Explained | Why the 127-year-old Godrej Group is splitting

The Godrej Group is valued at a whopping Rs 1.76 lakh crore, and its products span from home appliances to real estate.
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 11:44 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 11:44 IST

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The Godrej family on April 30 announced in a statement that there would be an ownership realignment of their shareholdings within the Godrej Companies.

This will come into effect once necessary regulatory approvals are secured.

What Godrej said

"The realignment has been arrived at in a respectful and mindful way to maintain harmony and to better align ownership in acknowledgement of the differing visions of the Godrej family members," the statement read, adding that it will help maximise "strategic direction, focus, agility, and will accelerate the process of creating long-term value for shareholders and all other stakeholders."

Who gets what

Godrej Enterprises Group (GEG) which comprises of Godrej & Boyce (G&B) and its affiliates will be controlled by Jamshyd Godrej acting as Chairperson and Managing Director, Nyrika Holkar, who will act as Executive Director, and their immediate families.

Godrej Industries Group (GIG) - which includes listed companies - Godrej Industries, Godrej Consumer Products, Godrej Properties, Godrej Agrovet and Astec Lifesciences will be headed by Nadir Godrej as Chairperson and controlled by Adi Godrej, Nadir, and their immediate families.

A brief history of Godrej & the family tree

Godrej was founded in 1897 by Ardeshir Godrej and his brother Pirojsha Burjorji Godrej.

However, the former had no sons and the company went to Pirojsha who had four children - Sohrab, Dosa, Naval, and Burjor.

Sohrab had no children, while Dosa had a child named Rishad. However, over time, the group's leadership has gone to Burjor's descendants - Adi and Nadir, and Naval's offsprings Jamshyd and Smita.

Under the current structure, Nyrika Holkar, acting as the Executive Director of GEG, and Pirojsha Godrej acting as Executive Vice Chairperson of GIG, and poised to succeed Nadir as Chairperson in August 2026 have emerged as the next generation leaders.

What happens to the Vikhroli land now

Adi's grandfather Pirojsha had purchased 3,000 acres of land in Mumbai from the British during World War II and subsequently bought 400 acres more, taking the total to 3,400 acres.

Over 3,000 acres is in Vikhroli suburb, and the rest lies in Bhandup and Nahur.

Of this, almost 2,000 acres are mangroves and PTI reported Adi said in 2013 that he did not wish to develop said parts noting a lot of mangroves in the western city had been encroached on.

This leaves around 1,000 acres of land that can be developed. The rest has reportedly been encroached upon.

However, two years before Adi's declaration, Godrej Properties (now under Adi) had entered into an agreement with Godrej & Boyce (now under Jamshyd) to develop the Vikhroli land.

It was reported that Godrej Properties would act as the development manager and be responsible for the conceptualisation, design, sales, and marketing of future development on the G&B-owned land in Vikhroli. For its services, Godrej Properties was to receive 10 per cent of the total revenue generated from this development.

Differences over developing this land crept up over time, reportedly leading to a rift within the family even.

However, now that the conglomerate has split, G&B and Godrej Properties said in a statement that both would continue their MoUs executed from time to time for developing the Vikhroli land as and when G&B desires to develop the same.

"The future development of Vikhroli presents a unique opportunity to create a holistic space in the metropolis of Mumbai where urban development and biodiversity co-exists harmoniously. Godrej Construction and Godrej Properties bring complementary strengths, and this has translated into the launch of successful real estate projects in Vikhroli," said Jamshyd, who heads G&B.

Pirojsha, in the capacity of Executive Chairperson of Godrej Properties said "We look forward to continuing our association with Godrej & Boyce with a view to make Vikhroli into a world-class neighborhood that delivers its residents an outstanding quality of life while ensuring the highest standards of sustainable development."

The split has been a long time coming, with PTI reporting on it, citing sources, back in 2021. In October 2023, the Economic Times had reported that the Godrej Group was in advanced stages of vital negotiations in concluding the formal division of its business, citing industry executives in the know.

Published 01 May 2024, 11:44 IST

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