Born to win

Updated: Jan 1 2006, 07:57am hrs
Vijay Mallya made his successor known in 2005. He inducted his 18-year-old son, Siddharth, on the board of the groups holding company, United Breweries Holdings. Siddharth, however, will have to wait for a few more years to move onto the centre stage. On May 8 in 2005, when his son turned 18, Mallya launched Kingfisher Air and the next day, the inaugural flight of the airline took place on the Mumbai-Bangalore route.

However, for starters, Siddharth will be a director on the board of United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd.

Not many 18-year-olds ooze confidence like him. But when you stand to inherit Vijay Mallyas gargantuan business empire, you can afford to be that. Mallya junior confesses to feeling guilty about inheriting an empire. So when dad has ensured that he will have to slum it out at the junior level, the teenage heir has no problems about adjusting to the grind that follows.

In London where he lives with his mother, he might still be faceless as of now, but Mallya considers himself privileged. But I am used to doing everything by myself. In fact, in my own little way, I run a business in my school in London, selling company merchandise and freebies and making quick bucks.

Much like his father, Mallya junior whos studying at Wellington College, London, believes life is all about living it up. So he plays golf on the island of Barbados, flaunts spiked hair and and idolises Yuvraj Singh.

Being Vijay Mallyas son also means he has had to work hard and be disciplined. He confesses that much of his levelheadedness stems from his boarding school upbringing which made him tough and independent. Unlike other billionaire heirs, Mallya isnt spoilt. Unlike other 18- year- olds who enjoy partying and having fun, he wants to study business at the London University and specialise in marketing. Currently based in London, he visits India four times a year.

And typically, like other teenagers, Mallya hangs out with friends, tracks India-Pakistan cricket scores from Barbados. Im addicted to cricket. Im sporty. I love playing golf, hockey and squash.

And like his dad, his spirituality quotient is high. He visits temples and claims to share a special rapport with God.

Father Vijay and he share an amazing relationship. Theres so much energy in him. Ive learnt my lessons in life from him: play hard, work harder. Im like him. The best times are when we travel together. I just want to follow in my dads footsteps. We have a friendly relationship. But like all fathers, he loses his cool if I push him over the edge.