Gopichand P. Hinduja, fondly known as ‘GP’ in business circles, is Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group.
GP prefers to call himself the student of the University of Life and believes experience has been his best teacher. A graduate from Mumbai University, GP joined the family business at a young age of 19 years. Despite no formal management education, GP along with his elder brother SP transformed their family business from an Indo-Middle East trading Group into a multi-billion dollar transnational conglomerate.
From the very first acquisition of globally renowned iconic brand, Gulf Oil, in 1984, or in 1987, making the first major NRI investment into India with the acquisition of Ashok Leyland, the then struggling Indian automotive manufacturer, or later to acquisitions of the UK’s electric bus manufacturer, Optare which he has overseen and guided to be transformed into Switch Mobility, the leading EV foray of Ashok Leyland. He was also instrumental, first in acquisition of Houghton Inc. in USA by the Group, and later in its merger with Quaker Inc to become Quaker-Houghton, an NYSE listed global leader in metal working fluids, of which the Group is the single largest shareholder. GP remains at the forefront of the Group’s global M&A activities. Irrespective of any of the business sectors that the Group may be invested in, GP prefers to have a direct, hands-on approach towards any M&A opportunity that Group keeps exploring. He prefers to keep things simple – his business philosophy is “pragmatism with a positive outlook to help reach logical conclusions”.
Today, GP remains the fount of any new project or new business vertical development for the Group. He has mastered the art of scaling up new projects to reach a certain level before handing them over to another family member to manage, nurture and expand further. Today, with GP’s vision and determination, the Hinduja Group has made solid strides and investments in the renewable energy sector in India ; a foray into India’s recently opened up defence sector; and very recently in cybersecurity.
Furthermore, under GP’s able stewardship, the Group acquired Winston Churchill’s Old War Office in Whitehall, a Grade II heritage building which is being carefully restored to make way for a luxury hotel to be managed by Raffles and 85 uber luxury apartments.
Taking a keen interest in numerous philanthropic activities that the Group and Hinduja family undertakes in fields of education, healthcare and promoting multicultural understanding, GP is a trustee of the Hinduja Foundation, the PD Hinduja National Hospital, and the KPB Hinduja College of Commerce, and is a Patron of a United Kingdom charity dedicated to mental health.
GP has had the honour of receiving numerous Awards, notably the lifetime achievement award at the 13th Asian Achievers Awards held in London, the Asian Businessman of the Year Award in 2014, and the Lifetime Achievers Award by the Indo-European Business Forum, and Business Leader of the Year 2015 award. GP believes that ‘every award is actually a responsibility’ to carry on. Most recently, he was honoured with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by Asian Business Leadership Forum which he accepted on behalf of all the Hinduja brothers.
GP strongly believes in family values and the joint family concept set by his elder brother, “Everything belongs to everyone. Nothing belongs to anyone”. He also believes deeply in the Gita, which says one should do one’s duty without expectation of results and one should not work to make money but for one’s own joy and that of society.
GP is married to Sunita, and has two sons, Sanjay and Dheeraj, both actively involved in the Hinduja Group businesses, and a daughter, Rita. His personal interests include trekking, music and swimming. He has Honorary Doctorates of Law from University of Westminster and of Economics from Richmond College, London.