Adi Burjorji Godrej

Age: 75

Wealth Creator: Godrej Group

Residence: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hurun Ranking: #317 on Global Rich List

Net Worth: US$4.7 Bn

Self-made Score: 3

25 words: Indian Industrialist and the present Chairman of the 120 year old Godrej Group, an Indian conglomerate, who first introduced locks with lever technology in India.

500 words: Adi Burjorji Godrej, born in 1942, is the head of the Godrej family, an Indian Parsi family which is one of the oldest business families in Mumbai and the chairman of the Godrej Group, a conglomerate founded by Ardeshir Godrej and his brother Pirojsha Burjoji Godrej in 1897. Ardeshir Godrej died without leaving an heir and therefore, Pirojsha’s sons succeeded in the second generation and currently their grandsons – Adi, Nadir and Jamshyd manage the group.

Born in a business family, Adi’s father Burjoji Godrej was a successful businessman and his mother Jai Godrej, was a teacher at Godrej schools. During his school days, Adi wanted to pursue mechanical engineering but he ended up studying management and received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Management from the Sloan School, MIT in 1963. After completing his graduation, he returned to India and joined the family business that was then primarily focused on locks and vegetable soaps. Through his innovative ideas and superior management skills, Adi Godrej made various process improvements within Godrej and systematized management structures that helped Godrej Group achieve greater heights and meet the challenges of globalisation and liberalization. Under his leadership, Godrej that was once known for making India’s safest locks diversified into areas as varied as Retail and Real Estate and has seen the fastest growth in the Real Estate business. The Group currently serves as the largest locally-owned home and personal care Company in India.

Adi Godrej is married to Parmeshwar Godrej who is a philanthropist and socialite. She has undertaken various initiatives to combat AIDS in India and is known as one of India’s premier socialites. Adi Godrej is also a generous philanthropist and has made numerous contributions for education including a children school in Mumbai and a management Institute in Hyderabad. He is also one of the major supporter of the World Wildlife Fund in India. It has also developed a green business campus in Mumbai, which includes a 150-acre mangrove forest and a school for the children of company employees. The couple is blessed with three kids – Tania, Nisa and Pirojsha who are also actively involved in Godrej’s business. Tania, the eldest daughter, who holds an A.B cum laude degree in economics and political science from Brown University, is the Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer at the Godrej Group. Nisa, the younger daughter, who completed her Bsc. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and MBA from Harvard Business School, is the President of Human Capital & Innovation for Godrej Industries Ltd. Pirojsha, their only son, who graduated from the Wharton School of Business and completed his Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University is the Managing Director and CEO of Godrej Properties Limited – which is the real estate arm of the Godrej Group.

Considered as the business icon of the Indian Industry, Adi Godrej is a recipient of several awards including the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Award in 2002 and ‘The Entrepreneur of the Year’ award by Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards in 2010.

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