Running in the Family

India's 10 richest inheritors: The billionaires with mom and dad to thank

Gauri Bhatia | Special to CNBC
Antilia Tower, the new residence of Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of India's Reliance Industries Ltd., stands in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010.
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Some of India's richest men and women have their parents to thank. Having inherited some of the country's top companies and brands, however, these fortunate inheritors have put their individual stamp on their family businesses.

Despite challenges such as family feuds and changing market dynamics, these ten billionaires have not only increased their own wealth but have grown what their forefathers had built, diversifying into uncharted sectors and territories.

Click ahead to get a glimpse of India's corporate heritage, from India's richest man to an IT giant to a media doyenne, in this Top 10 Indian Inheritors list compiled by Wealth-X, a research firm that specializes in ultra-high net worth individuals.

By Gauri Bhatia | Special to CNBC. Posted June 23, 2016.

Benu Gopal Bangur

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Benu Gopal Bangur's grandfather Mugneeram Bangur was given land by the Maharaja of Jamnagar to set up a cement plant.

That business, called Digvijay Cement, was divided between Mugneeram's sons. One son, Narain Dass Bangur, used it as a basis to make a fortune in property, shares, jute, paper, cement and power.

In 1995, that business was split between five inheritors, of which Benu Gopal Bangur, 84, was one. With his brother Purushottam Das, he retained control over a number of businesses including Shree Cement. Benu then took personal control of Shree Cement, which he chairs. He has a $3.1 billion stake in Shree, which makes up most of his $3.4 billion fortune.

Indu Jain

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Ramakrishna Dalmia bought media company Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited (BCCL) in 1946.

In 1948, his son-in-law, Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain, took over, becoming the first chairman. He was replaced by his son Ashok Jain, who served as chairman until his death in 1999.

Ashok's wife Indu Jain, 79, now holds that role. Her stake in BCCL is $2.1 billion, taking her total fortune to $3.5 billion.

Indu, who is well known for her philanthropy, is pictured receiving the Padma Bhushan Award – the third-highest award that can be given to Indian civilians - from President Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi in April 2016.

Srichand Parmanand Hinduja and Prakashchand Parmanand Hinduja

British-based brothers Srichand Hinduja (R) and Prakash Hinduja (L) arrive at a New Delhi court in 2001.
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Like their brothers Ashok and Gopichand, Srichand and Prakashchand have stakes in Hinduja Group worth $4.4 billion each.

Eighty-year-old Srichand, pictured left, who is also based in London, has a total personal wealth of $5.3 billion, as does 70-year-old Switzerland-based Prakashchand, pictured right.

Gopichand Parmanand Hinduja

Gopichand Hinduja, president of Hinduja Group, speaks during an interview at his residence in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011.
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Like his brother Ashok, London-based Gopichand has a $4.4 billion stake in the Hinduja Group.

The 76-year-old, pictured during an interview at his home in Mumbai in 2011, has a fortune of $5.3 billion in total.

Ashok Parmanand Hinduja

Chairman of Hinduja Ventures Limited, Hinduja Group of Enterprise, Ashok Hinduja looks on during a press conference on NXT Digital's contribution to the government's Make In India campaign in New Delhi on September 16, 2015.
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The Hinduja Group has been in business since 1914, with a portfolio encompassing the automotive, IT, media, entertainment, banking, construction, agriculture, real estate, trading and health care sectors.

When founder Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja died in 1971, his sons Srichand, Gopichand, Prakashchand and Ashok took over the business.

Ashok, 66, photographed at a New Delhi press conference celebrating the government's Make in India campaign in 2014, has a $4.4 billion stake in the group and total worth of $5.5 billion.

Kumar Mangalam Birla

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, speaks during an interview on May 3, 2015 in Mumbai, India.
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Birla Group started as a cotton and jute trader in 1870.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, pictured speaking in Mumbai in 2015, joined the family company at the age of 15, mentored by his father Aditya Vikram Birla, who made the teenager attend board meetings so that he could be quizzed later.

At 22, Birla went to do his MBA at the London Business School and, according to the Economic Times, took over running the company at just 28.

He became chairman in 1995, after his father's death, renaming the business Aditya Birla Group in honor of his father. A life of service in the family company has earned the 49-year-old an $8.8 billion fortune.

Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry

The Imperial residential towers rise over the Tardeo area of Mumbai, India, on Monday, July 21, 2010. One of the most iconic skyscrapers in Mumbai, the Imperial towers was developed by the Sharpooji Pallonji Group over a former slum.
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Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry's father Shapoorji Pallonji co-founded construction company Littlewood Pallonji and Company in 1865, and went on to build factories for Tata Steel and Tata Motors, for which he took payment in shares.

His son, 87-year-old Mistry, joined the diversified family business at the age of 18, building up a fortune of $13.2 billion as Littlewood - now known as the Shapoorji Pallonji Group - played a key role in the development of Mumbai as India's commercial hub. The Imperial residential towers in the Tardeo area of Mumbai, pictured, were developed by the company on the site of a former slum.

Mistry's share in the group is $1.9 billion, while his stake in Tata is worth more than $9 billion.

Azim Hasham Premji

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd., smiles during an interview in New York, U.S., on Friday, May 18, 2012.
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Seventy-year-old Azim Hasham Premji, known as the Czar of Indian IT, has a $16.2 billion fortune, having inherited Western India Vegetable Products from his father Mohamed H. Hasham Premji.

After his father's death in 1966, a 21-year-old Premji, who is pictured during an interview in New York in 2012, dropped out from Stanford University to join the family firm. By 1968 he was chairman, CEO and MD.

Premji later renamed the company Wipro and separated it into three diversified divisions: Wipro Products, Wipro Technologies and Wipro Corp. Wipro is India's third-largest outsourcing company, according to Forbes. Premji's stake in Wipro is worth $9.5 billion.

Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., attends the Ajay Mushran Memorial Lecture in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, July 10, 2011.
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The 59-year-old, pictured in New Delhi in 2011, has a net worth of $23.3 billion, having inherited the Reliance Group conglomerate from the founder, his father Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani.

He took the reins of the company with his brother Anil in 1985, and the brothers inherited the business in 2002 when their father died. But the group was split in 2005 after the siblings fell out.

Ambani retained the petrochemicals, oil and natural gas, textiles,retail and telecom segments, renaming his share of the company Reliance Industries, where he is chairman and MD.