By Ekta Chanana Last Updated:
It is said that no family is perfect. They have their share of fights and arguments, but in the end, when someone needs help, they are there. End of discussion! However, we have seen famous businessmen's families fighting over power, money and position. So much so that it becomes a stunt for the entire nation to watch. We have seen brothers fighting for a company or a daughter moving to court for a mere property dispute.
When a pillar in the family breaks, it is the weak points that fall first. And we have seen it in the infamous Ambanis siblings, Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani. Or the fight between the managing director of Apollo Tyres, Onkar Singh Kanwar and his father, Raunaq Singh, over the company's control in the 90s. Let's take a look at these famous family feuds that left us all wondering what money can do!
Mukesh Ambani is considered one of the richest businessmen in the world. While everyone is eyeing his road to success, his journey wasn't a bed of roses. It is filled with an ugly family feud that made everyone watch them with pity eyes. It was in 2002 when the war between Mukesh and Anil started over their family company, Reliance Industries, after their father, Dhirubhai Ambani had left without leaving a will.
The brothers fought public battles and left no stone unturned to bash each other. In fact, they had also opened defamation cases after their slander escalated to the point of no return. After almost two decades of fighting, in 2019, things took a sudden turn when Mukesh Ambani helped Anil Ambani who faced jail time after his company, Reliance Communications had failed to make payments to Swedish firm, Ericsson. Taking on his big brother role, Mukesh Ambani provided the necessary cash and saved Anil's business reputation.
Post-partition, the famous business family in Delhi were the Nandas. Har Prasad and his brother, Yudi started the small agency, Escorts in 1944. It was in 2000, after the demise of Har Parsad, a fight broke out between his two sons, Rajan Nanda and Anil Nanda. If reports are to be believed his youngest son, Anil Nanda lost interest in staying with the family. It was in 2003 when Rajan wanted to sell a chunk of Escorts Heart and Research Institute, and his younger brother, Anil waged a public fight against him.
Soon, the two brothers took on their own paths. Anil exited from the Escorts but made sure to take the profitable automobile component maker, Goetze with him. In a 2008 media interaction, Rajan shared that if you are not happy living together, it is better to separate. He had said:
"You are supposed to live together. But if you are not happy, it is best to separate and go your own way."
The most interesting family feud that left everyone wondering about the power of money was between Raymond Group's former chairman, Vijaypat Singhania and his son, Gautam Singhania. The 84-year-old businessman called trouble when he thought he was keeping his billion-dollar textile empire in the family and when he gifted a 37 per cent stake to his son, Gautam.
It was a 2007 agreement that stated that Vijaypat would receive an apartment in the Singhania family's 36- storey JK house in Mumbai. However, that didn't happen, and Vijaypath accused his younger son, Gautam. As the family feud escalated, the board took away Vijaypat's 'chairman' title and accused him of using foul language in letters to the company. The former chairman claims he was physically removed from his office and his possessions, including a Padma Bhushan. He dragged the matter to court and was forced to live in rented accommodation.
Onkar S Kanwar, who is the chairman of Apollo Tyres, has often been part of controversies. However, he had an open spat with his father, Raunaq Singh over the control of the company in the 1990s. He had won in the end, but a lot of dirty linen was washed in public. Later, in 2013, in a spat with his brother, Narinder Jeet Kanwar moved to the company law board in Chennai and accused Kanwar of mismanaging the company and of fraud.
Another famous feud that stirred the nation was between brothers, Shardul and Cyril Shroff, who are corporate lawyers and heirs of the biggest Indian law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas & Suresh Shroff and Co. The dispute began between the two brothers after it was found out that Bharatiben Shroff, who passed away in 2017, had willed her entire stake in the company to her elder son, Shradul Shroff.
Bhartiben had about a 22 per cent share in the law firm. Shradul moved to the Bombay High Court seeking a direction implement his late mother's will. However, Cyril questioned the will as it went against the family framework agreement, under which the stakes should have been equally divided between the two sons. The court asked the siblings to resolve it through mediation. After six months of mediation, the largest law firm was spilt in two different entities.
The corporate samurai, Nusli Wadia had his first battler with his father, Neville Wadia in the 1970s. It all started with Neville's wish to sell off a Bombay Dyeing Ltd to R P Goenka. But his son resisted and ultimately had his way by courting support from Tatas and worker unions.
Well, these family feuds prove that there is nothing more important than money or else you will be left with a broken family and a number of lawsuits against you. What do you think about these family fights that were dragged into courtrooms?