Raj Kundra: Rise from Pashmina Trader to Business Tycoon, and Past Controversies

·3-min read

For a majority of Indian media, Raj Kundra became a figure of greater interest when he got engaged to actress Shilpa Shetty, with whom he was co-owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Rajasthan Royals. The two tied the knot in November 2009. His B-Town connections might have begun then, but Kundra was already a business tycoon in London, where he met the actress post her Celebrity Big Brother win. Kundra’s success story is pretty fascinating – from a bus conductor’s son to a multi-millionaire – but is also riddled with controversies.

His father migrated to London from Punjab at the age of 45, where he became a bus conductor before running a small business. A college dropout at the age of 18, Kundra started his business of buying pashmina shawls from Nepal and selling them to all major fashion houses in Britain. Then he got into diamond trading in Dubai. In the UK, Kundra is said to have had stakes in about ten companies operating in trading, construction, real estate, energy, steel, shares, media, sports and gold trading. By 2004, Success, a UK magazine, had ranked him the 198th richest British Asian.

Shetty and Kundra met in 2007 and tied the knot two years later. He had already started taking interest in producing Bollywood movies by then. The couple also invested in the Rajasthan Royals franchise and become the co-owners. The team won the first edition of the IPL, catapulting Kundra into the big league.


The former co-owner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals was banned for life from cricket after being accused of betting. Kundra and the former ICC chief N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan were found guilty of betting. However, Kundra had filed a petition in Supreme Court in 2018 after Delhi Police had given him a clean chit.


In 2017, a textile company accused Kundra of cheating them of Rs 24 lakh. In the complaint filed, the textile company said that the money collected by Raj Kundra and his wife, actress Shilpa Shetty, in the name of the particular company, was never given to them. The Police had filed a complaint against him.


In 2018, Raj was allegedly involved in the Bitcoin Scam. As per the Pune crime branch, some Bollywood actors were promoting an illegal scam to invest money in Bitcoin. A lot of money was recovered after the police came down heavy on this racket. It is said that as much as Rs 2 thousand crore was recovered.


Raj Kundra in a recent interview to an entertainment portal alleged that his ex-wife Kavita was having an affair with his former brother-in-law. His statement came after his ex-wife accused Shilpa Shetty to be the reason behind their separation.


Mumbai Police arrested Kundra in a case related to alleged creation of pornographic films and publishing them through some apps, a senior official said. Kundra appears to be the “key conspirator” of the case, the official said on Monday. The businessman was taken into custody by the Crime Branch on Monday after being booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology (IT) Act, he said.

(With IANS inputs)

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