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Krishnan success thanks to political clout

delhi Updated: Oct 11, 2011 01:07 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times
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Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian businessman of Sri Lankan-Tamil origin, is at the centre of controversy in the 2G scam in the country. With a total networth of $9.5 billion, he ranks 93rd in Forbes billionaire list.

His parents migrated from Jaffna, capital of the Northern Province in Sri Lanka, once the heartland of the separatist group LTTE. He was born in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur's "Little India" in 1938.

Known in business circles for his proximity to people in power in India, Malaysia and many South Asian countries, Krishnan used his political contacts to expand his business empire. He is a close family friend and decade-old business associate of Maran brothers.

His first entrepreneurial venture was a Kuala Lumpur consultancy MAI Holdings. He also set up the Exoil Trading, which went on to purchase oil-drilling concessions in various countries.

Later Krishnan diversified into other fields and soon began gambling big in Malaysia. In early 1990s, he started diversifying into the multimedia arena.

Currently, he has business interests in media (Astro), satellite (MEASAT), oil and gas (Bumi Armada), and telecommunications (Maxis, Aircel).

He owns stakes in Tanjong Public Limited Company, an investment holding company with subsidiaries involved in power generation (Powertek), gaming (Pan Malaysian Pools), leisure (Tropical Island and Tanjong Golden Village (TGV)), and property. His main holding companies are Binariang GSM and Usaha Tegas. His Maxis Communications is Malaysia's biggest cellphone service provider.

In India, he has interests in telecom and media. His son is a Buddhist monk.

A first for 2G: 2 foreigners in the dock
The CBI, on Sunday, filed the most high profile FIR in the 2G scam case. T Ananda Krishnan, owner of Malaysia-based Maxis, and Kalanithi Maran, promoter and director of Sun TV, are in the Forbes list of the richest persons in the world.

With a personal net worth of $9.5 billion as of March 2011, T Ananda Krishnan was ranked 93rd in the Forbes billionaire list and is the second richest person in Malaysia.

Kalanithi maran’s personal net worth was $3.5 billion as of March 2011. He was ranked 310 in the Forbes list of billionaires. In India, he was ranked 16th.

This is also for the first time that two foreigners – T Ananda Krishnan, chairman of Maxis and Ralph Marshall, a director of Maxis – have been named in the FIR.