SP: The passing away of the patriarch

Hinduja leaves behind is rich legacy


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His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah with Prakash Hinduja ,  SP Hinduja and Gopichand Hinduja at the opening of the Ashok Leyland Ras Al Khaimah plant. — Supplied photo
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah with Prakash Hinduja , SP Hinduja and Gopichand Hinduja at the opening of the Ashok Leyland Ras Al Khaimah plant. — Supplied photo
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 6 Jun 2023, 6:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 6 Jun 2023, 6:54 PM

Srichand Parmanand Hinduja, or SP as he was fondly remembered, the patriarch of the Hinduja Group, leaves behind an inspiring and chequered history that can fill tomes on a transnational business odyssey well undertaken.

He, along with his brothers – Gopichand, Ashok and Prakash - have persistently led a journey spanning many countries across Europe, Middle East and the Indian sub-continent, leaving their footprints for posterity to take cues on how global business conglomerates are built from ground up while retaining traditional values.

SP and his brothers universalised these family values instilled in them by the founder, Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja, into a profound practice across business, management and philanthropy.

In the larger Middle East, the first port of call was Persia, the current day Iran, moving to London and then circling back to the UAE, where SP led from the front in forging partnerships and developing a business home base with a long-term vision.

His first visit to the UAE when he met the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was in 1965. This was followed by visits by the brothers paving the road to establishing the Hinduja Group’s flourishing business in the Gulf region, with the UAE as a regional corporate base and a gateway to other MEA markets.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and the Hinduja brothers at the Ras Al Khaima Ashok Leyland plant.
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and the Hinduja brothers at the Ras Al Khaima Ashok Leyland plant.

Under SP’s leadership, Ashok Leyland, the flagship brand of the Hinduja Group opened GCC’s first vehicle manufacturing plant in Ras Al Khaimah. Other group interests in the UAE and the region include, Gulf Oil Middle East and IndusInd Bank.

People who knew SP world over and, in the UAE, would vouch for his one rare quality — a stoic demeanour that stayed unwaveringly across all episodes of his life. But veiled behind this sangfroid was also a steely determination when it comes to getting down to the brass tacks.

This unusual combination of stoicism and determination which helped SP face potentially unsurmountable challenges in his personal and professional life, also sculpted his world view. There are ample anecdotes that reinforce this – from sending truck-loads of onions and potatoes to Iran by land facing political and geographical challenges, to establishing business inroads into the Gulf Arab countries, spreading the driving vision of his father to `Act Local, Think Global.’

Following the group’s core principles, which continue to remain the substratum, SP and the brothers forged successful partnerships underpinned by trust, embodied in one of the founding principles that `Word is a Bond’. The brothers shared a common altruistic ground of values which led them to give back to the society through work and philanthropy. Across all domains, partnerships remained key, and these include joining hands with Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins University in the healthcare space.

SP has always been a global cultural and diplomatic ambassador bridging people, business and governments across India, the US and the UK. Under SP’s helmsmanship, the Hindujas cascaded through the paradigm changes that shaped the history of South Asia, the Middle East and the world in general, holding aloft the concept of `Vasudhaiva Kudumbakam’ - `The World is One Family.’ Probably, this has led the group to establish their presence as local business entities in the geographies they are present now, while being global at the same time.


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