10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chandru Raheja

In the world of Indian business and real estate development, few names carry as much weight as that of Chandru Lachmandas Raheja. Born in 1940 to a business-oriented family in Mumbai, he is arguably one of India’s biggest success stories in real estate development. Let’s explore some interesting facts about his life that you may not know.

1. Humble Beginnings

Chandru Raheja was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In fact, his early life was marked by economic hardship. His father was a small-scale builder, dealing in real estate in a warming, post-independence Indian economy. Despite these modest beginnings, he was always destined for bigger things, something evident in his tenacity and work ethic from an early age.

He obtained his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit from his father, whom he closely observed from an early age. The foundations of the future real estate empire were inadvertently laid through these observations and conversations at the dinner table.

2. His Educational Background

Chandru Raheja is an alumnus of the esteemed St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, where he studied Commerce. Here, he bolstered his innate business acumen with formal business knowledge and insights.

Despite being a prominent business tycoon, Chandru underscored the importance of education. He is known to ardently believe in its power to break barriers, uplift lives, and level differences, an ideal he has passed down to his children and grandchildren.

3. Founding of K Raheja Corp

Chandru Raheja, at a very young age, took over the reins of the family’s construction business and laid the foundation of K Raheja Corp in 1956. This was the inception of a company that would eventually leave an indelible impact on the Indian real estate landscape.

K Raheja Corp has been credited with the introduction and popularization of the concept of self-contained townships and commercial business districts in India. Today, the sprawling conglomerate has massive projects all across the country and is a pioneer in hospitality, retail, and real estate sectors.

4. Philanthropic Pursuits

Beyond his corporate success, Chandru Raheja is also recognised for his philanthropic pursuits. He believes in giving back to society and has made significant contributions to various causes. One of them is education, where he has funded the construction of several schools across the country.

Moreover, through the K Raheja Corp, he has contributed to healthcare, imparting vocational training and extending aid during natural disasters. He has always espoused the view that those who are capable have a moral duty to help those in need.

5. Diversification into Hospitality

Chandru Raheja’s knack for diversification is well recorded. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he ventured into the hospitality industry. Recognising the potential of this sector, he opened the doors of his first hotel, the JW Marriott in Mumbai.

Since then, he has opened hotels and resorts all over the country, teaming up with international chains such as Marriott, Sheraton and Westin. These decisions have significantly boosted India’s hospitality industry, adding a note of elegance, sophistication, and world-class luxury.

6. Retail Revolution

Not just limiting himself to real estate and hospitality, Chandru Raheja also ushered in a retail revolution in India. In the early 2000s, the country was first introduced to ‘Shopper’s Stop’, a departmental store introduced by Raheja’s company.

This singular move revolutionised the way Indians shopped, transforming the retail landscape in the country forever. Shopper’s Stop became synonymous with quality and variety, offering premium choices from around the globe to the Indian consumer.

7. Succession Planning

No business empire can stand the test of time without visionary planning. Chandru Raheja understood this early on and implemented a robust succession plan. He gradually started to delegate responsibilities to his children: Neel, Ravi and Jyoti, ensuring management continuity within the company.

His foresight ensured a smooth transition of power and has preserved the company’s vision and principles, strengthening its position in the market while carrying forward the Raheja legacy.

8. A Private Individual

Despite his massive success and fame, Chandru Raheja is known for his down-to-earth personality and his desire for privacy. He prefers to keep his personal life under wraps and seldom appears for public interviews.

This characteristic has often lent an air of silent charisma and mystery to his persona, making him all the more fascinating in the public eye. His desire for privacy extends to his family as well, who also prefer to stay away from the public limelight.

9. His Love for Art

Not known to many, Chandru Raheja is an avid lover of art. He has an impressive collection of Indian contemporary art and is known to be a patron for many upcoming artists.

This love for aesthetics is often reflected in the architectural designs of his buildings. Many of the K Raheja Corp projects are not just seen as architectural marvels but also as pieces of art, reflecting Chandru Raheja’s passion for aesthetics.

10. His simple lifestyle

Despite being a part of India’s high net worth individuals, Chandru Raheja is known for his remarkably simple lifestyle. He prefers to keep away from the ostentatious display of wealth and is known for his frugal habits.

To Chandru Raheja, the real essence of life lies not in materialistic possessions but in hard work, perseverance, and serving society, principles that he has lived by and championed all his life.

We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Chandru Raheja, an individual who has left an indelible impact on the landscape of Indian business.

Links to some useful information about Chandru Raheja

K Raheja Corp Official Website
Chandru Raheja on Wikipedia
Chandru Raheja on Forbes