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Ambanis to Wadias, 10 family feuds in India's business houses

As a crack among the Singh brothers, Shivinder and Malvinder, comes to the fore, a look at the other times India's big business families saw in-house duels

Deepsekhar Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Shivinder and Malvinder
Shivinder and Malvinder
Following a long drawn battle with outsiders, a crack emerged between the on Tuesday when one dragged another to the NCLT. have been embroiled in a web of corporate and legal hassles of late.

Yesterday's lawsuit is related to the financial troubles at the group businesses RHC Holding, Religare Enterprises and hospital chain Fortis Healthcare. 

Shivinder Singh said he had filed a lawsuit against older brother Malvinder Singh, alleging “oppression and mismanagement” at their joint businesses.

Shivinder, who has decided to break business ties with his sibling, said the case, which also accuses former chief of financial services firm Religare Enterprises Sunil Godhwani, was filed in the National Company Law Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body for corporate governances.

Here are in India's business families:

An earlier feud in the Singh family

An earlier feud in the Singh family
1 / 10

In the 1980s, Bhai Mohan Singh split the business between his three sons: Parvinder, Manjit and Analjit. Ranbaxy came to Parvinder. There was some heartburn amongst the two younger brothers but it didn't come to the surface. The family saga turned nasty soon when Bhai Mohan Singh and Parvinder sparred in public over control of Ranbaxy. Subsequently, in 1999 in a boardroom coup of sorts Bhai Mohan Singh was forced to bow down and Parvinder took over the company. are Parvinder's sons.

vs Anil Ambani

Mukesh Ambani vs Anil Ambani
2 / 10

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the empire, died in July 2002. Mukesh then became chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, and Anil took the mantle of vice-chairman and managing director. The feud between Mukesh and Anil became public in November 2004. In June 2005, the family reached a settlement to split the in a deal announced by their homemaker mother Kokilaben. The formal split happened in 2006. Mukesh got the flagship Reliance Industries, with interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, refining and textiles. Anil got telecoms, power, entertainment and financial services businesses.

vs Shardul Shroff

Cyril Shroff vs Shardul Shroff
3 / 10


India's biggest law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh Shroff and Company, was split between warring brothers and Shardul Shroff, in 2015. Shardul and Cyril's mother had willed her equity in the company in favour of the former, the elder of the two, which led to a legal showdown. Ultimately the matter was resolved and the firm was divided. 


Singhania Senior vs Junior

Singhania Senior vs Junior
4 / 10

Veteran industrialist and his son Gautam Singhania, Chairperson and Managing Director of Raymond Ltd, had a public spat related to property that went to the court. As per a 2007 family agreement, Vijaypat Singhania, his son Gautam, and the widow and two sons of Vijaypat's brother Ajaypat Singhania were to get a duplex each in JK House, a family property. But, Gautam took the matter to shareholders who voted against the plan.

Kirloskar Part 1

Kirloskar Part 1
5 / 10
Mr Vijay R. Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, inaugurates National (Steel and Power) Expo 2013 in Raipur

At the turn of the millennium, the Kirloskar Group was divided among family lines following clashes after the group patriarch S L Kirloskar's death. Vijay R Kirloskar has exited the group to pursue his own vision and business goals.

Kirloskar Part 2

Kirloskar Part 2
6 / 10
Photo: Sanjay Kirloskar

What started as a feud between the Kirloskar brothers—Sanjay (60) and Atul (61)—over the construction of a gate at their homestead in Model Colony in January, 2017, soon snowballed into a fight between the matriarch, 82-year-old Suman Kirloskar, and her younger son, Sanjay, with the former claiming that her son had usurped a 10-crore land parcel at the family’s Lakaki Bungalow. In a fresh twist in the family’s bitter dispute, has sought a partition of assets held by Chandrakant Shantanu Kirloskar Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), Economic Times reported in April 2018.

vs Narinder Jeet Kanwar

Onkar S Kanwar vs Narinder Jeet Kanwar
7 / 10

is no stranger to controversy. In the early 1990s, he had an open spat with his father, Raunaq Singh, over who should control Apollo Tyres. He won finally, but not before a lot of dirty linen had been washed in public.

In 2013, his brother, Narinder Jeet Kanwar, moved the Company Law Board in Chennai charging Kanwar of mismanaging the company.

vs Anil Nanda

Rajan Nanda vs Anil Nanda
8 / 10
Photo: Rajan Nanda


Once Nanda Sr passed away in 2000, appeared to have lost interest in staying united with the family. He chose to walk away with automotive component maker Goetze India, in which he bought Escorts' holding.

In 2003, when wanted to sell a chunk of Escorts Heart and Research Institute, Anil waged a public battle against his brother until the move was scuttled.

Today, Anil is sitting pretty. Goetze, in which he owns close to 30 per cent equity, is financially sound, leaving enough for him to indulge his finer tastes - such as embroidered jeans.


Wadia vs Wadia and Goenka

Wadia vs Wadia and Goenka
9 / 10
Pic: Nusli Wadia

Nusli Wadia, often called a 'corporate samurai' for his legendary with Dhirubhai Ambani and Ranjan Pillai, had his first tussle with his father. Neville wanted to sell off a to R P Goenka, but the younger Wadia resisted, and ultimately had his way by courting support from Tatas and worker unions. 

Bajaj vs Bajaj

Bajaj vs Bajaj
10 / 10
Pic: Rahul Bajaj

Kushagra Bajaj, unconvinced of the way the group was being run by Rahul Bajaj, seeked transfer of two companies, a sugar producer and a consumer products maker, from the clan. A public feud ensued at the end of which he got what he wanted.

Here are inside India's business families:

First Published: Wed, September 05 2018. 20:11 IST