Yesterday’s Forbes list of billionaires confirmed what we’d always known: the Parsis are by far the most brilliant community in India. Because despite being 0.005 per cent of India’s population, not one not two but three Parsis have made it to the top ten list of richest Indians.
Reclusive construction tycoon Pallonji Mistry comes in at fifth place with $14.7 billion, the Godrej family headed by Adi at seventh place with their $11.4 billion and up by a billion from last year the flamboyant Pune-based chairman of the Serum Institute of India Cyrus Poonawalla stands with his $7.9 billion.
Adi Godrej and Cyrus Poonawalla
A new entrant in the top ten list who has managed to pip Kumar Mangalam Birla and his three generations of wealth, and whose purchase of Lincoln House, the former US consulate at Breach Candy obviously hasn’t made a dent, and must have come from the loose change in his pocket.
But think about it, three men from a community of no more than two lakh worldwide. Think about the handwork, the commitment, the vision. And it’s not only in the wealth stakes that the Parsis have shone: doctors, legal luminaries, therapists, humorists architects, thespians rallyists … there are few fields, which they have not excelled in.
And they’ve done this peacefully, gently, not a small amount of their celebrated self-deprecating humor. Yes — it’s official: it’s ‘love a Parsi week’ this week.
By Malavika Sangghvi