|Srichand and Gopi Hinduja, the billionaire brothers|
Photo: ABBIE TRAYLER-SMITH
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Sunday, April 27, 2014
The 'Bollygarchs' who give the Russians run for their money
12 April, 2014: The dazzle may be being slow to return to the rest of the economy but Britain’s Bollygarchs have never been richer.
There are three times more Asian billionaires in Britain than there were five years ago while total wealth of the 101 richest Asians in the country has risen 14pc to £51.5bn over the past 12 months alone.
The latest Asian Rich List is topped by the Hinduja brothers, Gopichand and Srichand, who have added £1bn to their wealth over the past year and now estimated to be worth £13.5bn.
Lakshmi Mittal, the boss of the steel giant ArcelorMittal, is second with a £12bn, up £1bn from last year too. The pair head a total of nine Asian billionaires, up from just three in the 2010 list.
But the scale of the Bollygarch boom can be seen at the bottom of the grid too: just to qualify for this year’s list, British based Asians had to have amassed a wealth of £55m. When the list started 17 years ago, it took just £5m to qualify.
And, like the Russian oligarchs, the Asian wealth is becoming increasingly conspicuous. The highest new entry on the list is Sri Prakash Lohia, the plastics tycoon, coming in at fourth position with £2bn.
The boss of Indorama was dubbed the Maharajah of Mayfair last year when he spent £50m restoring a Georgian townhouse in the exclusive London district.
Mr Lohia, who makes the resin in one in three plastic bottles around the planet, hired a raft of historians, designers and craftsmen to the restore the building. He’s the brother-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal, the boss of the steel giant ArcelorMittal, who is second on the list worth £12bn.
The list includes founders of some of Britain’s best know businesses, such as Tom Singh, who started New Look; artists like Anish Kapoor, who designed the Olympic Orbit; politicians including Labour’s Lord Paul; and film-makers such as Kishore Lulla, executive chairman of Eros International, which distributes 1,900 Bollywood films.
Among the few women on the list is Meeta Patel, who runs Auden McKenzie, the pharmaceutical group, with her brother Amit. Lady Nina Bracewell Smith is listed in 48th position from her stake in Arsenal Football Club which she was given by her husband.
The entries include refugees who have fled conflicts and started from scratch in Britain. Mike Jatania, who is 14th on the list worth £500m, fled Idi Amin’s Uganda in the 1970s. Together with his three brothers he built the Lornamead toiletries business with brands like Simple soap, Vosene shampoo and Lypsyl.
Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia fled to Britain from a Ugandian refugee camp when he was 13. Aged he borrowed £5,000 to start a car parts business which he sold recently for £225m.
Shailesh Solanki, boss of Asian Media & Marketing which compiles and publishes the list, says the list is a snapshot of the radically changing fortunes of Asians in Britain.
“If you look at the big waves of Asian immigration into Britain in the 1970s, many found it easiest to work in food and drink or retail - the stereotypical corner shops,” he says. “Many then diversified and grew into pharmacies, wholesale and manufacturing, some of which are now the biggest in the country.”
Sir Anwar Pervez has built his £1.1bn fortune from Bestway, the UK’s second biggest cash and carry. Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, who were born into rank poverty in Kenya, are behind Waymade, the global pharmaceutical company.
Mr Solanki said Britain’s immigration debate could threatened future talented immigrants coming to the UK.
“The immigration debate is not creating the right tone to attract talent,” he said.
“The great battle of the next century is going to be the need to attract talent and we need to create the right environment for that. Everybody wants immigration control but the tone of the debate is unsettling and unnerving for the Asian community.”
All the entries were all honoured at a gala dinner in London last night [SUBS FRI] where Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, delivered a speech.
Courtesy: The Telegraph