The Gopinaths: (From left) Bhargavi, Krithika, Capt. Gopi and Pallavi.
Company name: Deccan 360/Deccan Charters Ltd
Founder: Capt. G.R. Gopinath, 59
Wife: Bhargavi runs a bakery venture, Bun World
Daughters: Pallavi works for Deccan 360. Krithika is with Deccan Charters
Why I did it: "There was not a single private helicopter company, while there were thousands of pilots and engineers who had retired from the defence forces, who were still young, capable but had no jobs. The country was on the path to reforms and it suddenly struck me: My God, this is a combustible mix of factors. One cannot go wrong."
Total turnover: Rs 375 crore in 2009/10
The Adanis: (From left) Pranav, Priti, Rajesh, Gautam and Karan. Gautam Adani's business acumen has ensured a meteoric rise for his group over the past couple of decades. The corporate journey of this college dropout has been nothing short of spectacular - from a small-time diamond trader in the eighties to running a Rs 3,000-crore trading house by the turn of the century to a Rs 28,000-crore conglomerate.
Founder: Gautam Shantilal Adani, 48
Wife: Priti manages Adani Foundation
Son: Karan handles the ports business
Brother: Rajesh oversees the trading business
Nephew: Pranav looks after the agri business
Total turnover: Rs 28,000 crore in 2009/10
Main companies: Adani Enterprises, Adani Power, Adani Wilmer, and Mundra Port and SEZ
By revenues and scale, the companies of G.M. Rao, 60, may lag behind those of other businessmen who have come out tops in the last two decades. But there is no denying his family's influence - power and contacts, to be less politically correct - in India.
Founder: Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao, 60
Son-in-law: Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman, Urban Infrastructure and Highways
Sons: G.B.S. Raju, Chairman, Corporate and International Business; Kiran K. Grandhi, Chairman, Airports
Why I did it: "There was an opportunity."
Total turnover: Rs 4,560 crore (Rs 25,000 crore assets) in 2009/10
Main companies: GMR Infrastructure, GMR Industries
The Kapoors: (From left) Radha, Rana, Roshini, Bindu and Raakhe. Rana Kapoor and his bank, YES Bank, have won several awards over the past five years. He is perhaps the first Indian professional to have successfully set up a greenfield banking venture, which is now the fourth-largest private sector bank in India in terms of total assets.
Company name: Yes Bank
Founder: Rana Kapoor, 53
Daughters: Raakhe works with YES Bank, Radha runs her own business, DoIt Creations, Roshini is studying
Why I did it: "I was very restless. I wanted to start something entrepreneurial."
Total turnover: Rs 2,369 crore in 2009/10
The Puris of Moser Baer India: (Left) Ratul with wife Kavita (sitting); Deepak and (sitting) wife Nita. Moser Baer is an Indian business family in every sense. Its founder Deepak Puri's wife Nita is a director of the company, heading administration and human resources and son Ratul running daily business.
Company name: Moser Baer India
Founder: Deepak Puri, 70
Wife: Nita Puri heads the Administrative wing
Son: Ratul Puri, Executive Director, Moser Baer India
Why I did it: "I was the odd one out in my family, always inclined towards business."
Total turnover: Rs 5,500 crore in 2010/11 (annualised)
Main companies: Moser Baer India
The Reddys: (From left) G.V. Sanjay, his wife Aparna, founder G.V. Krishna, G. Indira Krishna, Krishna Ram Bhupal and Shalini Bhupal. Gunapat I Venkata Krishna Reddy's family is an example of a new kind of family business where, though key family members do hold key posts, they also have professionals working alongside at top levels who play equally vital roles. Krishna Reddy's wife G. Indira Krishna, G.V. Sanjay, daughter Shalini Bhupal and grandson Krishna Ram Bhupal are all actively involved in the GVK Group, albeit in different areas.
Founder: G.V.K. Reddy, 72
Wife: G. Indira Krishna, MD, Taj GVK Hotels
Daughter: Shalini Bhupal, Executive Director, Taj GVK Hotels
Son: G.V. Sanjay plays key role in new business initiatives
Grandson: Krishna Ram Bhupal runs two power projects and GVK One, a family-owned mall
Why I did it: "The opening up of the economy made it possible for me to think big."
Total turnover: Rs 2,500 crore in 2009/10
Main companies: GVK Power and Infrastructure, Taj GVK, GVK Biosciences, and Novopan
The Kapoors of Balaji Group: (From left) Tusshar, Ekta, Shobha and Jeetendra. It all started in the early 1990s, when Jeetendra was asked to produce a programme for the channel TV Asia. After some market research and coaxing from his family, he decided to take the plunge. As luck would have it, by the time Jeetendra was ready with the show, the channel had been sold. "We were left with a lot of software but no slot to put it on air," says Jeetendra. That was when Balaji Telefilms was born.
Founder: Jeetendra Kapoor, 68
Wife: Shobha, Managing Director, Balaji Telefilms
Daughter: Ekta, Joint MD, Balaji Telefilms
Son: Tusshar, Executive Director, Balaji Motion Pictures
Why I did it: "TV as a medium was a huge opportunity to explore when satellite TV was gaining momentum."
Total turnover: Rs 170 crore
Main companies: Balaji Telefilms and Balaji Motion Pictures
The Shettys of Allcargo Global: (From left) Adarsh Hegde, Aarthi and Shashi. A remarkable, post-liberalisation success in an unusual sector is Shashi Kiran Shetty, 54. Ably assisted by his younger brother and brother-in-law, he has turned his freight forwarding company, Allcargo Global Logistics, into a Rs 2,600 crore giant.
Allcargo Global Logistics Ltd
Founder: Shashi Kiran Shetty, 54
Wife: Aarthi is a director on the Board
Brother: Umesh works with Shetty
Brother-in-law: Adarsh Hegde works with Shetty
Why I did it: "I worked for a shipping company for four years and I saw a big opportunity as trade to and from India was increasing big time."
Total turnover: Rs 2,600 crore in 2009/10
Main companies: Allcargo Global Logistics, ECU Line and TransIndia Freight Services
The Agarwals of Visa Group: (Standing from left) Vivek, Vishal and Vikas. (Sitting) Saroj and Vishambhar Saran at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. After working with the Tata Group for 33 years, Vishambhar Saran quit to build a Rs 5,000 crore conglomerate.
Founder: Vishambhar Saran, 63
Wife: Saroj Agarwal
Sons: Vishal, MD, VISA Steel, Vikas , MD, VISA Power, Vivek, who heads the trading unit
Why I did it: "What was the salary of a managing director at that time? The basic salary was capped at Rs 15,000."
Total turnover: Around Rs 5,000 crore
Main companies: VISA Steel, VISA Power, VISA Comtrade
The Saxenas of Elder Pharma: (from left) Daughter Shalini Kumar; founder Jagdish; wife Sneh, son Anuj; Alok and wife Niti at Versova beach in MumbaiJagdish Saxena, who never wanted to get into business, now heads a pharmaceutical empire. Jagdish Saxena says he is glad all his three children have decided to take up the mantle of the Elder Group and hopes they will carry forward his legacy.
Founder: Jagdish Saxena, 72
Daughter: Shalini Kumar, MD, Elder Instruments
Sons: Alok, Director, Elder Pharma and Anuj, MD, Elder Healthcare
Why I did it: "When the company I was with laid off 300 people, I felt responsible for them. I quit, started my own unit and employed them all."
Total turnover: Rs 1,000 crore
Main companies: Elder Pharmaceuticals (flagship), Elder Healthcare, Elder Projects, Elder Instruments
The Guptas of Havells India: Chairman Qimat Rai (second from left) with wife Vinod (left) and granddaughter Aradhana. (Behind) Anil with his wife Sangeeta and son Abhinav. Havells's rise has been meteoric. From very humble beginnings in 1958, it is now, following the Sylvania acquisition, the fourth-largest lighting company in the world after Philips, Osram and General Electric. Its founder Qimat Rai had landed in Delhi at age 21 with Rs 10,000 in hand. Keen business acumen saw him strike a deal to buy up the Havells brand for around Rs 7 lakh in 1971.
Company name: Havells India
Promoter: Qimat Rai Gupta, 74
Son: Anil, Joint Managing Director
Why I did it: "My father was a man of modest means. Earning respect and making my family financially stable has been my key motive throughout my life."
Total turnover: Rs 5,300 crore in 2009/10