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Weathering the storm: Hiranandani says controversies have not affected the group’s brand. Photo by Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint.

Weathering the storm: Hiranandani says controversies have not affected the group’s brand. Photo by Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint.

Niranjan Hiranandani | You have to pay a price for success

Niranjan Hiranandani | You have to pay a price for success

Mumbai: Niranjan Hiranandani, co-founder and managing director of the Hiranandani group, spoke in an interview about the issues he faces and the road ahead. Edited excerpts:

The Hiranandani group has been facing controversies. How has it affected the brand?

Weathering the storm: Hiranandani says controversies have not affected the group’s brand. Photo by Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint.

Tell us about the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case against you and your brother.

The CBI case, as reported by the media, was that I had not deposited 168 crore (into the) employees’ provident fund (EPF). But what is the final allegation? They have now alleged that my sub-contractors have not paid provident fund of 9 crore. If my contractors and sub-contractors have not paid EPF, how am I responsible for it?

According to us, we are not responsible but according to CBI we are. So now the chargesheet of CBI will be contested. The system is such that if something has to go wrong, it will go wrong but it is up to you to be able to justify that what you did was right. The law, as it stood then, did not indicate that anything wrong was being done by us as far as these matters are concerned.

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Niranjan Hiranandani talks about the outlook for the next generation of leaders in the Hiranandani group.

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What about the recent Supreme Court stay order on construction in Powai for violation of norms?

The decisions of all these matters, agreements and orders were issued 25 years ago. These were not issued by one person but by hundreds of people and vetted by legal opinion and an executive committee. We built 50-60 buildings based on the directions and nothing was kept under the table. Since the matter is sub judice, I can only say that we have done the correct thing in the past.

How do you feel about the ongoing dispute in your family?

I have always said that the reality on the ground is something that you have to live with. I am unhappy about the dispute but, ultimately, the money will be in the family. The case will be decided, and whether she (daughter Priya who filed a case) gets more money or he (son Darshan) gets more money, it will not affect the business. If I hold my child close to me and on a leash, I can never let him grow. Both of them are successful individuals. You have to pay a price for success.

As a group, what are your three biggest challenges?

I feel there is a great amount of indecision in the government process and governance; a huge amount of negativism as far as entrepreneurship is concerned. I hope it will change soon.

As far as internal issues are concerned it will get sorted out soon, if not within six months, then latest by March-April next year.

Where is the Hiranandani group headed in the next five years?

I think in the next five years, it will not be about a group but multiple combinations within the group. I may be with Priya or Darshan or (my brother) Surendra or in a combination with all of them. Unleashing of youth, zeal and young entrepreneurship will rule the Hirandanani clan group in the future.

khushboo.n@livemint.com

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