Snapshot – India’s richie richs are driven about in some very opulent cars indeed. From Rolls Royces and Ferraris, to Lamborghinis and Bentleys, there is no dearth of automotive eye candy with the super rich and super famous folks in India. On the other side of the coin though are these men, who don’t find their extraordinary wealths compelling enough to be flaunted. Instead, they prefer to stay low key, concentrating on other things. Here are the ordinary cars of India’s five extraordinarily rich and famous men.
Rajnikanth’s Toyota Innova
South Indian megastar Rajnikanth may earn even more than Hollywood A-Lister Tom Cruise, but when it comes to his lifestyle, austerity is the name of the game. The man, who’s known to be a monk with the grease paint off, prefers to funnel his wealth into charity instead of splurging on luxurious cars. Perhaps India’s most ascetic movie stars, Rajnikanth even politely turned down Shahrukh Khan’s gift of a BMW 7-Series. So, what does this man drive, or rather be driven in. The ubiquitous but very comfortable and bomb-proof reliable Toyota Innova. He also happens to own a Honda Civic, a Chevrolet Tavera and his old Fiat 1100.
N.R. Narayana Murthy’s Skoda Laura
An IT czar who is one among his many contemporaries who put India on the world’s information technology map, N.R. Narayana Murthy is another frugal operator who believes in simple living and high thinking. While rumours have it that Narayana Murthy doesn’t know how to drive yet, the man’s seen in the back seat of a Skoda Laura, which is his daily drive machine. The Laura is the second generation Octavia that’s now no longer sold here. A Mahindra Scorpio SUV is another vehicle that Narayana Murthy owns, and has been spotted in. Now, these aren’t exactly the vehicles that billonaires usually are seen in.
Azim Premji’s Pre-Owned Mercedes Benz E-Class
One of India’s richest man who is also one of the biggest philanthropists in the country, Wipro’s Azim Premji used to be driven about in a Toyota Corolla, yes that super reliable sedan that’s as inconspicuous as the pothole on Indian roads. Now, what did the top man at Wipro upgrade to? A pre-owned Mercedes Benz E-Class. Yes, you read that right. One of India’s richest men gets chauffeured in a pre-owned E-Class, teaching all of us the importance of money management. Remember, a car is a depreciating asset and taking pre-owned cat route means that the first owner takes the bigger depreciation hit. That’s the art of the lateral upgrading right there.
Anand Mahindra’s Mahindra Scorpio
A billionaire whose companies make everything from airplanes to electric cars, Anand Mahindra can easily afford a fleet of exotic automobiles that would be the fantasy of every petrol head in the world. But the man’s got keen marketing sense and that means Mahindra’s SUVs are what he’s regularly seen in. And he’s very active on Twitter promoting everything the Mahindra conglomerate makes. While he owned the Mahindra Bolero Invader a few years ago, Anand Mahindra’s current ride is a Scorpio. Talk about putting money where your mouth is. His wife Anuradha is said to have an XUV500 crossover.
Nandan Nilekani’s Toyota Innova
Another IT billionaire who made his money at Infosys, Nandan Nilekani isn’t fond of the good life. He instead aims to solves real time problems, which led him to quit corporate life and set up the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a government body that took on the challenge of issuing the Aadhar number to every Indian in this country. The Aadhar number is India’s own version of the United States’ social security number. Nandan Nilekani is seen in his Toyota Innova MPV, and has another Toyota in his garage, in the form of the Camry luxury sedan. Nandan’s wife Rohini is heavily involved in philanthrophic activities through the Arghyam Foundation.