Soon after he graduated from the University of Delhi, freshly degreed in economics, Sudhir Choudhrie started buying television equipment from the U.K., noting, “There was a big craze for setting up television centers, so I started getting equipment from the U.K. to sell to the government” in India.
In doing so, he not only helped grow the country’s national TV network, but he also “really got into the business,” he explained. From there, he expanded into other imports and exports, focusing on consumer goods such as farm machinery. And just like that, Choudhrie found his footing as a successful entrepreneur.
By 1975, the business was well established, and Choudhrie founded the Magnum International Trading Company, concentrating solely on expanding his Indian exports. Over the next few decades, his vision for cementing India’s position in the global economy turned to new avenues and ventures. And that’s when his reach truly started to expand.
Sudhir Choudhrie Goes Global
At this stage of his career, Sudhir Choudhrie formed two key partnerships that took his native country — and his business empire— to global recognition. First, he connected with Taj Hotels and Resorts, creating four resorts in India under the Taj Kerala brand. These proved to be popular destinations for both locals and international tourists, cementing the entrepreneur’s credibility in the hospitality industry.
In 1995, he was ready to venture into the world of fashion. He formed the Adidas Indian Trading branch of the Adidas AG athletic apparel and footwear corporation, soon bringing more than 180 of the brand’s stores to India, along with numerous manufacturing facilities.
Over the next few years, his business endeavors kept expanding as Choudhrie assumed a non-Executive Directorship role at Ebookers PLC, a U.K.-based online travel company, and then invested in Air Deccan, the first budget airline in India. At the time of his investment in 2003, the airline was tiny — and only owned one plane — but just five years later, it had transformed into a major regional carrier, operating more than 200 daily flights.
In the midst of all this professional success, Sudhir Choudhrie’s health concerns finally caught up with him. He suffered two heart attacks, experienced heart failure, and received a lifesaving heart transplant at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, under the care of Dr. Mehmet Oz. Now, with a new heart in his body, his wife, Anita, explained, “Following his transplant, [Sudhir promised] that he would be a force of positive energy.” And so, in keeping with that promise, Choudhrie entered a new phase of his storied career.
Growth and Giving
While he became a British national in 2010, Choudhrie is still very much a global player, engaged in everything from utilities companies in the Middle East, to assisting with strategic relations between his native India and adopted U.K., and even financially supporting the U.K.’s Liberal Democrats party. For his business prowess, he was honored with the Asian Business Lifetime Achievement Year Award 2013, presented by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. But that wasn’t the end of his story.
To this day, the entrepreneur remains actively engaged in business, politics, and — perhaps most passionately — philanthropy. Valued as a global consultant who helps clients target growth, risk management, and vision, he’s also a passionate advocate for organ donation, a celebrated author, and a staunch supporter of causes ranging from education to support for individuals with disabilities. And, as one of the world’s longest living heart-transplant survivors, Sudhir Choudhrie is still going strong, so there are likely so many more chapters to come in this visionary’s narrative.