The real pied pipers of India Inc

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 - 8:13am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

It's a well-deserved ode to a truly unique Rajasthani community by the most respected chronicler of global wealth creators, but while the first ever list of top 100 Marwari-owned companies by Forbes salutes stalwarts like Kumar Birla, Harsh Goenka, Rahul Bajaj, Subhash Chandra, Sajjan Jindal and Navin Agarwal. It's the acknowledgement of the multitudes of unsung Marwari entrepreneurs with unlisted companies - many of them worth over $100 million - that offers a truer measure of the weight they bring to India's industrial and economic growth.

Take for example Anurang Jain, the 51-year-old's automotive component maker has just posted a turnover of Rs3,853 crore, which scores over at least one major company on the list owned by Rahul Bajaj.

Incidentally, Bajaj is Anurang's maternal uncle, but for that matter, even Kumarmangalam Birla is a kinsman - his sister is married to Rahul's nephew, Kushagra. The familial and marital ties binding the community are often too complex to unravel, which is why 'close-knit' is an apt summation. While it's natural then that some like Anurang will get the advantage of apprenticing at an uncle's large plant and supplying to his company, there are also others like JP Taparia, the 69-year-old started out as late as 1990, and without any clan support has grown his company into the world's largest manufacturer of oral contraceptives for females.

Like most Marwaris, Taparia insists that "entrepreneurship runs in our blood" - and now there's growing empirical evidence to support what was once simply a swaggering claim to genetic superiority.


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