his brother, also came into the fold in 1959.

SP Hinduja firmly believed that a free-market economy was the solution in developing countries and nations where there existed a heteronormative fabric of identity. He opined that a free-market economy can help bridge the culturally inevitable gaps and bring about social cohesion.

The business baron, through his various achievements and business acquisitions, became an important conglomerate figure. Srichand Hinduja was the main shareholder of the Hinduja Group. The second generation expanded the company and diversified their investments into various sectors such as banking, finance, oil, gas, automotives, media, healthcare, and power generation. A notable difference in the management of the company after the brothers took over was that the international conglomerate established a strong presence in the global market, acquiring companies, and forming joint ventures.

Early life

The business baron started his entrepreneurship journey by transferring iron ore to Iran from India and exporting onions and potatoes to Iran as well. He managed his father’s textile and trading industry, based in Bombay in India and Tehran in Iran.

Predicting the shift in the Indian economy and the move to Europe from Iran led him to clutch the chances of diversifying the Hinduja Group to what it is today.

Some significant achievements as the Chairman of Hinduja

Notable achievements during his tenure as the chairman of the Hinduja Group include the formation of IndusInd Bank. He was successful in establishing this bank with enough investment from his NRI investors. SP Hinduja’s efforts in founding the IndusInd Bank were a major milestone in his career.

The IndusInd Bank was started with the primary objective of serving the NRI community. The business tycoon SP Hinduja, eldest of the brothers, was opportunistic in his approach and people close to him said that he had a unique sense of predictability in the case of investment.

SP Hinduja was a teetotaler and a strict vegetarian. He would insist on taking his own chef when he travelled to not stray away from his diet. He was married to Madhu Hinduja and had three children, two daughters and one son. Vinoo Hinduja, his daughter, was a former board member of Gulf Oil Corp Ltd.

Philanthropic endeavors

The Hinduja Foundation is a philanthropic welfare estate carrying forward the legacy of PD Hinduja. The foundation is involved in rural development, cultural preservation, and provides scholarships to enhance the lives of the marginalised in the education sector.

The Hinduja group has also established Hinduja Heritage, through which they conduct events/workshops on antique coins.

SP Hinduja’s managership in the Hinduja Group has left an indelible mark on the corporation. His leadership has transformed the conglomerate into an unstoppable force in the business world. His remarkable achievements in the corporate realm have shaped the legacy of the Hinduja Group and its future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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