The death of Patriarch Srichand Hinduja brings attention to a $14 billion family feud

The family feud puts at stake the future direction of one of the world’s largest conglomerates, which has a global workforce of over 200,000 people.

The passing of Srichand Hinduja, the patriarch of the Hinduja family, has cast a shadow over the future of the sprawling conglomerate and its centuries-old family fortune. Srichand, who served as the de-facto head of the dynasty, played a pivotal role in steering the business empire that encompasses investments in banking, media, and energy. However, his death has triggered uncertainties regarding his successor and the ongoing legal battles that have threatened to fracture the once tightly-knit family.

Following Srichand’s demise, the eldest member of the British-Indian clan, Gopichand Hinduja, now assumes a prominent position. Alongside his younger brothers, Prakash and Ashok, the siblings had engaged in a three-year feud with Srichand and his daughter, Vinoo, over shared assets. While a truce was declared last November, recent reports suggest that private negotiations are still underway.

With a collective fortune of approximately $14 billion, the Hinduja family ranks among Asia’s 20 wealthiest dynasties. The direction of their vast conglomerate, employing over 200,000 individuals worldwide, is at stake. The outcome of Srichand’s death serves as a crucial test for the family’s ceasefire agreement and the unity of the clan.

The Hinduja Group’s extensive portfolio includes significant holdings in prominent Indian businesses such as Ashok Leyland Ltd. and IndusInd Bank Ltd. Moreover, they are currently renovating a hotel near 10 Downing Street in London, where they own opulent homes overlooking St James’s Park.

The family’s journey began with their father, Parmanand, who established the business in 1914. While the Hinduja brothers had long adhered to the principle of shared ownership, their unity started to erode in the latter years of Srichand’s life due to his health struggles. The absence of clear agreements or a family constitution has complicated their dispute, leaving potential legal battles and questions of governance and succession on the horizon.

Despite their differences, the Hinduja family mourns the loss of their patriarch, emphasizing the strong bond between the four brothers. As they navigate this challenging period, they face critical decisions that will shape the future of their conglomerate and determine how the family’s legacy and values are upheld.