|Born||Gurdeep Singh Chadha
22 October 1957
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Died||17 November 2012
|Occupation||former managing director of Wave Cinemas.|
Gurdeep Singh Chadha aka Ponty Chadha (22 October 1957 – 17 November 2012) established one of the most elaborate business conglomerates in India that grew on to be a 6000-crore empire by 2012 under the flagship banner 'Wave'. His life is one of the most high-profile ‘rags-to-riches’ stories of converting roadblocks into strengths.
It is believed that after migrating from Pakistan during the partition, Kulwant Singh Chadha set up a small sugar khandsari in Moradabad, where Ponty, the eldest son of the family, was born on October 22, 1957. As a child, he helped his father in the business and later went on to manage the Chadha Group, which was finally consolidated under the Wave Brand.
Wave Group is involved in food processing, paper manufacturing, sugar mills, breweries and distilleries, power manufacturing, bottling plants, real estate as well as film distribution. Their flagship companies include Wave Infratech, Wave Cinemas, Wave Distilleries and Breweries, The Delhi Waveriders, Film Distribution, Wave City, Wave City Center, Wave Estate, Wave One, Wave Malls, and Wave Industries. It is also said that Ponty had developed close ties with former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati and former Chief Minister of Punjab, Amarinder Singh.
Liquor license monopoly
Just before the 2009 General Elections, due to a change in Uttar Pradesh government policy to control the trafficking of spurious liquor, the system of multiple wholesale dealers was abolished. This led to the monopoly of Chadha group who acquired the license to sell wholesale alcohol single-handedly in the whole state.
Multiplexes & Malls
The company operates multiplexes and malls under the brand name 'Wave Cinemas' & ‘Wave Malls’ in New Delhi, Noida, and several cities across North India. Incepted in 1999, the company has distributed over 150 Bollywood blockbusters and has cross-border ventures as well. Besides India, the distribution network covers Nepal, Bhutan, USA, UK and several other Arabian and Asian countries.
In February 2012, the Directorate of IT and CI officials reportedly raided one of the Wave multiplexes in Centrestage mall, Noida. It was said that cash worth Rs 110 million, jewellery and fixed deposits were recovered, and 13 bank lockers confiscated. However, various media reports were contradictory. About two weeks later, they reported that almost nothing was recovered.
However, there were questions raised over the perfectly timed incidents just before the UP elections and how the worth of seized assets was so precisely quoted within a few hours of the raid.
Wave Infratech is the real estate arm of the Chadha Group. Starting off with commercial and residential projects and malls in Noida, the group expanded to Punjab, Gurgaon, and other parts of North India. It tied up with IBM to build India's first smart city, Wave City, Ghaziabad. Other ventures include Wave One, Wave Cinemas, Wave Malls, Wave Estate, and Wave City Centre. Chadha group also enjoyed a hold over the mining business in Bundelkhand and Sonbhadra regions of Uttar Pradesh.
Ponty established Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan in July 1999, a non-profit special education institution in Noida with the mission to educate and prepare special children to achieve physical, social and financial independence to the best of their abilities.
The school aims at total self-reliance and its curriculum is specifically tailored for that. Alongside academic learning, it trains children on art and handicraft for all-round development. Dedicated outlets at Wave Malls further promote the merchandise produced in-house by the children.
The Group further expanded its outreach by founding the non-profit organisation, Ponty Chadha Foundation (PCF). PCF works for social equilibrium and unrestrained access to food and medical aid across the country.
Lately, PCF and India Food Banking Network (IFBN) have set up the first of its kind food bank in Delhi NCR’s Ghaziabad and Noida.
Ponty Chadha, died on 17 November 2012 and his death remains mired in mystery. The cause of the death is said to be crossfire between him and brother Hardeep, though varied accounts of the incident can be found. One of the arguments is that disputed ownership over a piece of property led to the crossfire; speculations in the media of the brothers being in loggerheads over the family business were also rife, but all these have remained largely unconfirmed in the public domain.
Moreover, sources debating the incident, including Taranjit Singh, who is claimed to be a close family relative, confirm that Ponty was handicapped in both hands and could not possibly have fired at his brother. The same was later established when during the investigations it came out that Hardeep had initiated the crossfire.
In January 2014, murder charges against all the 21 accused were dropped by a trial court in Delhi, including Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, ex-chief of Uttarakhand's minority commission who was arrested on 23 November for shooting at Hardeep Chadha.
However, charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder were invoked against Namdhari and his Personal Security Officer, Sachin Tyagi while the 19 other accused were charged with attempt to murder.
The Delhi Police, in July 2014, contested the ruling in the Delhi High Court which accepted the plea and served fresh notices to the 21 accused.
During its investigations, Delhi Police also discovered that armed PSOs (Personal Security Officers) commissioned with the Punjab Police were accompanying the Chadha brothers beyond their jurisdiction.
- PTI (17 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha : A controversial figure in business world". Times of India. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Who is Ponty Chadha". The Times of India. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Sruthijith KK (18 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha, how he mixed power, politics and alcohol commerce". Economic Times. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Bureau (17 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha was close to all parties in the region". Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Wave Cinemas". Company Website. Wave. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- Bhatt, Virendra Nath (18 November 2012). "Ponty Chadha: The unchallenged liquor baron of UP". Tehelka. Retrieved 18 November 2012.