Home / Companies / People /  Free spirit: Siddharth Mallya

Is life one long party for the son of Vijay Mallya? It sometimes looks that way—after all, the Siddharth Mallya that we see on television is usually cheering the Royal Challengers Bangalore Indian Premier League team or in the company of movie actresses, sometimes both at the same time.

That penchant for partying is something his father is known for. It’s noticeable though that the younger Mallya hasn’t yet been too closely engaged with the UB Group, which forms the basis of the liquor business that’s the fount of the Mallya wealth. That’s despite expressing a desire early on to get to grips with the business.

Born in May 1987 to Vijay Mallya’s first wife, Sameera, Siddartha Mallya was raised in London and Dubai. He attended school at Wellington College, Berkshire, where he played for the hockey team, then went on to business administration from Queen Mary, University of London.

He was groomed for a role in the family business from an early age, appointed director on the board of the UB Group holding company United Breweries Holdings Ltd when he had just left his school. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, grounded since October and laden with debt, was launched on his 18th birthday.

After graduating, Mallya worked with London-based Diageo Plc—which recently agreed to buy a 53.4% stake in United Spirits Ltd (USL), including an open offer for 26% from pubic shareholders—as assistant brand manager, marketing, to prepare himself to join the family’s own liquor business.

“Marketing has always been a big interest of mine in life. Talking to dad and everything, it is something that I have always believed is at the core of a business," Mallya told CNBC-TV18 in 2009.

“More than likely, I will be on the spirits and the beer side of things (at UB) because that is what the real core business is and that is what I have got a real passion for."

After a year stint at Diageo, Siddharth joined United Spirits in January 2010 as general manager, marketing. However, he made tabloid headlines not for his work at USL but for his relationship with actress Deepika Padukone and controversial comments on Twitter. Until last year, he was also the face of the cricket franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore, which Vijay Mallya bought for $111.6 million in 2008.

Earlier this year, Siddharth Mallya seemed ready to put his budding business career on hold.

He said he would be moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

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