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Nusli Wadia: The man behind Wadia Group



Nusli Wadia

Did you know that Bombay Dyeing, GoAir, Britannia, and Bombay Burmah Trading are owned by Wadia Group? Nusli Wadia’s business acumen, leadership, and legal expertise have built an empire that continues to flourish to date.

Hijacking the Goenka deal for Bombay Dyeing

In 1971, Nusli opposed Neville Wadia when he wanted to sell Bombay Dyeing to the Goenkas from Kolkata. In order to hijack the deal, he convinced the employees to buy company shares and keep it afloat. This move retained the textile giant and Nusli Wadia went on to show his business knowledge through its improved value. As a result, he succeeded his father as the Chairman of Bombay Dyeing.

Grabbing opportunity

In 1996, renowned businessman Rajan Pillai (also a friend of Nusli Wadia) was in partnership with Danone Group for Britannia. However, when Danone accused Pillai of cheating, he approached the Group to replace Pillai with Wadia Group. Overworking his legal team, Wadia finally managed to get a controlling stake in Britannia. In 2009, Wadia Group totally acquired Britannia by purchasing Danone’s share.

Business over Friendship

Nusli Wadia considers JRD Tata as his business guru. However, in the recent Mistry-Tata fallout, he supported the former. As a result, Wadia was removed as a director from Tata Motors. However, Nusli Wadia filed a defamation suit against Tata, which was withdrawn after a statement from Ratan Tata clarifying good intentions. The Indian-Parsi businessman knows when to call a spade a spade.

Strengthening the family name

Nusli Wadia has two sons: Ness and Jehangir (Jeh). While the former looks after Kings XI Punjab IPL team, Jeh Wadia introduced Wadia Group in aviation. He started GoAir in 2005, when the market had Air India, Air Asia, SpiceJet, Kingfisher, and other leading players. Yet, joint management between Nusli and Jeh Wadia managed to make a name for GoAir via economical prices, efficient operations, and strategic expansion. The airline serves over 10 countries with 55 Airbus A320 aircrafts.


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