My big fat £15 million Indian wedding
Tycoon from British billionaire Hinduja family hires Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Scherzinger for his big day
A billionaire from one of Britain’s wealthiest business families, tied the knot with his bride during a lavish three-day wedding in a ceremonial extravaganza, which is being dubbed as one of India’s most stunning weddings.
50-year-old Sanjay Hinduja wed renowned fashion designer Anu Mahtani, in a stunning £15 million wedding extravaganza, topped with live performances by Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Scherzinger for the wedding guests, costing an estimated £1 million.
Some 16,000 guests that attended, included some of the world’s richest and most powerful people, as well as politicians and the crème de la crème of Bollywood celebrities.
The week-long wedding earlier this month was hosted in some of India’s most exclusive hotels including the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, and the Jagmandir Island Palace in Udaipur.
The groom, Sanjay Hinduja, is the eldest son of Gopichand and the nephew of Srichand – who are currently the richest men in Britain, with a fortune estimated to be an impressive £11.9 billion.
Many of the distinguished guests flew in on 208 privately-chartered flights. With so many planes landing at the airport, there was not enough space to park the jets, which each cost £2,000-per-hour to hire.
On Tuesday 10th February 2015, around 800 guests moved on to the scenic lakeside town of Udaipur in Rajasthan.
They were housed at the Jagmandir Island Palace Hotel in Lake Pichola, which is famous for being the setting for the Bond film, ‘Octopussy’. Guests were transported to the island on 14 fully adorned boats.
The guests in Udaipur were chauffeured around in a fleet of top-spec BMWs, which had been specially flown in from Mumbai.
The festivities in Udaipur began with a cocktail party at the Manek Chowk, which is inside the historic Palace of Kings in the centre of Udaipur.
This was followed by the ‘Mehndi’ ceremony, in which Anu’s hands and feet were decorated with elaborately-patterned henna tattoos. In a modern twist, this was done as a pool-side party.
On the eve of Sanjay’s and Anu’s big day, a ‘Sangeet’ ceremony was held. This included performances by X-Factor judge and pop sensation Nicole Scherzinger, and Bollywood star Arjun Kapoor. They were supported by a full troupe of dancers and a vibrant lighting exhibition.
On the wedding day itself, guests were treated to folk music as they arrived, and had a choice of 16 different types of cuisine.
Jennifer Lopez performed for the first time in India. During her stay in the country, she stayed at the £3,000-per-night Kohinoor Suite, of the Oberoi Udaivilas Hotel. Known for travelling with her extensive entourage, J-Lo brought her troupe of dancers which included ex-boyfriend Casper Smart.
The heir to the Hinduja empire, Sanjay, has spent much of his life in Tehran and London. He worked in banking before joining the family business in his early twenties. Specialising in oil and energy, in 2005, he became the chairman of Gulf Oil International, one of the world’s biggest traders in petroleum products.
The Hinduja Group is headquartered in New Zealand House on Haymarket, in the West End of London. But the company has its origins in India, when in 1914, Sanjay’s grandfather, Parmanand, moved to Mumbai to begin trading.
Parmanand’s wealth grew when he began importing from and exporting to Iran. From the 1970s, the Hinduja Group started to develop into the global business that it is today.
Known in their native India as the “Fab Four”, all of the brothers are teetotal and vegetarian. Sri and Gopi moved to London, third brother, Prakash, lives in Geneva and the fourth, Ashok, remains in Mumbai. Sri – who is also known as SP – took over control of the global company following the death of his father in 1971.
Today, the Hinduja Group employs 70,000 people in 37 countries. It has joint ventures with other groups including Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, and British bus manufacturer, Optare.