Vijay Mallya is one of the most recognized Indian businessmen in the world, and he’s well known for his flamboyant persona and his penchant for doing everything in a supremely glamorous way.
The stylish business tycoon and liquor baron is one of India’s billionaires, and he has tested his feet in every possible field and succeeded in making a name for himself. He’s known mainly for the Kingfisher brand which blossomed under his leadership and his political ambitions.
His Early Years and Education
Vijay Mallya was born on December 18th, 1955. He underwent his education in the Indian city of Kolkata and he studied at La Martiniere, a boys’ school and St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata. He was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration by the University of California, Irvine. He was brought up by his parents, Vittal Mallya and Lalitha Ramaiah.
He assumed the position of Chairman of the UB Group of Companies in 1984 when he was 28 years old. During his tenure as Chairman, the UB group of Companies has grown into a multi-billion dollar empire of more than 60 companies.
His Outward Persona and Public Appeal
Vijay Mallya is known for his lavish lifestyle and magnetic personality. He’s well known for the diamond ear studs that he wears, and he owns private jets, yachts, a personalized Boeing 727, stud farms with around 200 horses, and close to 250 vintage cars.
Significant Business Achievements
The central areas of his companies cover many sectors such as alcoholic beverages, engineering, life sciences, chemicals, agriculture, and aviation and information technology. The United Breweries is the second largest group in the world following the acquisition of Whyte and Mackay in May 2007 and Millennium Breweries Limited in 2005.
While converting his company into a multi-billion dollar business, he has also forayed into other sectors. He founded Kingfisher Airlines in 2005, entering the aviation sector. The company was named after UB Group’s very popular beer brand, Kingfisher.
Mallya owns stakes in Air Deccan, which is a low cost airline company and in the timeline of three years, Kingfisher Airlines has grown in stature as one of the top airline services in India.
Vijay Mallya is also known for his love for sports, and he owns a team in the Indian Premier League called Bangalore Royal Challengers. He tasted success when the Royal Challengers finished second in fourth season of the IPL. He also co-owns the Formula One (F1) team, Force India along with the Michiel Mol. They bought the team Spyker together for 88 million Euros, and the team is now called Force India.
His Political Foray and Other Work
Mallya ventured into politics in the year 2000 and joined the Janata Party, but he tasted success only as an independent member and became a Rajya Sabha MP. He’s the founder of the famous medical institution called The Mallya Hospital, which is situated on Vittal Mallya Road in Bangalore. He has also set up a school called the Mallya Aditi International School in Bangalore.
Vijay Mallya graced the headlines across the country when he brought back the sword of Tipu Sultan to India by bidding for it in London for 175,000 pounds. He also bid for items that were a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s heritage, entered an auction for USD 1.8 million and brought them back to India.
He is still the Chairman of the UB Group of Companies, which is fast expanding every passing year. Through his innate charisma, keen business sense and magnetic personality, Vijay Mallya has struck the right chords with the Indian public.
You can follow him on twitter @TheVijayMallya