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Next-gen 'to enter Indian family business Piramal Group'

The third-generation heir-apparent of India’s Piramal family is set to join the family business, in a move which could help the family to strengthen its succession plans.

The third-generation heir-apparent of India’s Piramal family is set to join the family business, in a move which could help the family to strengthen its succession plans.

Anand Piramal, son of the Piramal Group’s chairman Ajay, is expected to join the group’s real estate arm, according to a report in the Times of India, although it did not reveal when the appointment would happen.

A spokesman for the company refused to confirm the possible appointment, and told CampdenFB that the “management is not ready to discuss media speculations”. However, he added it is “highly possible” that Anand will join the family business in the near future.

If the appointment goes ahead, it is likely to strengthen the Piramal family’s succession planning efforts at the €500 million-plus conglomerate, as both next-generation members will hold key positions. His sister Nandini is executive director of the group’s flagship company Piramal Healthcare.

The company, which has operations spanning real estate, pharmaceuticals, glass and financial services, is currently chaired by second-generation Ajay. His wife Swati is director of strategic alliances and communications, while both Nandini and Swati also sit on the board of directors.

Twenty-five-year-old Anand recently finished a Master’s programme in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Piramal Group was founded by Ajay’s father as a textile business and later expanded by his three sons. Following his death, the business operations were split between the second-generation family members.

Eldest son Ashok handled the textile, automobile and retail operations while second son Dilip and his family run the bag-making side of operations.

Third son Ajay expanded the group operations to include pharmaceuticals through a series of acquisitions including Australian company Nicolas Laboratories in 1988. The business, renamed Piramal Healthcare, is India’s second-largest pharmaceutical company today. The family sold its domestic healthcare operations to Chicago-based Abbott in May last year, in a deal which valued the division at $2.12 billion (€1.47 billion).

Ajay has a wealth of around $1 billion according to the 2010 Forbes billionaire list.

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