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Son rises at Godrej

Reeba Zachariah | June 28, 2004

Politics is his first love, but it is downright business that he is trying to learn, at the Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) Godrej group. Some three weeks ago, Pirojsha Godrej, Adi and Parmeshwar Godrej's 23-year-old son, joined the family business as a management trainee. 
 
Says Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej group, "After completing his studies, my son Pirojsha has joined the group as a management trainee. On completion of one year's training, he will join Godrej Properties & Investments Ltd as a manager. His career, thereafter, will depend on his performance, as it would for any new entrant in our group." 
 
A product of St Cathedral School, Mumbai, Pirojsha completed the last three years of his schooling at Philips Academy, Andover. He then acquired a bachelor's degree in business administration from Wharton, and now has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University. 
 
"It's just been three weeks since I joined the group as a management trainee and there's a long way to go," says Pirojsha, who declines to discuss his future role within the group. 
 
The younger Godrej is focusing on building his leadership abilities. So, does his surname give him an edge? "Well, yes, and no, (it depends) on the way other members within the group treat me," says Godrej, who likes to water-ski, and plays chess, squash, tennis and cricket. 
 
Pirojsha joins a long list of industrialists' children who have either entered the family business or are climbing the corporate ladder elsewhere. 
 
The list includes Wadia group Chairman Nusli Wadia's sons, Ness and Jeh Wadia, Gujarat Ambuja Managing Director NS Sekhsaria's son, Pulkit Sekhsaria, Dilip and Gita Piramal's daughter, Aparna Piramal, and Hindustan Construction Chairman Ajit Gulabchand's daughter, Shalaka Gulabchand. 
 
Pirojsha also joins several other members of the Godrej family in working for the group. Pirojsha's sisters, Tanya Dubash and Nisa Godrej, have been groomed within the group. Tanya is director, marketing, at Godrej Consumer Products and Nisa is manager, corporate development, at Godrej Industries. 
 
Second cousin, Freyan Crishna (the daughter of Vijay and Smita Crishna), 25, also did a short stint with the group and is now studying abroad. Smita is Jamshyd Godrej's sister, while husband, Vijay Crishna, is managing director of Lawkim India. 
 
Jamshyd and Pheroza Godrej's daughter, the 24-year-old Raika, who is now in Mumbai after having finished her studies abroad, may also join the group in the future. 
 
So, will Pirojsha Godrej forget about his political ambitions forever? "Absolutely not. I am totally open to it and I may look at joining politics in the future," he replies.


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