Thursday, May 19, 2022
Outlook.com

Riches To Rags: How Billionaire Ranbaxy Brothers Malvinder And Shivinder Singh Landed In Jail

The Ranbaxy brothers -- Malvinder and Shivinder Singh -- systematically and deliberately siphoned off huge sums, estimated at Rs 10,000 crore. Most of the money was used to buy real estate

Riches To Rags: How Billionaire Ranbaxy Brothers Malvinder And Shivinder Singh Landed In Jail
Riches To Rags: How Billionaire Ranbaxy Brothers Malvinder And Shivinder Singh Landed In Jail Photograph by Getty Images

  • 1999 Before Parvinder Singh dies at 56, he declares that D.S. Brar, a professional and his right-hand man, will run Ranbaxy; his sons, Malvinder and Shivinder, acquiesce despite a hue and cry by grandfather, Bhai Mohan
  • 2004 Siblings oust Brar in a boardroom coup; Brian Tempest (pic), an old family friend, takes over, and Malvinder joins the board and bides his time
  • 2006 Tempest out, Malvinder in; the latter charts out a new vision for Ranbaxy, reduces dependence on the US markets, and expands in Europe, Asia and Latin America
  • 2006-07 The Ranbaxy brothers allegedly help Gurinder Singh Dhillon, spiritual head of Radha Soami Satsang Beas, his family members and Sunil Godhwani, the Satsang’s funds manager, to make a killing through shares of Religare; the brothers sell 13.5 million shares at Rs 10 each before the IPO, though they were issued to the public at Rs 185
  • 2008 Japan’s Daiichi-Sankyo buys out the Singh brothers’ stake in Ranbaxy for $2 billion; Malvinder and Shivinder convert their assets into cash; Gurinder Singh convinces the brothers to sell out
  • 2009 US FDA bans several Ranbaxy drugs, finds manufacturing deficiencies and data fraud; Daiichi kicks out the two Singh brothers
  • 2009- 2012 The Singh brothers ­expand in ­hospitals (Fortis) and ­finance (Religare); Godhwani handles their ­personal wealth; Singhs take out money from Fortis and Religare to fund real ­estate deals of firms owned by Dhillon, and his family
  • 2013 In a US court, brothers plead guilty to the charge that Ranbaxy sold adulterated drugs, and agree to pay $500 million; Daiichi sells Ranbaxy to Sun Pharma in 2014
  • 2016-17 Singapore tribunal asks Ranbaxy brothers to pay Rs 3,500 crore to Daiichi as the former concealed ­critical information during Ranbaxy’s sale; later, Supreme Court upholds it; Religare alleges ­siphoning off of Rs 740 crore, which is the case in which the brothers are arrested in 2019, and says the total exposure is Rs 2,200 crore; a New York-based investor in Religare files a court case that the brothers ­indulged in “diversion and ­siphoning” of $1.3 billion; Godhwani exits Religare
  • 2018 Malvinder and Shivinder resign from Fortis and Religare groups; SFO and corporate affairs ministry initiate ­investigations into ­financial irregularities; Daiichi charges that Ranbaxy brothers ­siphoned off Rs 2,900 crore from Ranbaxy
  • 2019 Malvinder and Shivinder in jail

***

Of course, it is about money. But in the case of Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, the two Ranbaxy brothers and billionaire scions who ended up in jail, the narrative goes beyond a simplistic explanation. The sub-plots, which emerge larger than the main one, include personal tussles between family members—father-­son and sibling rivalries—besides ­intense friendships that led to ­greater animosities. Add to this the mysterious veil of spiritual power—both the quest for it, and efforts to retain it.

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