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Shapoorji Pallonji Chairman Pallonji Mistry Success Story

Shapoorji Pallonji Chairman Pallonji Mistry Success Story

Pallonji Mistry, one of India’s most venerable and super successful entrepreneurs, was the India-born Irish business tycoon. The chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) group which runs a sprawling construction business for more than 150 years, Mr. Mistry was also the country’s oldest billionaire. The single largest shareholder (18.4%) of TATA Sons, Mistry was a low-profile philanthropist. In 2016, he was awarded Padma Bhushan award for his contribution in Indian industry.

Early Life

Pallonji Mistry was born to a wealthy businessman in 1929 in a Parsi family from Gujrat. Having finished high school, he went to attend college in England and obtained a degree in civil engineering.  He came back to India after finishing graduation and took over the family business. His father passed away in 1954.

At a very young age he joined his family’s construction company under the supervision of his father Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry. After his father’s death, he took over the reins of SP in 1975. To expand his empire, he started acquiring strategic stakes in other companies like Sterling & Wilson, Forbes Gokak and Afcons infrastructure and United Motors.

Soon, he started being perceived as a savvy and successful businessman and got his first major project- the construction of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. He got this project finished even before schedule and under the budget and went on to complete many other significant projects in his career such as the construction of the Gateway of India and the Mumbai Stock Exchange. The fortune which he inherited from his father multiplied by him manyfold and took SP beyond the shores of India.

The Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group

The Shapoorji Pallonji Group was established in 1865 and it got the credit for some iconic constructions like the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai, the Presidential office in Ghana, and the Palace of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said in Muscat which was finished in 1975. With this, SP became the first Indian construction company to have completed a project abroad. The company also opened the doors for other Indian companies.

SP consolidated its presence in the Middle East as construction of Muscat palace became a launchpad for it. With time the group forayed into Africa where they constructed some landmark projects such as the National Assembly of Gambia and the Ebene IT Park in Mauritius.

Pallonji Mistry’s Net Worth

As per Bloomberg Billionaires Index the total net worth of Mistry is almost $ 29 billion which makes him one of the wealthiest people in India and in Europe. His wealth was estimated to be $9.7 billion (Rs.53,350 crore) by Forbes that declared him wealthiest person of Parsi descent as well as richest Irishman in the world. A large part of this wealth comes from his shareholding in the Tata Group. “Pallonji’s father constructed factories for Tata Motors and Tata Steels. The Tatas didn’t have money to pay so they gave him shares instead.” Recalls Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC.

His Work Style

Pallonji is an absolute perfectionist with an eye for detail. He aspires to perfection, even if it increases costs beyond budgetary constraints. Currently working on eight projects for the company, the contractor claims Pallonji has a straightforward philosophy: “”Since both of our names are attached to it, we should make sure that this is the best,” said the other. Before we begin working on a job, he always says that.”

Contractor and SPG have worked together on a number of projects, including The Sarala Birla Academy, a boarding school for boys in Bangalore; the “Empress City” township project in Nagpur; and the 60-story Imperial Towers in Mumbai, the tallest skyscraper in India. The billionaire Pallonji Mistry was not very social and always maintained a low profile. This is why people don’t know much about his personal life.

Personal Life

Mistry was married to an Irish woman named Pat Parin Dubash. He had two sons and two daughters. His eldest son Shapoor Mistry is in charge of the Shapoorji Pallonji group, and his youngest son Cyrus Mistry formerly held the position of chairman of the Tata group for some time. Laila is the older of Mistry’s two daughters, and Aloo is wed to Noel Tata, Ratan’s half-brother.

Pallonji surrendered his Indian citizenship in 2003 and became an Irish citizen because of his Irish wife. However, he didn’t leave India and stayed up in his sea facing Walkeshwar bungalow in Mumbai.   His family was passionate about horses which could be the reason for their interest in Ireland. Mistry had a 10,000 square foot house and a 200-acre stud farm in Pune, India. Pallonji Mistry left this world on 28th June 2022 at the age of 93.

Final Words

The billionaire Pallonji Mistry was not only a successful businessman but also an enigmatic personality. He built a business empire that covers many industries and his company played a significant role in shaping India’s economy. Mistry was a real gem of Indian industries and the SP group established by him will continue to be a major force in future as well.

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