Cyrus Mistry, former head of Tata Sons, died in a road accident on Sunday, September 2. Mistry was 54 years old. He was travelling from Ahmedabad to Mumbai when he met with the accident. Here is everything you need to know about Cyrus Mistry’s father Pallonji Mistry.
Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, the chairman of the Shapoorji
Pallonji Group and one of India’s most prominent businessmen, died on at the age of 93.
Mistry, one of the richest men in India and Europe, has a
net worth of about $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
He oversaw the 156-year-old conglomerate’s development outside the borders of
Pallonji was once thought to be India’s richest Parsi, as
well as one of the richest Irishmen. Pallonji renounced his Indian citizenship
in 2003 after marrying an Irish woman, Patsy Perin Dubash.
The shy billionaire was also known as The Phantom of Bombay
House due to his dominance over the Tata Group’s headquarters at one point –
albeit he was not ever-present.
Mistry joined the empire his father, Shapoorji Pallonji,
had created in 1947 when he was 18 years old. Shapoorji had started the
business from nothing in 1865 in Mumbai with just one construction contract.
The business is well-known for erecting famous buildings around the country,
including the Reserve Bank of India building, the Bombay Stock Exchange
building, The Taj Mahal Palace hotel, and the Brabourne Stadium, among others.
The company won a tender to build the palace of Sultan
Qaboos bin Said al Said, the late Sultan of Oman, in Muscat under his
leadership. Shapoorji Pallonji became the first Indian construction firm to
have finished a project abroad when the Sultan opened his Muscat palace to
visitors in 1975.
A major portion of the billionaire’s estimated fortune was
tied up in a court fight with the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate.
The Mistry family made news in 2012 when his younger son,
Cyrus, was picked to head the Tata Group, replacing group patriarch Ratan Tata.
Unfortunately, his tenure was cut short by a boardroom
revolt spearheaded by Tata Trusts in 2016, resulting in one of India’s worst
business clashes. As a result, the two families, who had been partners for 70
years, found themselves in a lengthy legal struggle.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group stated in 2020 that it will
sell its stake in the Tata Group. But, Mistry, who would have made an estimated
$16.7 billion from his stake in Tata Sons, could not sell the shares without
the consent of a board.
The Supreme Court maintained Tata Sons’ minority
shareholder rights regulations in 2021, making it more challenging to sell
shares without the board’s consent. The Supreme Court also found that Cyrus’
dismissal was valid.
The conflict with the Tatas had a negative impact on the
Mistrys. The family lost large sums of money that they had previously earned
via their contacts with the organisation. The complicated case was costly and
time-consuming. According to Coomi Kapoor, author of The Tatas, Freddie
Mercury, and Other Bawas, the economic slump damaged the construction and real
estate industry, and the SP Group, like others in this field, experienced a
significant financial blow during Covid.
Nonetheless, by 2022, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group had paid
off a significant chunk of its obligations by selling its entire ownership in
the Eureka Forbes, Sterling, and Wilson Renewable Energy companies.
For the first time in decades, Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry
was no longer recognised as one of the country’s ten richest persons by Forbes
magazine in 2022. Pallonji’s death means that the phantom of Bombay House has
now actually left the building and the company.