By A Correspondent
New Delhi: Penguin Random House India has announced the acquisition of the first ever-comprehensive biography of the founder and managing director of India’s largest drug maker Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dilip Shanghvi. Journalist and author Soma Das writes this rare account of the life and times of the reticent Indian billionaire businessman whose professional accomplishments have given him the moniker ‘Takeover Tycoon’ and ‘Medicine Mogul’.
Titled, The Reluctant Billionaire: How Dilip Shanghvi became the richest self-made Indian, will be published under the Portfolio imprint by Penguin. It will release in June and is already available for pre-order on e-commerce websites.
Based on interviews with over 150 friends, family members, rivals, former aides, and Dilip Shanghvi himself, this is the untold human story of an enterprise and its creator. The book traces Shanghvi’s transformation from a quiet, curious child working in his father’s small shop to an astute strategist, who built India’s largest pharma company Sun Pharma.
Soma Das told Arrackistan: “Dilip Shanghvi is one of the most interesting and least understood business minds of India today. For someone, unschooled in degrees of sciences and to create one of country’s most valuable enterprises and become the richest self-made Indian in 2015, he is also one of the least studied capitalists. Until now, his journey has been shrouded in mystery partly because of his unwillingness to share it. This narrative attempts to change that. Based on accounts of many of his friends, rivals, extended family members, former and present aides, colleagues and Shanghvi himself, the book strives to understand the fiercely intense personality behind his calm demeanour and tell the tale of his enterprise-Sun Pharma.”
This book is an extraordinary story of an ordinary man, who chooses to stay ‘Anti-famous’. The tale unravels his contrarian and controversial bets that made Sun a global force. It reveals the riveting story of the fiercely intense personality that lies beneath his calm demeanour; of friends and family Shanghvi started his company with—the hurt, and emotional conflicts surrounding their separation—and how Shanghvi staked his closest relationships to professionalize Sun.
Lohit Jagwani, commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India, told Arrackistan: “This book is a fascinating story of how Dilip Shanghvi, a small time businessman from Calcutta, built one of India’s most valued pharmaceutical companies and also briefly replaced Mukesh Ambani as the richest man in India in March 2015. This is for the first time that we will get a candid look into his journey. With over three years of research and more than a hundred interviews, Soma Das has written a compelling book which will surely keep you engaged till the end.”
Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage Publishing, Penguin Random House India, told Arrackistan: “I have waited for more than three years to publish The Reluctant Billionaire: How Dilip Shanghvi became the richest self-made Indian by Soma Das and it has been worth the wait. Impeccably researched, painstakingly detailed and beautifully written, the book unravels the life, career and persona of Dilip Shangvi, and will be perhaps one of best biographies that you will read this year. My heartiest congratulations to Soma Das for her passion, commitment and persistence, and for writing this precious book.”
About the author
Soma Das has been a business journalist for over a decade with publications like The Economic Times and The Financial Express. Pharmaceuticals is one of her areas of specialization. Before entering journalism, she worked as a lecturer in Delhi University and also authored a bestselling work of fiction.