The lady billionaire who owns business in Georgia
04 December, 2014
The lady billionaire who owns business in Georgia
In recent years, Georgia has become one of the most open and attractive countries when it comes to foreign investments. According to Doing Business rating done by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), ease of starting a business in Georgia is ranked 15 out of 189 listed countries. According to National Statistics Service, the total volume of direct foreign investments into Georgia in 2013 comprised $914 million.

These and other factors taken into account, it becomes clear that many
prominent figures, such as Donald Trump and George Soros, are connected to Georgia through financial ties or social activity. One such notable investor in Georgia is the well-known billionaire Savitri Jindal, owner of Jindal Group and the richest woman in India. According to Forbes’ most recent estimates, 64-year old woman ranks 155 in the “World’s Billionaires” list with 6.4 billion.
One of the companies comprising Savitri’s business group is “Jindal Petroleum,” which owns five gas stations in Georgia, with their total cost being approximately $17.5 billion. Jindal Group, the largest steel and power conglomerate in India, was founded by Om Prakash Jindal, a man born in a small village, in 1952.
Engineer by profession, Om Prakash made his first steps in business at the age of 22, when he opened a small factory that made buckets. Five years later he opened a metal pipe factory in Calcutta. This was the first brick in the foundation of one of India’s largest business empires, which today owns factories throughout the entire country, with assets estimated to be worth at least $18 billion.
Mother of nine children, Savitri Jindal took over the family business when her husband died in a plane crash in 2005. Before her husband’s death, Savitri, who had no business education to speak of, led the traditional life of an Indian woman and most likely couldn’t even imagine that one day she would be at the helm of the family business. However, she turned out to bear the responsibility quite well. Her four sons - Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen - each deal with particular departments of companies comprising the conglomerate.
“We have a friendly family. After father died, mother became the axis around which we all united, grew stronger and found the power to endure the tragedy of our father’s death together” – says Navin Jindal, the youngest son of Savitri, member of India’s Parliament and manager of the largest share of the company’s assets. The company itself, however, has problems with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, which accuses it of violating environmental protection laws in order to implement its energy projects in eastern India.
The unity and cohesion of the family brought it considerable success in business – in five years of Savitri’s administration, the company’s income increased fourfold. Along with her business successes, Savitri Jindal continued her deceased husband’s political career. In 2005-2009 the world’s oldest richest woman was a minister of her home state Haryana. Today she is a representative of Hisar district in Haryana’s legislative authority.
As she herself said, social activities entice her more than business does. She prefers personal meetings with voters and carrying out of social projects to sitting in CEO’s armchair. Savitri meets residents of her administrative district three times a week, listening to their wishes and complaints. Meanwhile, Jindal Group continues in the direction set by its founder, investing in a variety of fields, such as mining, smelting, gas production and maritime commerce.
The conglomerate appeared in Georgia five years ago, after one of its components, “Jindal Petroleum,” won a tender on four oil-containing areas. Later the company signed a contract on five licensed projects with Georgia’s previous government. As a result, the company now has the right to prospect for gas and oil in 5 areas: Kakheti, Shida Kartli, Guria, Zemo Adjara and vicinity of Tbilisi. But this isn’t all. Om Prakash’s brainchild has a $100 million investment in store for Georgia in the near future.

Author: Mari Javakhishvili

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