Vijay Mallya may still be the King of Good Times in the liquor business. And French multinational Pernod Ricard may have earned unprecedented success by becoming the most profitable liquor player in the market. But when it comes to Uttar Pradesh, both play second fiddle to one man. Mention Gurdeep Singh Chadha, or simply ‘Ponty’ Chadha to them and the tall stories of conquest dip a notch or three. Chadha was one of the largest liquor businessman of the state, with numerous dealerships, and his business interest was also in the Cinema and multiplex sector.
Gurdeep Singh Chadha alias Ponty Chadha used to sell snacks with his father in front of a country-made liquor shop. in the fifties, Chadha`s father Kulwant Singh got the rights for running the government opium and bhang shop after shifting base from Ramnagar (now Uttarakhand) The family's fortunes took a turn when his father Kulwant Singh Chadha managed to get a license to run a liquor shop. A good profit helped Singh venture into the liquor trade, and he set up his first liquor shop at Moradabad's Phool Mandi and then a second one at Tarikhana As a senior executive from the industry told me a few months ago, “Please keep everything about Ponty Chadha off the record, otherwise I will lose my business in Uttar Pradesh.” He was speaking about the difficulty of functioning in Uttar Pradesh (because of Chadha’s influence) and how his competitor had trumped him by being the first to sew up a deal with Chadha. Ponty's monopoly
A seasoned player in the Indian liquor industry, Chadha was as much known for his proximity to political parties as for his knack to work the system to his advantage. It was his good relation with the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati that allowed Ponty gulping more than Rs 1179.84 crore under the Sugar Mill scam. In the CAG investigation of 21 sugar mills which were sold at very cheap rates it has come to notice that liquor businessman Ponty Chadha was benefited by Mayawati....
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