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Havells’s Qimat Rai Gupta becomes billionaire as stock rises to record

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-06-2014 Netty Ismail

Singapore: Qimat Rai Gupta became a billionaire as shares of Havells India Ltd., the nation’s largest electrical parts maker by market value, surged to a record.

Gupta, 77, and his family control almost 62% of the company, according to exchange filings, a stake valued at $1.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Anil Sharma, a spokesman for Havells, confirmed the family stake in the company based in Noida, near New Delhi.

The maker of lighting products, cables and fans has benefited from rising incomes in the world’s second-most populous nation as consumers shift to branded products, Firstcall Research said in a report on Tuesday. Havells owns Sylvania, a European maker of Lumiance lighting products.

They have shown steady and quality performance in terms of growth and earnings, said Gautam Chhaochharia, head of research at UBS Securities India Pvt. in Mumbai, who has a buy recommendation on the Havells. That’s given investors confidence in the stock.

The stock rose for a fifth day, advancing 1.1% to a record Rs1,067.55 at the close in Mumbai. The shares have surged 35% this year, twice the gain for the S&P BSE Sensex benchmark gauge.

School teacher

Gupta, who’s the chairman of Havells, controls the fortune along with his family, including son Anil Rai Gupta and daughter-in-law Sangeeta Gupta.

In 1958, Gupta, then 21, quit his job as a school teacher in India’s Punjab state and moved to Delhi. With less than $200, he started a trading company selling fixtures and electric cables to businesses, according to Havells’ website.

He bought the Havells brand more than a decade later and expanded it from a garage-based manufacturing and distribution company to a business with about a dozen factories in India, as well as in Europe, Latin America, Africa and China, according to its website.

The company acquired SLI Holdings Inc.’s lighting business for €227 million ($309 million) in 2007 and sells electrical products under brand names including Crabtree, Concord and Standard, according to its website.

Over a period of time, they have consistently grown with stable, improving margins, which have led to earnings growth, UBS’s Chhaochharia said. BLOOMBERG

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