NRI businessman Dadi Balsara, who stayed at Taj Mansingh for 36 years, dies

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 20 2014, 16:33pm hrs
Taj MansinghNRI businessman Dadi Balsara was staying at Taj Mansingh since it opened in 1978.
A 70-year-old businessman, Dadi Balsara, owner of Mount Everest Mineral Water Limited, also one of the richest NRIs in India from Singapore, died at Taj Mansingh hotel in on early Thursday.

According to police, prima facie, it appears that he died of a cardiac arrest. However, police have preserved the body for a post-mortem examination to ascertain the cause of death. A probe under Section 174 CrPC (investigation carried out when there is doubt regarding cause of death) has been initiated, police said.

According to police, Dadi Balsara was staying in Taj Mansinghs room number 901 for the past 36 years since it opened in 1978. The address is mentioned in his passport, driving licence and other relevant documents, police said.

Police said he was staying along with his caretaker, Kuldeep, who was appointed by the Max Hospital to monitor his health. On Wednesday night, he finished dinner around 8 pm and then went to his room.

Kuldeep told police that around 2 am, Balsara woke up and complained of chest pain. Kuldeep informed the hotel staff and Balsara was taken to Moolchand Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. The hospital administration informed police.

Balsara, sources said, started as an LIC officer at Nagpur. He then set up a business empire spread across 63 countries with a reported annual turnover of $7 billion. His personal assets have been valued at over $1.8 billion. Balsara was almost synonymous with Taj Mansingh hotel. His suite number 901 commanded a fine view of the Delhi skyline.

He was the first member of the Taj InnerCircle loyalty programme a fact that the group proudly proclaims on its promotional literature. Taj Mansingh staff said he asked for no special privileges as a long-time guest.

Balsara founded the Mount Everest Mineral Water Limited, which he sold to Tata Tea in 2007. The company bottles and sells mineral water under the brandname Himalayan, which is the only internationally accepted natural mineral water from India. The company claims it sources its water from an underground aquifer located in the Shivalik range of the Himalayas.