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Wadia succession plan puts Jeh in driver's seat

Last updated on: October 31, 2012 11:31 IST

Wadia succession plan puts Jeh in driver's seat

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Dev Chatterjee in Mumbai


N
usli Wadia, chairman of the Wadia group of companies, has drawn up a succession plan under which Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons will become the group's holding company and his younger son Jeh Wadia, 38, will steer the group in future.

While most of the group companies such as Bombay Dyeing, Britannia, Bombay Realty and Bombay Burmah will be run by professionals, all of them will report to Jeh apart from the board.

"Jeh is being rewarded for his competence," said a source close to the transition. "But as far as equity is concerned, Nusli Wadia is not making any distinction between his two sons," the source said.

JEH WADIA'S TEAM A
Britannia
Vinita Bali, Managing Director
Bombay Dyeing
Durgesh Mehta, Managing Director
GoAir
Geordio De Roni, Chief Executive Officer
Bombay Burmah
Ashok Panjwani, Managing Director

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Wadia succession plan puts Jeh in driver's seat

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Ness, 40, will be on the board of all group companies apart from being managing director of the plantation company, Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation.

At present, Nusli Wadia is chairman and MD of Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons while Jeh is on the board.

Emails sent to the Wadia group did not yield any response.

Jeh's elevation as the head of the group has already been communicated to the boards of all group companies and to company insiders.

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Wadia succession plan puts Jeh in driver's seat

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Apart from giving a free hand to professionals to run group companies, one of the first steps Jeh has already undertaken is to charge a marginal brand and share services fee of 0.25 per cent from all group companies.

This money will be used by Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons to promote the Wadia group brand in future.

The group companies had been asked to use the "Wadia group" brand in their own promotions, the source said.

Jeh set up GoAir in the most tumultuous time in the aviation sector when other airlines where shutting shop. Today, GoAir is one of the profitable airlines in the country, with a significant expansion plan for the future.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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Set up in 1738, the Wadia group is one of India's oldest business houses.

Its first venture was in the marine construction industry. It later set up plantation company Bombay Burmah in 1863, which is listed on stock exchanges.

It was Nowrosjee Wadia who set up Bombay Dyeing in 1879 in a red-brick shed in central Mumbai. Bombay Dyeing is now planning to set up two 80-storey towers at its earlier textile mill site to take advantage of a booming real estate industry in Mumbai.

The lack of proper succession planning had led to one of corporate India's most famous wars, between the Ambani siblings over the Reliance empire set up by the late Dhirubhai Ambani.

Last year, the Tatas announced Cyrus Mistry, the younger son of billionaire Pallonji Mistry, would take over as chairman of the Tata group once current chairman Ratan Tata retired.


Photographs: Courtesy, Wikimedia Commons

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