Friday, November 25, 2011

Vijay Mallya

Vijay Mallya (born 18 December 1955) is an Indian liquor and airline baron. The son of industrialist Vittal Mallya, he is the chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines. His United Spirits is world's second largest liquor maker, by volume. Mallya is also an MP in the Indian Rajya Sabha.

He also co-owns the Formula One team Force India, the Indian Premier League team Bangalore Royal Challengers, and the I-League team East Bengal FC.

According to Forbes, his personal wealth is estimated to be $1.4 billion. Mallya receives substantial press coverage that focuses on his lavish parties, villas, automobiles, Force India, Royal Challengers Bangalore and his yacht, the Indian Empress.

Personal life
Vijay Mallya was born to Vithal Mallya, an industrialist. He completed his degree at St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. He later set up business ventures in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mallya's first wife was Sameera and they have a son together, named Sidhartha Mallya. Sidhartha was educated at Wellington College in Crowthorne followed by Queen Mary's College in the University of London. Later on, Mallya married Rekha with whom he has two daughters: Leiana and Tanya Mallya. Rekha has a daughter from a previous marriage: Laila. In 2008, he had his home demolished in order to build a new residence, Kingfisher Towers, in UB City, Bangalore.

Breweries : Mallya took over as Chairman of United Breweries Group in 1984 from his father Vittal Mallya. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over sixty companies, with an annual turnover which increased by 63.9% over 15 years to US$11.2 billion in 1998–1999 . The focal business areas of the group encompass alcoholic beverages, life sciences, engineering, agriculture, chemicals, information technology, aviation and leisure.

In May 2007, United Breweries Group announced the all-cash acquisition of scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay for £595 million (approximately Rs 3000 crore). In 2005 he took over Millennium Breweries Ltd (formerly known as Inertia Industries Ltd), which owned the two premium beer brands named Sandpiper and Zingaro.

Airlines : In 2006, Mallya established Kingfisher Airlines. At present, the airline connects 32 cities. Kingfisher Airlines obtained a 26% stake in Air Deccan, a low cost Indian airline which Mallya later acquired fully and rebranded as Kingfishers Red. Vijay Mallya and his Jet Airways counterpart Naresh Goyal announced an alliance after a marathon meeting on 13 October 2008 at Mumbai, India.

Media : Mallya owns the TATA industries Newspapers which serve Marin County, California where he maintains a home and stores a portion of his car collection.

Investment in sports
Formula One : In 2007, Mallya and the Mol family from The Netherlands bought the Spyker F1 team for 88 million euros. The team changed its name to Force India F1 from the 2008 Season. Team's car VJM-01 was named after its owners Vijay Mallya, Jan Mol and Michiel Mol.

Mallya also represents India in the FIA World Motor Sport Council, where he has a seat from 2009 to 2013.

East Bengal Club : Mallya's United Breweries sponsors the East Bengal and Mohun Bagan football clubs in Kolkata where Mallya spent his childhood.

He also was part of the consortium that acquired Queens Park Rangers FC; the consortium also included Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal.

Political career
Mallya entered politics in 2000 as a member of the Janata Party. His party contested almost all of the 224 seats during the Karnataka State legislative election. He campaigned vigorously through the media, but his party failed to make any impact and did not win a single seat. Following the party's failure in the elections, it has been largely ignored by the media, although Mallya recently became an MP independently.

Auction purchases
Vijay Mallya is noted for his successful bidding in auction of items that are considered of great historical value to India. In 2004, he placed the winning bid of £175,000 for the sword of Tipu Sultan at an auction in London, and brought it back to India. In March 2009, Mallya successfully bid for the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi at US$1.8 million, in a New York auction that initially caused an uproar in India and its government tried and failed to prevent it from going under the hammer.

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