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Ness Wadia: The flamboyant scion who faces a legal pickle for drug possession

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Ness is the elder son of Nusli—whose personal wealth is valued at $6.9 billion by Forbes—and Maureen Wadia and was seen as his father’s successor when he took the reins of Bombay Dyeing as joint managing director in 2001. However, he stepped down in 2011 in favour of his younger brother Jehangir.

Ness Wadia: The flamboyant scion who faces a legal pickle for drug possession
Ness Wadia, the scion of one of India’s richest business families, has been sentenced for drug possession by a Japanese court, according to a report by The Financial Times. He has been handed a two-year prison sentence, suspended for five years, after 25 grams of marijuana was found on him at the New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, Japan.
The Wadia Group’s business legacy harks back to 1736 when the family patriarch, Lovji Nusserwanjee Wadia, secured contracts to build ships for the British East Indian Company. In its 283-year history, the Wadia Group has gone on to become one of the most recognisable names in Indian business, with its footprints ranging from biscuits (Britannia Industries) to airlines (Go Air).
Flamboyant Son
Ness is the elder son of Nusli—whose personal wealth is valued at $6.9 billion by Forbes—and Maureen Wadia and was seen as his father’s successor when he took the reins of Bombay Dyeing as joint managing director in 2001. However, he stepped down in 2011 in favour of his younger brother Jehangir. Bombay Dyeing is one of the major businesses of the Wadia Group.
Ness now heads Bombay Burmah company and has a stake in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab.
Seen as the more flamboyant sibling, unlike his brother who is not thrilled with the spotlight, Ness had a four-year relationship with Bollywood actress Preity Zinta who is also a shareholder in Kings XI Punjab, according to several reports in glossy magazines. However, the relationship turned sour and the actress accused him of molestation during a cricket match in 2014.
Diversified Group
The publicly listed Wadia Group companies have a combined valuation in excess of $13 billion.
Ness was arrested on 20 March as Japan, which already has strict drug laws, has imposed its laws stringently in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup being hosted in the country later this year. Japan will also play host to the 2020 Olympics.
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