Shapoorji Pallonji group: The construction giant run by Cyrus Mistry's father

In this file photo of Cyrus Mistry whom Tata Sons on Monday removed as its Chairman, nearly 4 years after he took over the reins of the group.
The 150 year-old Shapoorji Pallonji group traces back its history to Littlewood Pallonji, a partnership firm in 1865. Its first project was the construction of a pavement on Girgaum Chowpatty. This small contract of six months won the company a profit, says the group’s website.

This project was followed by the construction of a reservoir on Malabar Hill in 1881, which supplied water to Mumbai for over 100 years.

The company was commended by the then governor of Bombay for completing the work of Bombay Central Railway Station within 21 months. The cost was Rs 1.5 crore.

Shapoorji Mistry, father of Pallonji Mistry who is also known as Phantom of Bombay House, built many iconic structures such as RBI Building, HSBC, and the SBI head office buildings in Mumbai.

Legend says Shapoorji first bought shares in Tata Sons in the 1930s, a stake that currently stands at 18.4 per cent. Mistry is the largest single shareholder in Tata Sons, a firm mostly controlled by trusts.

In 2003, Pallonji Mistry became an Irish Citizen on the basis of his marriage to an Irish national.

He has three children. While youngest son Cyrus became the chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, elder son Shapoor is heading Shapoorji Pallonji group as managing director. Pallonji is the chairman of the group.

One daughter, Aloo, is married to Noel Tata, the half-brother of Ratan Tata and chairman of Trent.

Mistry owns a 200 acre stud farm in Pune. Mistry also owns a 10,000-square-foot home in Pune and a bungalow in Mumbai.

The group also built Brabourne stadium, the Taj Mahal Tower, The Trident and so on.

It also built Barakhamba Underground Station in Delhi and Providence Stadiumin in Guyana. In 2010, it built the country's tallest building, The Imperial, a residential tower in Mumbai.

It also built Royal Palace for the Sultan of Oman.

Today, the $4 billion group, helmed by Shapoor Mistry, has five major verticals such as engineering and construction, real estate, infrastructure, power and water. Its main companies are Afcons, SPCL, SP International, Sterling & Wilson, SP Real estate.

SP group has a venture with Canada-based CPPIB to buy office assets and with Standard Chartered and IFC for affordable housing.

The group is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 30 per cent.

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