Business is becoming the sector that governs the entire globe. The businessman's success is accompanied by the success of a nation.
As a result, there is a lot to be gained from observing a businessman's growth and development. Let us learn about one such business tycoon, Raj Kundra, who has been in the news for a variety of reasons. Raj Kundra was born in London, the United Kingdom, on September 5, 1975. He is a famous businessman who is also recognized for being the spouse of Shilpa Shetty, a stunning Bollywood actress. His real name is Ripu Sudan Kundra, and the Sussexes currently ranked him as the 198th wealthiest British Asian in 2004.
Raj Kundra's family is of Indian descent (Punjabi Hindu Community), as his parents moved from Ludhiana, Punjab, which was formerly their homeland, to London, United Kingdom, to make a living. Balkrishna Kundra is his father's name, and Usha Rani Kundra is his mother's name, while Reena Kundra and Renu Bakshi are his sisters or siblings. He is said to have one brother, Kenrin, who is currently residing in the United Kingdom. In the initial days, his father began working as a bus conductor after arriving in London and eventually opened a small business with his savings money; he bought a post office in London, while his mother worked as a store assistant and also labored protracted hours with his husband to provide a better living for the family.
Raj Kundra was born and raised solely in London, and he witnessed his family's poverty as a lower-middle-income family while growing up. He acquired his early schooling at a London school and was instructed by his father at the age of 18 to either achieve something or join the family company.
Kundra was hesitant to join the family business because he spent most of his youth in poverty, so he decided to start his own diamond business in Dubai. However, his idea failed, and he traveled to Nepal to explore for business, where he discovered Pashmina shawls for sale at inexpensive costs. So, he ended up buying 100 shawls, returned to London, and sold them to a British fashion company. Quickly, the pashmina shawls became popular in the United Kingdom, and this shawl traded well.
The notion of selling back Shawls was such a hit that he profited more than 20 million euros, making him one of the wealthiest British Asian (198th) in 2004, according to the UK Magazine, Success.
Kundra's first marriage was with Kavita Kundra, who is the child of an Indian British merchant. They dated for a couple of years before marrying in 2003. With Kavita, Kundra has a daughter, Deleena.
Raj and Kavita began having marital problems in 2005, after only two years of marriage and ended up splitting in 2006, when their child Deleena was only two months old.
Love and Married Life with Shilpa Shetty
Raj was allegedly having an affair with Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty while he was already married to Kavita. Raj and Shilpa initially met in London in 2007 for a business-related meeting wherein Raj was assisting Shilpa in the promotion of their perfume label S2. Shilpa had already made a name for herself in the United Kingdom after emerging as the winner of the television reality show Celebrity Big Brother.
Shilpa used to visit London often for her work after that, where the two would talk about business. Furthermore, Shilpa and Raj began to spend greater time with each other as time went on.
Raj proposed to Shilpa in a rather romantic manner at IIFA in Yorkshire while Shilpa was in London for the filming of the British show Big Brother UK. Raj then purchased the 7th floor of an apartment building in Mumbai, directly across from Jalsa (Amitabh Bachchan's house), to stay alongside Shilpa. After that, on November 22, 2009, they got hitched in a farmhouse in Khandala that belonged to a close friend of Shilpa.
Shilpa gave birth to her first kid, on May 21, 2012, in Mumbai, after three years of her marriage with Kundra. They named their boy Viaan.
After Shilpa sustained a few miscarriages, she and Raj decided to go for surrogacy to have their second child after waiting nearly eight years following the birth of their son. On February 15, 2020, the couple subsequently welcomed a baby girl into their lives through surrogacy and named her Samisha.
Business Ventures and Investments
At the age of 29, he had already accomplished a lot with his shrewd foresight. Kundra never turned to look back after his initial struggles and invested in a wide range of industries, including real estate, steel scrap, cricket, online gaming, and the film industry.
In 2009, Kundra and his second wife, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, used an overseas corporation based in Mauritius to invest in and acquire the Rajasthan Royals Cricket Team of the IPL. The duo sought to enhance the team's reputation through marketing and media visibility, as well as obtaining sponsors by leveraging Shetty's identity and prominence as an "international brand." The legitimacy of the investment was, however, queried by Indian government departments.
Raj Kundra, along with actor Sanjay Dutt founded "The Super Fight League," India's maiden mixed martial arts fight league, in 2012. However, in 2013, the venture was forced to close due to legal issues.
Kundra was one of the organizers of Best Deal TV, an Indian television home shopping channel that capitalized on celebrity patronage and launched in 2015.
Kundra had to close down two businesses, one in online poker and the other in stock trading. But after it became evident that his assertions that his online poker business was backed by persons like Shane Warne and Shahid Kapoor were fraudulent, he had to close it in December 2016. This came after SEBI expressed concerns about the legitimacy of stock gaming in September of the same year.
Raj Kundra has also been a part of GroupCo Developers, an Indian real estate company with offices in eight cities, Iconic Investments, which is asserted to be a private fund trading in financial markets, Ashwini Steel, which apparently made mild steel from scrap, TMT Global, which tried to claim to forecast of stock prices, Essential Sports and Media, which was engaged in manufacture and supply outside of sports. One of his other enterprises involved Gold Gate Trading, which promoted itself as a trade and investment company situated in Dubai.
Raj Kundra's journey from being the son of a bus conductor to becoming a millionaire is intriguing, but he is also one of those whose life has been marred by controversy. We'll know about his major controversies because there's always another side to every tale.
1. Betting Controversy - Raj Kundra became a center of news for the bulk of Indian media when he married Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in 2009, with whom he shared his business connections as well because both of them co-owned the IPL team Rajasthan Royals. The problem relating to his controversy here, though, is the betting controversy. After being found guilty of betting on cricket, he was banned from the sport for the rest of his life. Raj Kundra, a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, was interrogated by Delhi Police in 2013 after being accused of gambling on cricket matches. Raj Kundra later admitted to betting on cricket matches during the investigation, claiming that he did it all through a bookie and another business associate Umesh Goenka. Kundra, on the other hand, informed authorities that he did not fix the matches. Kundra, as well as former ICC president N. Srinivasan's son Gurunath Meiyappan, were found guilty in this case. However, after Kundra filed a petition to the Supreme Court in 2018, Delhi police gave him a clean chit in this matter.
2. Cheating Textile Company - Another controversy developed against him in 2017, when he was accused of defrauding the textile sector for 24 lakh rupees. In Bhiwandi police station, an FIR was filed against both Shilpa and Raj under IPC sections 406, which deals with criminal breach of trust, and 420, which deals with cheating. The proprietor of the company 'Big Deals' said that they received money from customers for the sale of bedsheets in favor of Malotia Textiles via television advertisements but did not (supposedly) pay Malotia Textiles the earnings.
3. Bitcoin Fraud - Following on from 2017, another scam surfaced in 2018, just as Bitcoin was gaining traction in India. Kundra is also suspected of being a part of the Bitcoin scam. Some Bollywood actors were allegedly promoting an illegal Bitcoin investment scheme, according to the Pune crime department. After the cops cracked down on the network, a large sum of money was recovered. Around two thousand crore rupees are claimed to have been retrieved. Amit Bhardwaj, the creator and director of GainBitcoin was detained by the Enforcement Directorate for allegedly defrauding investors out of Rs 2,000 crore. Bhardwaj is accused of defrauding 8,000 investors by offering high returns on bitcoin investments. Kundra was also summoned to the ED's office, where he was questioned about the suspected links between the case's claimed primary accused, Amit Bhardwaj, and his firms.
4. Accusations by ex-wife When Kundra and Shilpa's affair was doing the rounds while he had a bitter experience in his first marriage, Kavita Kundra, Raj's former wife, blamed Shilpa for ruining their marriage in her conversation with a leading newspaper. Upset with Kavita's comments and accusations against her, Shilpa had to issue a clarification publicly that she had no role to play in Kavita and Raj's divorce, stating that it had been just 3 months since she knew Kundra for business purposes. Raj Kundra, later in an interview with an entertainment portal, stated that all of Kavita's charges against Shilpa were not only untrue but that Kavita had concocted them with the use of money. He even went on to claim that his ex-wife, Kavita, had an affair with his ex-brother-in-law.
5. Accused of involvement in the creation of obscene content - Kundra's latest controversy has even got Shilpa and her family in a fix. The Mumbai Crime Branch Police detained 12 persons, including Raj Kundra, on July 19, 2021, on charges of creating pornographic movies and disseminating those via websites and applications. As per the Mumbai Police, Kundra is considered to be the "mastermind" of the whole illegal operation that was going on, and he, along with his brother, used to manage the adult entertainment firm Kenrin. He is also said to have invested around Rs. 8 - 10 crores in the pornographic business. All of the content was filmed on an island off the coast of Mumbai, and they were transferred to the United Kingdom. Kundra allegedly used to make between Rs. 6 - 10 lakh every day by selling pornographic content through his app. He was charged under different sections of the IPC, including the IT Act and the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act. Kundra, however, argued that he was wrongfully accused, his name was not even mentioned in the FIR, and that the cops pulled him into the issue. Kundra was freed from Mumbai's Arthur Road jail in September when a magistrate court awarded him bail.
Net Worth and Properties owned
Raj Kundra's net worth is reported to be over $550 million, or Rs 4,017 crores, according to multiple media estimates.
Kundra is the founder and CEO of JL Stream Pvt Ltd, a company that specializes in social networking sites' live streaming services. He also owns Viaan Industry, which he founded in 2014 and named after his son. He has a number of high-end cars, including a BMW Z4 and a Lamborghini. He also owns Kinara, a sea-facing home in Mumbai, where he and his family now reside. He has purchased Rajpalace, a magnificent 7-bedroom mansion in Surrey, UK, where he would enjoy his holidays with his spouse Shilpa. He had also purchased a house on the 19th level of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. However, it was sold in the year 2016 by his spouse Shilpa.
The award, Recognition, Social and Literary Work
Raj Kundra received the Champion of Change Award 2019 on January 20, 2020, at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by contemporary President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, for his contribution to the Swachh Bharat Mission.
He's also a big supporter of his wife's non-profit, the Shilpa Shetty Foundation, which aims to uplift and empower orphan children by providing them with basic necessities.
In 2013, Kundra authored a book called "How Not to Make Money."