Business Personalities of India
Adi Godrej
Anil Ambani
Azim Premji
Brijmohan Lall Munjal
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Dr. Parvinder Singh
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Kushal Pal Singh
Lakshmi Mittal
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Mukesh Ambani
N. R. Narayanamurthy
R. P. Goenka
Rahul Bajaj
Ratan Tata
Shapoorji Pallonji mistry
Shiv Nadar
Sunil Bharti Mittal
Vijay Mallya
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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
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N. R. Narayana Murthy
M. B. Nirmal
Rakesh Sharma
Sabeer Bhatia
Dr. Shantha
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P. T. Usha
Dr. Verghese Kurien
Viswanathan Anand

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Vijay Mallya

    The United Breweries Group is the largest liquor manufacturer in India. The Chairman of the UB Group, Vijay Mallya is a versatile and multi-faceted person, who is as popular as he is successful. Certain tabloids have described his charm as “intoxicating and heady as some of the liquor that his company produces”. Like many successful men, Vijay's formative years were not spectacular. He was born in a wealthy family to the great and illustrious Vittal Mallya.

    Vittal Mallya was one of the doyen's of the liquor industry in India. He started United Breweries at a time when the only good liquors available were imported, which were expensive. Vijay was elected as Chairman of United Breweries, following the demise of his father in 1983. He was just 28 years old. UB had made tremendous headway in the Indian markets, and Vijay had been given the reins. He had no choice but to carry on his father's legacy. He was an only child, and therefore his options were definitely limited.

    But Vijay had his sights on many more business interests, and the group forayed into many successful diversified companies in the years to come. As Vijay took over the company and guided it to great heights, he was also becoming extremely popular in society. His flamboyance and colourful attitude was beginning to make headway in the top social circles in India and abroad. Vijay Mallya’s involvement in the Horse Racing Circuit also added to his popularity. He received interest in this royal sport, which was beginning to die in India.

    He brought glamour, glitz, style and fashion into the sport. At a time when sponsorship of the sport was a cause for frustration to the authorities, he came to their rescue by his generous sponsorship through the UB Group. He kept expanding the scale of support every year. Vijay had the best racing horses, which won him many races, and popularized the sport tremendously. His horses always ran to win, which was reflective of Vijay's attitude towards life too.

    Vijay Mallya said, "The race going public has immense faith in my horses and me. My horses always run true to potential and I have had a clean image which is what makes me proud." He also initiated the annual event, the UB Fashion Show, in Bangalore, which turned out to be one of the biggest social events. Vijay's focus on business never faltered in spite of his involvement in social events. Under his leadership, the UB Group grew to great heights. Apart from the flagship liquor business, Vijay has tailored the group’s diversification into Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals, Paints, Monomers and Polymers, the manufacture of Electromechanical Batteries, the manufacture of food products and carbonated beverages,  a fast food pizza chain and several medium and small scale industrial units.

    Vijay remains a true professional and has defined a corporate structure within the group with performance accountability, inducting professional management and consolidating the empire into individual operating divisions. Each of the companies within the group is headed by a competent CEO handpicked by Vijay himself. He allows the CEO's to run the companies with a focus on profits, while providing guidance and direction to them. This strategy has paid off exceedingly well, and the UB Group has become one of- the largest and most profitable business houses in India today.

    Vijay has ensured that the UB Group recognizes its social obligations and has never flinched from acting on those obligations. He has opened a hospital and school to provide quality health care and education at affordable costs. He has also started the Mallya Research Foundation, which is an R&D initiative working on science and technology. Versatility is Vijay's keyword, and he surprised everyone by getting elected into the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament with the support of the ‘Janata Parivar’.

    Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, Vijay Mallya has made it clear that he is also extremely civic minded. He often says that he wants to be part of the decision and law making process of the country. Vijay has received numerous awards in India and abroad. He was conferred a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration, by the Southern California University. He has also been nominated as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. He is a keen sportsman and is an ardent aviator and yachtsman. He supports various sporting activities worldwide, particularly for the under privileged.

    In 2005, Vijay Mallya established Kingfisher Airlines, which connects 32 cities at present. Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines recently obtained 26% stake in Air Deccan, a low cost Indian airline which he later acquired fully and integrated it into his kingfisher fleet, rebranding it as Kingfisher RED. He and his Jet Airways counterpart, Naresh Goyal , announced an alliance after a marathon meeting on 13 October 2008 at Mumbai, India. The alliance will include code sharing on both domestic and international flights, joint fuel management to reduce expenses, common ground handling, joint utilization of crew and sharing of similar frequent flier programmes.

    In March 2009, Mallya bought the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi in an auction from U.S for $1.8 million. After the purchase, Mallya stated that he would return the articles to India, which may calm some of the uproar over the sale which has been seen recently in India. Vijay's overwhelming obsession for his business is only rivaled by his passion for race cars. When asked about the same, he replied in jest "All fast things hold an interest for me".

    The phenomenon called Vijay Mallya rolls on at top speed in every activity that he involves himself in. And providing a 'never before after' picture of a businessman with an awe-inspiring zest of life.

Short Biography
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