The Hindujas are an Indian business family. They are often referred to as the Hinduja brothers, as the four sons of the business founder Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja - Srichand Hinduja|Srichand (born 28 November 1935), Gopichand (born 29 February 1940), Prakash and Ashok. Srichand and Gopichand moved to London in 1979 to develop their father's export business, whilst Prakash is based in Geneva and Ashok in Mumbai.
The Hinduja Group is an investment and banking group and has activities across three core areas: Investment Banking, International Trading and Global Investments. As part of its Global investments, the Group owns businesses in Automotive, Information Technology, Media, Entertainment & Communications, Banking & Finance, Infrastructure, Project Development, Chemicals & Agri business, Energy, Real Estate and Healthcare.
The Hinduja Foundations make significant contributions to charitable activities around the world, such as a $4 million donation to the University of Cambridge to pay for scholarships for low-income students and financial support for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Srichand, Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja were connected with the investigation into the long-running Bofors scandal. The Swedish firm Bofors was alleged to have paid illegal bribes to Government officials and politicians in connection with the $1.3bn sale of 400 howitzers to the Indian Government in 1986. The three brothers were charged by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation in October 2000, but in 2005 the High Court in Delhi threw out all charges against them, citing a lack of evidence and saying that documents central to the prosecution case were "useless and dubious" since their provenance could not be verified.
Judge RS Sodhi said: "I must express my disapproval that 14 years of trial and 2.5bn rupees ($57m) of public money was spent on the case. It has caused huge economical, emotional, professional and personal loss to the Hindujas.
In February 2005 Ashok Leyland, an Indian-based flagship company of the brothers' Hinduja Group, announced an agreement to supply 100 army vehicles to the Sudanese Defence Ministry. It was alleged by arms campaigner Mark Thomas that this contravened UK arms export legislation, as a number of the company's directors were UK residents or citizens.
In January 2001, it was claimed that Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Mandelson had phoned Home Office minister Mike O'Brien on behalf of Srichand Hinduja, who was seeking British citizenship. At the time the Hindujas were set to become the main sponsor of the "Faith Zone" in the Millennium Dome, a project Mandelson had formally been responsible for. On 24 January 2001 Mandelson was sacked from the Government, insisting he had done nothing wrong. An independent inquiry by Sir Anthony Hammond came to the conclusion that neither Mandelson nor anyone else had acted improperly.
While the family was listed as the 95th richest in the world in Fortune Magazine in 1992 and 1993, they are no longer listed in Fortune or Forbes since the family is based in 3 different countries. According to the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List they are worth 6.2 billion pounds (approximately 12.4 billion dollars), and the 2008 List identified "Sri and Gopi Hinduja" as the 4th richest people in London.
In the summer of 2006, the four brothers acquired one of London’s most expensive and sought-after properties, previously owned by the Queen. The brothers paid £58 million for a 100-year lease on the 60-room property at Carlton House Terrace on The Mall, and plan to spend another £40-50 million converting it for use by their joint families. On completion, its value will outstrip the £70 million Kensington Palace Gardens home of fellow Indian-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal.
How the Head of Civil Service Reached Hindujas' Home? Investigator in Charge of Mandelson Passports Row Inquiry Twice Met Brothers
Feb 11, 2001; Byline: SIMON WALTERS THE row over Peter Mandelson took an extraordinary turn last night after it emerged that the man in charge...