This Liquor Baron Who Doesn't Drink Is India's Newest Billionaire: Here's His Amazing Journey

Lalit Khaitan, the 80-year-old chairman of Radico Khaitan, has become India’s newest billionaire after Forbes reported a more than 50% surge in his company’s shares this year.

Lalit Khaitan’s Legacy

Radico Khaitan, formerly Rampur Distillery & Chemical Company, is a key player in the alcoholic beverages sector and reportedly earned a revenue of ₹3,152.2 crore in the financial year ended 2023. Known for iconic brands like Magic Moments vodka, 8 pm whiskey, Old Admiral brandy, and Rampur single malt, the company has made its mark in the alcoholic beverage industry.

Professional Journey

Lalit Khaitan inherited the reins of the distillery from his father, GN Khaitan, in 1995, following the division of family businesses. Though his entry into the liquor trade began when his father acquired the Rampur distillery business in 1972, Lalit Khaitan is known to be a teetotaller.

Radico Khaitan’s evolution from a bottling plant to a major player in bulk alcohol production faced several challenges. Lalit Khaitan strategically diversified into branded beverages, leading to the launch of 8 PM whiskey in 1998.

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Today, Radico Khaitan stands as one of the largest manufacturers of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), with a global footprint in over 85 countries. Its portfolio includes Morpheus brandy, After Dark whisky, Rampur single malt and Jaisalmer luxury craft gin, among others.

Educational Background

Lalit Khaitan's academic journey includes studies at esteemed institutions like Mayo College, Ajmer and St Xavier's College, Kolkata. He holds an engineering degree from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore and completed a Managerial Finance & Accounting course from Harvard, USA.

Accolades and Recognition

Lalit Khaitan has received noteworthy accolades, including the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Uttar Pradesh Distillers Association in 2017 and the “Inspirational Lifetime Achievement Award” at Alcobev 2008 from the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies.

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