As India’s richest men hit their 60s and beyond, succession questions about the next generation of tycoons will increasingly emerge in a country where business is still dominated by family-run enterprises. Bloomberg has profiled some of these young guns of corporate India, selecting those who are 35 and under, based in India, have a public profile, and whose billionaire fathers are valued at more than $2 billion. Some have started their own ventures and avoided their fathers’ shadows. Others have pitched their tents inside the family enterprise. Here’s a look at them:
Isha and Akash Ambani
Isha and Akash are the 25-year-old, twin brother-and-sister scions of India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. They’re being groomed as the future of Reliance Industries Ltd., their father’s $42 billion conglomerate, as the company diversifies beyond energy and refineries into consumer-facing businesses.
Both were appointed to the boards of new venture Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., as well as Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd., in 2014. Reliance Jio, which will start operations later this year, has received funding of more than $20 billion from the parent group and has plans to offer 4G mobile-phone services to 70 percent of India.
Isha, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant, also launched Reliance group’s e-commerce foray into fashion retail — called Ajio — at this year’s Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, India’s version of runway shows in Paris and Milan.
The duo also helped introduce open-office culture for top executives at Reliance Corporate Park, where their father and his long-time business associate, Manoj Modi, work, according to a company-uploaded video on YouTube.
Roshni Nadar Malhotra
The only daughter of technology billionaire Shiv Nadar, 34-year-old Roshni is chief executive officer and executive director of HCL Corp., the $7 billion holding firm for a group that includes listed HCL Technologies Ltd. and HCL Infosystems Ltd. Roshni returned to India in 2008 after a stint as a news producer at Sky News U.K. and soon took up the role.
The holding company helmed by Roshni has since diversified beyond its listed bread-and-butter technology businesses. HCL Healthcare, in partnership with John Hopkins Medicine International, aims to fill in the vacuum left by the disappearing tradition of Indian family physicians while HCL Talentcare plans to bridge the skill gap in India by training engineers and other graduates for technology, banking, insurance and healthcare jobs.
Roshni is also a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which has set up a university, engineering colleges, schools and VidyaGyan academies that mentor bright students from poor Indian rural families. Her goal is to try to level the playing field and create opportunities for all Indians, she said in a November interview. “VidyaGyan must produce a prime minister for India,” Roshni said. “VidyaGyan must produce a few Nobel laureates for India.”