Ajit Gulabchand, the scion of famous Walchand family is the Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd. He also serves as the chairman of board of governance at National Institute of Construction Management & Research (NICMAR) and chairman of Walchand College of Engineering, Sangli.
Living in Mumbai's tony National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) residential complex at Marine Drive, the tycoon is famous for his larger than life ideas and carefree philosophy. "There's been no time to grow old," he says, still nursing a dangerously healthy ambition.
The man who was born with a rather large silver spoon in his mouth has also presided over top positions in organizations like Karl Steiner Holding AG, Hincon Holdings Ltd., Indian Hume Pipe Co. Ltd., Hindustan Finvest Ltd., HCC Infotech Ltd., Hincon Technoconsult Ltd., Hincon Realty Ltd., Brabourne Enterprises Ltd., Ucchar Investments Ltd., Western Securities Ltd., LAVASA Corporation Ltd., Motorsports Association of India, Constructmall.com Pvt. Ltd., RPG Life Sciences Ltd., Champali Garden Pvt. Ltd., Shalaka Investment Pvt. Ltd., Gulabchand Foundation and as an Independent Non-Executive Director of Bajaj Electricals Ltd.
Even after his legendary lineage and remarkably successful career, he believes that life is not all about work. "Life is all about living. Live it well" he advices solemnly.
The first real assignment he worked on was the Jamuna Hydel project in 1969, after which he never looked back. Known for the mammoth Bandra-Worli Sealink, Gulabchand is largely responsible for entering his Rs 3,000 crore company into the Guinness Book of Records for the Farakka Barrage in West Bengal, which is the longest barrage in the world.
When asked if the company profited in the Sea link project his mood grows dark. His comments that "All the delays cost us a lot." He even considered dragging the Maharashtra road transport department to court but later realised that, "There is justice in the country, but Ö it is interlocutory justice."
The 60 something year old Ajit Gulabchand is also the founding member of the World Economic Forum's Disaster Resource Network and a member of the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He still loves to indulge in his old habits of jogging, swimming, exercising and spending times with his pets.
According to a recent report by NDTV, Hindustan Construction Company shares slid down over 6% after Q4 results. Yet there is a reason to smile for Ajit Gulabchand as HCC Concessions Ltd., a subsidiary of HCC successfully claimed a Rs. 800 crore project from the National Highways Authority of India for expansion of Vadodara-Surat section of NH-8.
The open hearted construction giant was quoted by Business Standard reporter K Sinha, as he jokingly commented in an interview, "Kuch to nasha karo yaar, bekhudi mein bhi maza hai" (translated: "indulge in at least some addiction my friend, there is joy in forgetting oneself too").