Hinduja group patriarch Srichand P Hinduja passes away at 87 in London

In the '80s, the brothers were accused of taking commission from manufacturers of Bofors guns, a charge the high court rejected

Dev Chatterjee Mumbai

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Hinduja family patriarch Srichand P Hinduja, 87, passed away in London on Tuesday. SP, as he was popularly known, was the eldest of four brothers who set up a global, diversified conglomerate with interests in banking, automobiles, and chemicals. The family net worth was estimated at $15.2 billion in 2022 by Forbes. 
In a statement, the family led by Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok, said their elder brother SP was a visionary and mentor to the family bestowing the founding principles and values of their late father, P D Hinduja. “He played a very important role alongside his brothers in building a strong relationship between his host country, the UK, and his home country, India,” the statement said. Hinduja is survived by his two daughters, Shanu and Vinoo.

“A titan amongst his peers, S P Hinduja truly lived and embodied the Hinduja Group’s founding principles and values. A deeply spiritual and philanthropic person, he was courageous in action and generous at heart,” the statement said.
SP, along with his brothers, started their business in Mumbai and later from Iran and built a fortune in trading between the two countries.

The family acquired truck maker Ashok Leyland (from British Leyland) and Gulf Oil from Chevron in the 1980s. In the 1990s, SP led the family to set up  banks in Switzerland and India.
In the ’80s, the brothers were accused of taking commission from manufacturers of Bofors guns, a charge the high court rejected. And in the early-2000s, they were entangled in the UK’s “cash-for-passports” scandal where he donated money for the Millennium Dome while applying for British citizenship, leading to the resignation of British politician Peter Mandelson.

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In June 2020, a court filing in London revealed a dispute between Srichand and his daughters on the one side and the other three brothers over the ownership of a Geneva bank. The other three brothers wanted the group to stick to the motto: “Everything belongs to everyone and nothing belongs to anyone”.
During the dispute, the British court was told that SP suffered from dementia, and the family’s dispute went so deep that he was days away from being transferred to a British government-run NHS Hospital. In November 2022, the family decided to smoke the peace pipe and settled the matter out of court.

Most of the Hinduja family now lives in the UK with professionals running the operations of the group's six listed companies in India. The family tops the list of Britain’s wealthiest people. 

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First Published: May 17 2023 | 9:13 PM IST

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