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Vijay Mallya

Vijay MallyaThe snake charmers and the rope trick is what the western world still thinks of India. It is still full of snakes and elephants. It is still backward, with filth and dirt all around. But India has clearly moved up from being a land of snake charmers. It has conquered the business scene like never before. Azim Premji, the Ambani brothers, Bharti Mittal, Kumar Birla, Kushal Pal Singh feature in the Forbes list of top 100 billionaires for 2007. This itself shows the progress India has made.

But it doesn't end here. There are lots more who've made a name for themselves. Vijay Mallya is one of them. He is one business tycoon who is equally known for his style and parties as much as for his business acumen. Mallya, the chairman of United Breweries group is the leader of the Indian booze industry. It is the second largest brewer in the world. In 2005 Mallya took over Shaw Wallace to hold a near monopoly over the spirits market in India. It's recent acquisition of Scottish whiskey Whyte & Mackay means that the UBL now has a market share of nearly 60% in the booze market. The liquor industry is not the only venture under Vijay Mallya. He launched the Kingfisher airlines in 2005 which is already touching heights and giving tough competition to credible and established airlines.

Apart from his entrepreneurial skill, this 'King Of Good Times' is also known for his colourful life. His parties are the talk of the town and every celeb and wannabe yearns to be a part of them.

But the most exotic property owned by Mallya is his private Yacht, “The Indian Empress”. Probably the only Indian who owns a Yacht. He added another distinction to his name when he threw a party aboard the Yacht. Mallya also dreamt of organising an Indian Grand Prix. He might soon realise this dream coming true, as F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone sounds pretty interested in coming up with an Indian version of the race in 2009 in a letter recently sent to IOA President Suresh Kalmadi.

His business acquisitions have been the talk of the town , but this entrepreneur does know how to mix leisure with business. Hope Mallya's “Good Times” continue for long and his clients continue to stay on a 'High'- both in air and in spirits.

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