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Chhabria's death leaves wife at Jumbo helm

MUMBAI, India (CNN) -- The death of Dubai-based Indian tycoon Manohar Rajaram Chhabria will see his wife take over as chair of the Jumbo Group's Indian operations, according to a newspaper report.

Chhabria, 56, was one of the most controversial and dynamic of the large contingent of non-resident Indians (NRIs) with business interests in India.

He fell ill during a visit to India from Dubai last month. He underwent surgery for kidney and heart ailments, but suffered a fatal heart attack in Mumbai Saturday.

The Economic Times reported that Vidhya Manohar Chhabria will take the reins of the $1.5 billion group following the death of her husband.

Chhabria, a graduate of Harvard, set up the Jumbo Group in 1974 in Dubai and during the 1980s expanded its Indian operations through a dramatic series of takeovers.

Alcohol, tires in group

His corporate successes included controlling stakes in India's leading alcoholic beverages company Shaw Wallace and in tire-maker Dunlop India.

Other companies in the group include Falcon Tyres, Hindustan Dorr Oliver, Mather & Platt and Gordon Woodroffe.

There are another 21 companies in the group outside India.

Chhabria, who had numerous run-ins with Indian tax authorities and fell out with his younger brother Kishore over control of Shaw Wallace, told his wife Vidya to take the reins of the group just before his death, according to the Economic Times.

Chhabria's three daughters all work for the family business. Komal Wazir is an executive director of Shaw Wallace, Bhavika Godhwani is with Hindustan Dorr Oliver and Kiran Chhabria works for Jumbo in Dubai.

As chairperson, Vidya Manohar Chhabria is expected to run group operations out of Dubai, the newspaper said.




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