Mumbai: The funeral of Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry – the billionaire realty tycoon – was performed with full state honours at the Parsi Tower of Silence, here on Wednesday morning. Mistry, 93, the Chairman Emeritus of the venerable 157-year-old Shapoorji Pallonji Group, passed away early on Tuesday at his home.
He is survived by his wife Patsy, daughters Laila and Aloo, and sons Shapoor and Cyrus. A large number of family members, colleagues and other industrialists were present at the solemn ceremony with the Mumbai Police band paying their respects and a gun salute as Mistry’s mortal remains draped in the National Tricolour were brought.
The prayer ceremony ‘uthamna’ shall be held at the Tower of Silence later this afternoon and the family has requested no condolence visits. Born on June 1, 1929 in a Parsi family from Gujarat, Pallonji Mistry had his schooling in Mumbai and went to London for his higher studies and joined the family business later. Pallonji Mistry enabled the family’s business to venture into Middle East countries.
His father Shapoorji had bought shares in Tata Sons in 1930 and the stakes now are about 18 per cent. It was in 2003, Pallonji Mistry surrendered his Indian citizenship and became an Irish citizen. He was married to an Ireland born national Patsy Perin Dubash. Pallonji Mistry was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2016, India’s third highest civilian award for his contribution to industry.
Top Indian personalities led by President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other dignitaries expressed grief over Mistry’s passing.
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group started in 1865 with a notable construction history dating back to 1887 – Littlewood Pallonji & Co was one of the companies that helped to build a large Malabar Hill reservoir – is now a global diversified conglomerate with 18 major companies operating in six business segments – Engineering & Construction, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Water, Energy and Financial Services.
With a workforce of over 50,000 in over 50 countries, the group has developed several mega and iconic structures like RBI headquarters, SBI, HSBC, Grindlays Bank, Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and others in south Mumbai, besides other major infrastructure projects.
The Group had also produced the iconic Hindi film, K. Asif’s ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960), then the most expensive one and till date it reigns among the top popular movies of Bollywood.