India’s Parsis are one of the most successful minority and migrant groups in the world. They make up less than 0.005% of India’s population but three out of the country’s top 10 billionaires.
They fled Iran and settled in India in the 10th century and have since played an outsized role in the evolution of India’s economy as pioneers of trade and industry.
For centuries, prominent Parsis have shared their success through philanthropy–their religion encourages wealth creation as well as charity–so the names of top Parsi traders and industrialists are plastered on the hospitals, schools, libraries and streets of Mumbai and other cities.
A Wall Street Journal article looks at how the battle for control of the $100 billion Tata Group–which was founded and headed by Parsis–has caused a lot of stress and soul searching in the proud community.
Three of the richest Parsi families–the Tatas, the Mistrys and the Wadias– are involved in the unusually ugly and public brawl which has now shifted to the courts.
Here are snapshots of those three Parsi families and two others that have made billions building the backbone of Indian industry.