Srichand Parmanand Hinduja, the billionaire Indian-origin patriarch of Britain’s richest family and chair of the globe-spanning Hinduja Group, has died in London, his family confirmed.
A spokesperson for the family said, “Gopichand, Prakash, Ashok and the whole Hinduja family with a heavy heart regret to announce the passing away […] of SP Hinduja today.” He was 87, the spokesperson added.
SP Hinduja, the eldest of four brothers and chairman of Hinduja Group, lost his wife, Madhu, in January this year. She was 82. He is survived by his daughters, Shanu and Vinoo.
The Hinduja family topped the 2022 Sunday Times Rich List, after their collective fortune rose by more than GBP 11 billion to reach GBP 28.4 billion, the largest fortune recorded in more than three decades of the list.
Hinduja gaining the international distribution rights for the Bollywood blockbuster movie 'Sangam' in 1964 made him one of the richest men in Britain, but it was the Bofors scam that made him famous, or rather infamous, back home.
Born in a business family in Karachi, British India, SP Hinduja and his two younger brothers were accused of receiving payments totalling INR 64 crore in illegal commissions to help Swedish gunmaker AB Bofors secure an Indian government contract. All three - Srichand, Gopichand, and Prakash Hinduja, were however exonerated by the Delhi High Court in 2005.
Hinduja and his brother Gopi built the Hinduja Group from a relatively small family enterprise into a company with operations in 38 countries, spanning sectors including the automotive industry, oil, banking, media and healthcare.
Despite the family’s vast wealth, a judge warned last year that Sri Hinduja’s needs, chiefly medical care for Lewy body dementia, had “become marginalised”, amid a family feud over the ownership of a Swiss bank.
Until his death, Sri led the family dynasty, which employs 150,000 people, with his brother Gopi. The siblings began their careers in India but spent most of their time in the UK since the 1970s.