Four Indian corporate leaders BK Birla, Keshub Mahindra, CP Krishnan Nair and KP Singh have joined the league of global czars like Warren Buffett and Rupert Murdoch in a list of the world's top 50 septuagenarian business heads compiled by US magazine BusinessWeek.
These fifty people aged 70 and above who are giving the young generation of businessmen a run for their money despite being beyond the age when most of the people retire from work.
The list also also includes adult entertainment publisher Playboy's Editor-in-Chief Hugh Hefner, billionaire investor George Soros and former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
At the age of 100 years, Chinese TV tycoon Run Run Shaw, Chairman of Hong Kong-based Television Broadcasts is the oldest in the worldwide list.
Among Indians, Basant Kumar Birla is Chairman of Birla Group at the age of 87, while 84-year old Keshub is Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman. Besides, 84-year-old hotelier CP Krishnan Nair and 77-year old realty baron Kushal Pal Singh are Chairman of Hotel Leela Venture and DLF group respectively.
“If 60 is the new 40, then 80 is the new 60. Mellowing with age simply doesn't compute for these folks,” it noted.
About Birla Group of companies patriarch, the magazine said BK Birla still maintains his 9-to-5 office routine. Although many of the businesses are run by younger generation, the octogenarian is still very much in control of several companies, which he runs from his hometown of Kolkata.
“Two years ago, Birla officially willed his businesses to his two daughters, Jayashree and Manjushree, and the largest chunk to grandson Kumar Mangalam Birla."
Wharton graduate Keshub Mahindra also opted out of day- to-day management of the conglomerate long ago and has appointed nephew Anand Mahindra as Managing Director.
“However, Anand refers to his chairman (Keshub) as the “hidden weapon” and a “competitive advantage” for the group.
“A philanthropist, Mahindra is on the boards of many leading Indian companies, including HDFC, India's largest mortgage lender,” it noted.
On Krishnan Nair, who turned a hotelier at the age of 65, years after his army days, the magazine said: “A self-made businessman, Nair is at ease hobnobbing with the Indian powers as he is with world figures like the Dalai Lama, who often stays at the Leela in Mumbai. Nair oversees his business, but the day-to-day operations are run by his son Vivek."
“Ask Nair why he named all his business ventures after his wife, and he says,” Leela is worth it,” it added.
Terming DLF Chairman KP Singh as “czar of Indian real estate,” the report said he transformed a New Delhi suburb into a call-center hub nearly two decades ago.