Hong Kong, Oct. 03, 2005
is hard to believe that NRI (Non-Resident Indian)
family of 110-members, owner of global billion dollar
empire business- still residing
under onr roof in Hong Kong mansion for four generations.
According to PTI, Fortunately, there are no space
constraints. Dr Harikrishin Harilela, OBE, and his
family reside in a 100,000 sq ft mansion at Kowloon
Tong in Hong Kong.
"It sounds like a lot of people," Harilela,
the family patriarch, said. "But we are never
complete in this house because people are away at
different times. The girls marry, kids go away for
school. So, we run this place like a hotel."
Having originally included 18 bedrooms, the main house
now has six apartments with 40 bedrooms between them.
Each flat measures about 2,500 sq ft -- an impressive
tally for Hong Kong, one of the most expensive cities
in the world.
The mansion, which took three years to plan and one
year to build, came about because of a promise made
to Hari`s mother -- that he and his brothers would
always live together.
"As we were together in poverty, we should not
separate in wealth," says Hari.
Harilela and his six brothers started off as impoverished
food and sundries vendors during the second World
War, living together with their wives in a one-bedroom
apartment on Peking Road in Kowloon.
Now, the Harilela holdings encompass hotels all over
the world, from Holiday Inns in Asia to the W in Sydney
and the Sheraton in Belgravia. The company also has
a seat on the Hong Kong stock exchange and investments
in food, travel and health care.
The Harilela apartments are divided among five brothers
and one sister. At the back of the property, there
is an annexe, with about 30 bedrooms for other family
The clan now has enough space for the next 20 years,
says Hari. The basement of the mansion has a subterranean
garage that holds 30 cars, with seven drivers on staff.
The annexe holds another 25 cars.
Like many wealthy homeowners, the Harilelas have
a gym, sauna, pool, jacuzzi and a bar. They also have
walk-in freezers; wine caves and pantries; laundry
and dry cleaning, fur storage, a massage room with
a masseuse and an in-house tailor who does alterations
and makes the family`s saris.
Hari and his wife entertain twice a week, and a family
friend wrote in a diaspora magazine that "dinner
with the Harilela family in the privacy of their home
is truly an experience."
"You never know who you`re going to meet --
statesmen and women from various countries, film or
TV stars, sports figures and friends from all walks
of life," he said.