Mumbai Madness: Indian Magnate Talks Smack Over $1B Home
12:53 pm, May 24th | by Hillary Reinsberg
We’re officially declaring it war. Ratan Tata, the owner of Jaguar/Land Rover, Tetley Tea, Eight O’Clock Coffee and about a million other consumer/steel/energy products you haven’t heard of, has been talking smack about Mukesh Ambani, the Indian business magnate and 9th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, who recently built a $1 billion home in Mumbai called “Antilla.”
According to the Economic Times of India, when asked what he thought about Ambani’s excessive home, Tata, who holds great quantities of his wealth in charitable trusts and is known generally to avoid excess, told The Times of London on Sunday:
“It makes me wonder why someone would do that. That’s what revolutions are made of. The person who lives in there should be concerned about what he sees around him and [asking] can he make a difference…If he is not, then it’s sad because this country needs people to allocate some of their enormous wealth to finding ways of mitigating the hardship that people have.”
Well, yes. A 26-story, billion-dollar home is insane, and not just given India’s levels of economic disparity. It’s crazy anywhere – and we have to imagine many, if not most people would agree. But alas, Tata is a good guy and feels badly and wants to clarify that his statements were taken out of context and even wants to “pursue measures” against the paper for publishing these statements. Here’s what a Tata spokesperson had to say:
“We would also like to clarify on stories in Indian media regarding Mr Ambani’s home. The report is out of context and factually incorrect. Mr Tata’s comments on wealth are in the larger context of the growing disparity in the society. The comments seem to have been deliberately sensationalised…There have been words, individuals and statements that have not been mentioned by Mr Tata during the course of the interaction which are being attributed to him…We have already registered our protest with the concerned publication and will continue to pursue measures against the incorrect impressions being sought to be created.”
It’s interesting that Tata wanted to retract and clarify the statements. While he’s obviously attempting to save face with Ambani, a fellow business magnate in the same market, we have to wonder if Tata doesn’t really think those things about Antilla. Wouldn’t anyone? Our guess: He probably thinks Ambani’s a selfish greedy money-hoarder. But since he’s a “good person,” Tata doesn’t want to look like a jerk.