Birla Brain Trust

Fam­ily Trip

The Economic Times - - Companies -

A lit­tle birdie tells us that last week, every­one at Es­sar House was pleas­antly sur­prised when the en­tire Ruia — brothers Shashi, Ravi and their kids Prashant, Anshuman and Re­want — took a mid­week trip to Hazira, the hub of their large steel oper­a­tions. We all know how the el­dest in the fam­ily, Shashi Ruia, is per­son­ally at­tached to the project but rarely do all five travel to­gether and this wasn’t even Davos. Spec­u­la­tion has been run­ning wild ever since, and some gos­sipy types are even say­ing this was an emo­tional trip for the fam­ily to dis­cuss the fu­ture as lenders up the ante. Some though in­sist it was a per­sonal mat­ter. The truth, as al­ways, might lie some­where in the mid­dle. A few days af­ter the Panama papers hit the head­lines, of­fi­cials of Jersey, another tax haven, were in Mum­bai to mar­ket the off­shore cen­tre to rich In­di­ans and their ad­vis­ers. The charm of Jersey, lo­cated be­tween Eng­land and France, they said, was its friendly laws for fam­ily trusts and foun­da­tions — ve­hi­cles to ringfence wealth. The Jersey team met some tax pro­fes­sion­als and se­nior lawyers and even hosted a din­ner. But many in­vited backed out. “We will meet some other time...let the Panama dust set­tle,” said a lawyer. Bankers have been mak­ing a bee­line for hot shot cor­po­rate as­sign­ments for a while now and we hear one more is set to join that list. Deal St is buzzing with the news that Gold­man Sachs’ Pramo Sel­varat­nam is cool­ing his heels be­fore he moves on to Aditya Birla Group to head the chair­man’s of­fice there. In the past, Ku­mar Babu’s for­mer aides have mostly gone on to head busi­nesses. Take the case of 41-year-old Prashant Gupta for ex­am­ple who since last year is spear­head­ing the con­glom­er­ate’s ecomm fash­ion ven­ture. So it will be hardly sur­pris­ing that Pramo, a re­source­ful banker spe­cial­is­ing in oil and gas and min­ing, will be groomed for big­ger things in fu­ture in this com­modi­ties cen­tric group.

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