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For this NRI, joint family is still on!

Industrialist Dr Harikrishin Harilela and his family of 110 members reside in a 100,000 sq ft mansion in Hong Kong.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2005 20:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

At a time when families living together are becoming a rare find, it's hard to believe four generations of an NRI family comprising 70 relatives and 40 servants live together under one roof in Hong Kong.

Fortunately, there are no space constraints. Dr Harikrishin Harilela, OBE and his family reside in a 100,000 sq ft mansion at Kowloon Tong, a media report said.

"It sounds like a lot of people," Harilela, the family patriarch, told Financial Times. "But we are never complete in this house because people are away at different times. The girls marry, kids go away for school - (So) we run this place like a hotel."

Having originally included 18 bedrooms, the main house now has six apartments with 40 bedrooms between them. Each flat measures about 2,500 sq ft - an impressive tally for Hong Kong, one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The mansion, which took three years to plan and one year to build came about because of a promise made to Hari's mother - that he and his brothers would always live together.

"As we were together in poverty, we should not separate in wealth," says Hari.

Harilela and his six brothers started off as impoverished food and sundries vendors during the second World War, living together with their wives in a one-bedroom apartment on Peking Road in Kowloon.

Now, the Harilela holdings encompass hotels all over the world, from Holiday Inns in Asia to the W in Sydney and the Sheraton in Belgravia. The company also has a seat on the Hong Kong stock exchange and investments in food, travel and health care.

First Published: Oct 02, 2005 15:16 IST