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Vijay Mallya (Kannada/Konkani born 18 December 1955) is an Indian billionaire and Rajya Sabha MP. The son of industrialist Vittal Mallya, he is the Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines, which draws its name from United Breweries Group's flagship beer brand, Kingfisher. As of 2008, Mallya was ranked as the 162nd richest person in the world and the 41st in India with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. He receives substantial press coverage that focuses on his lavish parties and his hotels, automobiles, Formula One team Force India, IPL Cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore and his yacht. Personal life Mallya is originally from the town of Bantwal (near Mangalore) in Karnataka. He was born in a Konkani-speaking Gaud Saraswat Brahmin family. He was educated at La Martiniere Boys' College, Calcutta in Kolkata and completed his degree from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta under Calcutta University. He later set up business ventures in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Mallya is married twice. His first wife was Sameera and they have a son together, named Sidhartha Vijay Mallya. Later on, he married Rekha and has two daughters Laila and Tanya Mallya and one son. Business Breweries Mallya took over as Chairman of the United Breweries Group in 1984. Since then, the group has grown into a multi-national conglomerate of over sixty companies with an annual turnover which has increased by 639% to US$11.2 billion in 1998-1999 . The focal business areas of the group encompass alcoholic beverages, life sciences, engineering, agriculture, chemicals, information technology, aviation and leisure. He owned McDowell Crest. In May 2007, United Breweries Group announced the all-cash acquisition of scotch whisky maker Whyte & Mackay for £595 million (approximately Rs 6000 crore). In 2005 he took over Millennium Breweries Ltd (formerly known as Inertia Industries Ltd), which owned the two premium beer brands named Sandpiper and Zingaro. Airlines A hoarding of Kingfisher Airlines with Vijay Mallya's signature In 2005, Vijay Mallya established Kingfisher Airlines. At present, the airline connects 32 cities. Kingfisher Airlines obtained a 26% stake in Air Deccan, a low cost Indian airline which Mallya later acquired fully and integrated into his Kingfisher fleet, rebranding it as Kingfisher Red. Vijay Mallya and his Jet Airways counterpart Naresh Goyal announced an alliance after a marathon meeting on 13 October 2008 at Mumbai, India. Association with sports Formula One Main article: Force India In 2007, Mallya and the Mol family from The Netherlands bought the Spyker F1 team for 88 million euros. The team changed its name to Force India F1 from the 2008 Season. Team's car VJM-01 was named after its owners Vijay Mallya, Jan Mol and Michiel Mol. Football Mallya's United Breweries sponsors the East Bengal and Mohun Bagan football clubs in Kolkata. In 2008 he was linked with buying into the new revolution at Queens Park Rangers FC, as part of the Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Lakshmi Mittal consortium. Cricket Mallya's flagship firm UB Group owns the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League. He won this team in an auction by paying US$111.6 million for the team. The Royal Challengers Bangalore team includes players like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Kevin Pietersen, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Robin Uthappa, Mark Boucher, Sunil Joshi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor and Dale Steyn. Horse racing Mallya also owns the company, United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders (URBB) which has interests in horse racing. URBB runs the Kunigal stud farm, under lease from the Government of Karnataka. Political career Mallya entered politics in 2000 and replaced Subramanian Swamy as the president of the Janata Party, a breakaway faction of the original Janata Dal party. His party contested almost all of the 224 seats during the Karnataka State legislative election. He campaigned vigorously through the media, but his party failed to make any impact and did not win a single seat. Following the party's failure in the elections, it has been largely ignored by the media. Auction purchases Vijay Mallya is noted for his successful bidding in auction of items that are considered of great cultural value to India. In 2004, he placed the winning bid of £175,000 for the sword of Tipu Sultan at an auction in London in 2004, and brought it back to India. In March 2009, Mallya successfully bidded for the belongings of Mahatma Gandhi at US$1.8 million, in a New York auction that initially caused an uproar in India and its government tried and failed to prevent it from going under the hammer. Achievements UB city as seen from St. Joseph's school ground Establishment of Mallya Hospital in Bangalore. The hospital is located in Vittal Mallya Road, named after his father. Helped to fund the Mallya Aditi International School, a prestigious private school in Bangalore.